By: Charles Baird
I have written and spoken on the subject of quality service and improved incomes for pool service companies for decades. Still, I encounter pool service companies who want higher incomes but lack the motivation or enough customer respect to provide the higher quality service that is demanded with those higher incomes. I find it very difficult to understand why some people do not realize that higher service fees mean you must provide a better service. Believe me, there is a correlation between your performance and your service fee. This is as it should be.
I recently fired my pool service company for poor service. After three years of less than average service, I finally came to a breaking point. I have a fairly small pool with an average depth of approximately four feet. I was paying $110.00 per month for what amounted to a chemical service. However, I was constantly plagued with Yellow Algae and a less than satisfactory clean pool. I have an automatic cleaner and my pool tech was running my pool equipment twelve hours a day, winter and summer. The final straw was when the service company raised my service fee by charging additional for chemicals. The increased rate was the slap in the face because even with the additional chemical fees, my pool was still turning. This helps me decide to pursue another company. I found a referral from a neighbor and hired a new service company.
Now, here is the truth of the matter. If my old pool service company had been doing a great job, I would never have changed. The difference between the increase and the old rate was a few dollars a week. If just wasn’t enough of an increase to make me change. However, the increase, along with the poor service, was more than enough to motivate me to find a better company, a company whose performance was commiserated with their service fees.
This is what I have been saying for years. This is the truth you must accept. It is not necessarily the rate increase that causes a customer to discontinue service. There is a deep-rooted reason leftover from some other incident that pushes them to change.
There are many reasons customers change service companies. It could be a poor service. It could be not showing up on the service day. It could be the personality of the pool service technician or owner. However, it is rarely the price increase alone.
To make my point on the price increase not being the factor for cancellation, I am currently paying my new pool service company more than the previous pool company was charging. However, my pool looks better than it has ever looked.
When are you going to understand “WE ARE PROFESSIONALS?” We are responsible for our actions. We are responsible to our customers. We should be held responsible for all the damage we cause because of our negligence. I have seen over the years, the financial and emotional cost of poor service to a homeowner or commercial customer. It can be very expensive and very frustrating.
We can continue to underachieve and implode from our lack of self-respect and the image damage we cause ourselves, or we can take a more professional and responsible path and achieve the success we see in other industries. As always, the choice is yours.
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