New App for Pool Service

Mypoolchart can improve customer communication and usage tracking

If it weren’t for the monthly invoices customers receive, most would never know a pool technician had come around.

Arizona entrepreneur Herman Gunther figured there had to be a better way for pool technicians to notify customers about pool servicing. Flimsy invoices fluttering across lawns, against pool pumps or soaked in pool water weren’t quite professional, Gunther thought.

“I said to myself, ‘That’s really old school; they ought to have a better way,’ ” Gunther says. “The most important thing is service techs and companies — in order to grow — have to differentiate what they do from the guy coming down the street in the pickup truck.”

That’s when he dreamed up the mypoolchart app for smartphones.

Gunther, president of mypoolchart, had an app-development company create the easy-to-use application. Mypoolchart lets pool-service professionals easily track chemical usage, repairs and more. It also allows technicians to keep in touch with customers about what occurs at each servicing.

Pool-service companies can access a 30-day trial to see if the app fits their needs. Technicians and customers can download the app on iPhone or Android.

Once finished on-site, technicians pull out a cellphone, enter customized information about the customer’s pool. If they wish, they can snap a photo of a problem area or the cleaned pool. An email is then sent to the customer for notification of completed service.

“This app allows me to actually track the amount of chemicals I’m using per pool, per week, per month — however I decide to look at it,” says John Gunther, owner of A & E Pools LLC in Phoenix and Herman Gunther’s son. “It has opened my eyes to how I may have been underpricing, so I’m able to adjust.”

Once back in the office, owners like John Gunther can pull up clients’ information on a computer as well. With 95 clients, Gunther says the app has been well worth the $1 per customer he pays to keep himself organized.

“It gives me more control over my business,” John Gunther says. “I’m more aware of what is going on.”

Alejandro Alberto, owner of Aqua Pool Wizard in Lancaster, California, first heard about the app at the Western Pool and Spa Show in Long Beach, California. Before using the app, he never tracked his product usage. But the best part of the app, he says, is easily keeping in touch with a customer.

“It gives a detailed report, including a picture, which gets emailed to the customer, letting them know what was done and the time and day it was done,” Alberto says.

He is restructuring his business and plans to use the app as part of his new business model. It has improved his ability to quickly track inventory, something he’ll need as he figures out business best practices.

While the app has been around for a year, it has been slow to catch on with pool companies, the founder says. Many clients he speaks with have tried other software, which is often linked to accounting programs, making it difficult to learn quickly. The mypoolchart app requires the user to input customer information, and the most commonly used chemicals are in drop-down menus within the app, Gunther says.

He attends trade shows and meetings to advertise and soon hopes to have at least 5,000 companies using the app per month. For most owners, Gunther says the challenge is getting them to change technology.

Ultimately, he wants pool-service companies to consider the bottom line and how to keep customers happy.

“You have to use updated technology and let the customer have warm, fuzzy feelings,” Gunther says. “And if you’re gonna stay in business, you better know what you’re spending to maximize your profits.”

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Brittany Puryear