If there is one thing we have learned over 20 years of building swimming pools, it is that the more we communicate with our customers, the happier everyone is. Notice I said everyone, because if our customer is happy, then we are happy.
Communication is probably the single most important aspect of keeping your new swimming pool project bearable. Just as importantly, the communication after the sale – when we are long gone – is why our customers continue to say nice things about us. If you have a problem on Saturday afternoon, there is an excellent chance you will be able to get in touch with one of us.
Imagine a situation where you have reached an agreement with a pool construction company, and you are ready to get going. They arrive at your home on the day they said they would, and they excavate the hole for the pool, and then leave, promising to return in two days and begin installation. You, and your family are excited, and start making plans for the Grand Opening – this is going to be great!!
Two days later – nothing. You have to go to work, and figure maybe they are late. That afternoon you get home, and – nothing. OK, maybe I was wrong about the return date, and they’ll be back tomorrow. The next morning, you tell your office you will be late getting in, and you wait for the builders to show, and by 10:00, when they are still not there, you are ready to spit fire.
You decide to call and see what the heck is going on, and when you call the number you get a human – great! “So where is everybody?” you ask. “Well sir, this is the answering service – there is no-one in the office, but I can take a message. Would you like to leave a message?” “yes I would like to leave a message – you were supposed to be here two days ago. When are you coming to start on my pool again?” “Thank you – I’ll give them the message”, and you hang up. And go to work.
When they show up eight days later, instead of kicking them in the excavation and burying them, you kiss their feet. “Thank you, thank you, thank you, for building my pool.” When they fail to return two days later, the agony starts all over again. Think I am exaggerating? Not even a little bit.
Take that scenario above and instead of an answering service, replace the telephone message with this: “the mailbox for this customer is full. Call back later. Click”. Or the worst possible answer, “the number you have dialed is no longer in service…..”
We have a showroom at 3934 Market Street in Wilmington, and posted hours. During those posted hours, someone is always there, and you are very welcome to come in. If our customers have a question or concern that cannot be answered by telephone, they can come to our office and ask us in person.
Very recently I had a potential customer send us a series of questions, as they did their due diligence before choosing a pool contractor. I was so thrilled to get that letter, because it told me we were dealing with someone who was going to be a pleasure to work with. They knew what they wanted, and they were asking for potential builders to discuss their methods and in some ways their philosophy. We discussed a number of things, and I helped to add a few questions.
After a conversation I had this morning with a very upset person who is having a problem with their pool builder, I will add another important question to ask: “Will you give me your personal home phone number?” – if there is the slightest hesitation, or question as to why you would want that number, you should slow things down and re-examine whether this builder would be the person you want. I will explain in the next blog, which continues the discussion of communication…