Remember that trust leads to profit
The service tech is the trusted person in the homeowner’s backyard, so even service techs who don’t have extra qualifications can see increased profits and added referral business.
The key word here is “trust”. The ability service professionals have to interact with their customers on a regular basis can further that trust. This is true especially now, with so many pool owners working from home.
Successful business owners know that when a member of their team takes the time to develop a relationship with a customer, that relationship can surpass nearly any other sales dynamic.
Pool owners trust and commiserate with service techs about the maintenance of their backyards – conversations that sometimes continue for years. Those conversations can provide a platform for tremendous influence on sales decisions.
Whether the pool owner is considering renovating old plaster, purchasing a new heater or even buying patio furniture, the most obvious person to consult first is their dependable service technician – that person they have trusted all along.
And in good times and bad, a successful service professional will leverage this trust factor to drive sales.
Certainly, this doesn’t mean they are selling to customers on a daily basis, but rather, they are always on the lookout for conversations with their customers that may someday lead to a sale.
Against all common sense, however, many service techs go to work each day hoping to head off any face-to-face confrontations with their customers.
It is not totally illogical that some service techs want to avoid their customers.
For one thing, the solitary work of a pool and spa service tech may draw a more introverted type.
Also, if the tech is trying to get each pool cleaned in 15 to 25 minutes, prolonged conversations with customers, complaints about service or dissatisfaction about some fee will clearly slow them down.
But avoiding conversations with customers is a sure way to miss a sales opportunity. And with practice, every customer complaint can be turned into a sale.
Here are a few examples service techs may recognize:
• The customer complains that his electricity bill is too high because the pool equipment is running too long. This sounds like a customer who is primed for a new energy efficient pump. But at the very least, service techs should be expert at talking about running the equipment during off-peak hours or alerting them to utility company rebate programs.
• The customer is upset that the pool is always dirty, sometimes just hours after the scheduled weekly service stop. Maybe suggesting an automatic cleaner would be the appropriate response. How about a leaf canister for the existing cleaner? Expertise in the areas of wind and weather patterns as well as a little landscaping advice might help the customer reduce vegetation in the backyard that blows into the pool.
• The customer complains about excessive chemical use and is worried about the ill effects of chlorine on her health. Maybe a UV/Ozone system or chlorine generator would suit her needs? Perhaps this would be a good time to discuss and test phosphate levels and show off your chemistry proficiency. How about upselling her on a new enzyme regimen?
These opportunities for conversations might not always lead to a sale but they do implant the notion that pool service is not a luxury but rather a necessity the customer can’t do without.
With the right approach, customers will see their service professional as the person they rely on to protect their outdoor investment. Furthermore, the customer should be confident that their service tech is saving them time and money, even as the service company is maximizing profits.
While other technicians are hiding from their customers for fear of complaints, the successful service tech is confident and ready with sound advice about any dangerous or wasteful situation to keep the pool safe, efficient and cost effective.
A successful service tech is also always on the look out for new products and trends in the industry. When they see new goods at trade shows or at their distributor, they are eager to show the product to their customers to gauge their reactions. You never know when the next hot product will hit the market, but wouldn’t you hate to see it in your customer’s backyard – sold and installed by someone else?
It is the direct and personal contact with customers that makes the real difference in the business world.
The successful firm makes the most of that contact knowing that to do otherwise will only give the customer the idea that the company’s employees are only around when something is wrong with their pool.
Attitude is everything when it comes to any service profession.
Be ready with a smile and a personal greeting and never duck an opportunity to interact with a customer.
When service pros are seen as confident, friendly, caring and professional, they are subconsciously pre-selling their customers on a new heater, variable-speed pump or the latest hot new product.
After last year’s flurry of new pool construction, along with a need to provide ourselves some form of recreation, there’s no doubt that 2021 has enormous potential for resourceful service techs.
Greater profits are just a conversation away.