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Barefoot Pools in Arizona provides curbside pickup for product orders.

Distancing Through Technology

Business software can aid your pool business during COVID-19

Barefoot Pools in Arizona provides curbside pickup for product orders.

It is certainly a difficult time for our community and the entire world right now, as we work to navigate the unknowns of this global pandemic and its profound impact. In most cases, pool service professionals are considered essential right now, as stagnant bodies of water can be disastrous. Tens of thousands of pools left to fester without chlorine and proper maintenance can lead to a public health crisis all on its own. Pools can turn green in as little as two weeks and will breed mosquitoes that can carry the West Nile virus and more. Your customers (and potential new customers) are going to need your help to keep their pool water clean, clear and safe.

Fortunately, there are now technology services and business software that allow for safe social distancing or the elimination of physical contact with consumers. Whether it’s delivering the right chemicals to the client’s doorstep or doing interactive phone calls to troubleshoot problems, it’s time to make the most of these technologies to build deeper loyalty with your clients. Here are our recommendations on how to use these solutions to keep your business moving.

Connection and Support

With the shift to remote work, it’s important for you, as pool professionals, to adjust the ways in which you connect with customers who are now working from home. These clients are looking longingly at their swimming pools as they wait for warmer weather so they can relax in their backyard.

We recommend starting with an email that tells customers you are open and ready to help. These same messages can then be used to start a phone conversation. Remember, these aren’t cold calls — you are reaching out to your existing customer base. Your clients will likely be pleased to hear from you. Right now, people are feeling isolated, so they may be more receptive to phone calls, texts or emails than previously. This is especially true if you are offering support and solutions to make their summer more enjoyable.

Split your customer list among every one of your staff members. Even with your staff at home, they can still connect with dozens of customers using remote business software to take orders, notes, schedule service, etc. Not only is this a productive way to reach out to clients, but it is also a great way to cross-train employees while giving them meaningful work that builds deeper customer loyalty.

Once you have a customer on the line, take the time to explain that for everyone’s safety, your retail store is closed, but you will deliver to their car window or front porch. Explain your plan for opening their pool and how you will help them keep it clean and clear all summer. If your clients aren’t comfortable having you in their backyard, offer to walk them through doing the work themselves and charge them a special FaceTime service call rate.

Some email subjects or phone call openers might include:

  • Don’t Panic — we have a plan to open your pool
  • Get your Pool Opening Kits — we’ll pre-package them up and deliver them to your home via curbside delivery. Or we’ll give you a time to pick them up at our warehouse.
  • Don’t Panic — we have a plan to keep your pool clean, clear and safe all summer
  • Pool Openings — we’re here for you!
  • We’re Open Online
  • We Deliver
  • We can help you open your pool in person or remotely!
  • Don’t Panic — we’ll uncover your pool and get that swamp water clean and clear
  • We will help ensure your pool water is clean and clear for your summer
  • Curbside Retail Available!

Enhance Project Management

One of the best ways to manage your projects and still provide exceptional service during this time is by implementing the latest mobile platforms. Mobile technology will be especially important this spring and summer to ensure your operation runs smoothly and you have a profitable season with happy, loyal customers.

For example, RB Pool & Spa Mobile Live is a pool company software that can be accessed at any time and from anywhere with your phone or tablet, and has the following features:

  • Record pool or spa water test results from the job site to automatically become a part of the customer’s records (eliminate service forms).
  • Calculate recommended chemical dosages. Add job notes, then select an easy-to-use customized checklist to record service work performed.
  • Add parts and chemicals used directly to the sales order through a mobile device.
  • Send invoices and take payments online in order to comply with social distancing.
  • Look up warehouse inventory from the job site and keep track of inventory on service trucks.

Additionally, with RB Pool and Spa Software and RB Service Pro, service technicians can view all scheduled pool opening jobs along with the customer’s equipment profile, job notes, directions and photos on file.

Be Creative

Maybe consider a drive thru that is open from noon to  6 p.m. daily. Explain that this allows your team to pull the orders and have them ready for an assigned pick-up time that is convenient for all. Using mobile apps or a business software to pre-order and pay is essential. Explain that these pre-payments online are required for safety and provide a specific pick-up time. Don’t forget to emphasize that you are putting these procedures in place to avoid congestion and adhere to social distancing protocols.

Go the Extra Mile

To take customer service to the next level, your service techs can email your customers a virtual door hanger to let them know they were at the pool and the work they performed. This is particularly helpful for social distancing. You might include information on how your techs used gloves and masks while in the customer’s backyard and took extra steps to clean all surfaces touched during the pool service.

Since your clients can’t visit your store, before your service techs hit the road, be sure to call clients and ask if they want anything else for their pool. You might find your service techs delivering pool toys, floats, basketball hoops or installing slides and other products that were previously sold only in the retail store.

Pool and spa stores and service professionals need to take advantage of every technology tool available in order to keep up with demand this spring and summer. This will help to ensure customer loyalty that will continue on long after this crisis has passed.

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