The first time the government announced a lockdown in California, Javier Payan, a pool/spa service professional, was on his way to the Western spa and pool show. Payan says,” At the time, it was crazy to think that the pool industry would still thrive in the middle of a pandemic and a rainy spring season.” Surprisingly, the sales in the pool and spa industry increased tremendously. Homeowners were looking for innovative ways to make their ‘summer lockdown’ worth it. The demand was high hence we encountered a staff shortage.
Pool building services
In 2020, many people were stuck home and could not go for their annual vacation. Of course, this left them with a lot of money that they had saved up for vacation. Consequently, homeowners started looking for ways to enjoy their summer holidays and keep their children engaged.
Almost every homeowner wishes to install a pool in their backyard.President of Monogram Custom Pools, Tony Caciolo
We receive numerous calls requesting for our installation services.” Even so, the biggest challenge that came with the pandemic was handling sales leads. On ordinary occasions, companies in the pool and spa industry received several sales leads a week. But this time, most companies received a dozen of leads a day. “Even so, it was hard to increase our labor force since they were less people to work with,” Master Pools Guild executive director, Dick Covert, says.
Pool repairs and maintenance services
Payan reports. “From the start of the pandemic, we have been gaining more customers than we expected.” Pool repairs and maintenance services are now in high demand compared to before. Also, the fact that pool loans were now more available made it easier for homeowners to proceed with pool replacement and repairs. “Currently, pool companies are spending their money to purchase pool equipment and vehicles. And it’s funny almost everyone in our company got a raise this year; contrary to popular belief.”
The increased demand has indisputably led to a rise in prices in the pool and spa industry. However, H&H Pool Services CEO, David Hawes, says, “I’m also contemplating on raising my prices. But I don’t intend to lose my loyal customers. Even so, our services are on high demand and it would be best to take advantage of this.”
Nonetheless, if you plan to increase your prices, come up with a strategy. Don’t just raise your price because your competitors have. Carefully analyze what works best for you and set a specific price. Of course, the price should match the quality of your products and services.
Hawes says, “Raising prices is so much easier at this time due to a significant increase in demand. If you’ve established excellent brand loyalty with many customers, you have nothing to lose. Also, if your products/services stand out, customers will always come to you with the hope that you’ll deliver nothing but the best.”
The retail sectors
The pandemic led to a shutdown of most pool and spa stores for a couple of weeks. But pool companies could sell their products online and make deliveries. And this was challenging and difficult at first. At this point, pool professionals who already had an online shop and payment system found it much easier to continue with business as usual. On the other hand, other pool companies had to try keeping with this new lifestyle’. At the start of summer, most companies had already adapted to the new norm. They were making massive sales than ever before.
What were the challenges encountered by the pool and spa industry?
The rise in demand has led to a shortage of supply, which is a problem faced by most pool companies, Caciolo says.
- Hot tub season is now approaching, and it isn’t easy to get these products. Hot tubs are one of the most challenging products to be found. So, until now, we have no idea when we will get our main line of hot tubs, says vice president of All Seasons Pools & Spas, Dan Lenz.
- Aside from hot tubs, pool heaters are also tough to find. This year, most homeowners are looking to extend their swimming season. Thus, there is a high demand for pool heaters. Covert says, “Our staff has not had problems getting these products; maybe because of the delays in obtaining permits and inspections. So, by the time they were getting an inspection done, they would already have the equipment.
- There have also been shortages in various pool equipment like filters and pumps. Cover says, “Nonetheless, we have never purchased as many products as this year.”
- The labor shortage was one of the major problems during the pandemic. “It’s funny how the rate of unemployment is high and we couldn’t seem to find the right workers,” Payan says. A lot of people are not motivated to work when receiving stimulus money. And others want to stay home and spend time with their families.
Now, companies in the pool and spa industry are thinking of stocking up in excess before the start of summer just to be safe. They are worried about lacking some products in the next peak season and a price increase in these products. All in all, pool builders are afraid of the unknown. Pool experts forecast that the increased demand will continue through this year. So, it would be best if pool owners came up with reliable strategies.
Reaching Millennials: Improving Productivity in the Pool and Spa Industry
Expanding your business often requires you to have a productive workforce. However, this does not come easy, especially in the pool and spa industry. Often, you’ll have to create an environment that motivates people to deliver nothing but the best.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, it is important to note that most of the workforce today is aged 25-40. Also, there is an upcoming workforce, Gen Z, aged 15-25. Sadly, millennials are popularly known for job-hopping. And it’s time for employers to stop this by making some changes. “The truth is millennials are very productive and can be trusted with a lot in the job market since they are talented,” states Jason Dorsey, president of The Center for Generational Kinetics. “Nonetheless, it is essential for all company owners to understand what they need and meet their requirements.”
Millenials have tremendous potential that can expand your business in the pool and spa industry. All you have to do is value them and give them a chance to make a difference in your company.president of The Center for Generational Kinetics, Jason Dorsey
What do Millennials need?
“Well, every employee loves doing meaningful work. But millennials consider meaningful work more important than everyone else,” Jack Altschuler, president of Fully Alive Leadership, Northbrook, Ill.
Millennials desire to work in a workplace that offers motivation. Jack proceeds to say, “This is how millennials reason; if I’m going to work on a simple, 30-minute installation process for the whole day, I won’t feel useful. So, I’ll do my best to get out of here as soon as I can since I’m not experiencing any growth.” All in all, millennials are more interested in work that contributes to their growth and others’ lives.
Moreover, they want companies to get involved in community work. So, it is up to the employer in the pool and spa industry to understand this. Richard Avdoian, a team member development consultant in Metropolitan St. Louis, states, “Millennials want their employers to take part in bettering the lives of others.”
Millennials need to know that their efforts are bringing in a larger clientele and profit. Randy Goruk, president of The Randall Wade Group, Scottsdale, Ariz, says, “Millenials desire to get involved in decision making. They want employers to listen to their opinions.” They often have great ideas, but if there is nobody to listen to them, they look for somewhere else where their opinions will be considered.
Professional growth and development
Dorsey states, “It is important for millennials to grow as better people in their jobs. They want to improve their skills to build solid careers in the pool and spa industry.” Additionally, millennials want to secure their jobs by improving their professionalism since there have been minimal job opportunities of late. And they want their employers to guide them on this. Good employers give millennials feedback on their performance in the right manner.
Flexible work hours and unstructured work environments
Another thing that millennials desire in jobs is flexibility. Most of them are trying to balance their work-life and career. Thus, employers need to offer flexible work schedules for them. So, the old 9 to 5 job tradition does not work for them. Dorsey states, “Healthcare is essential to most millennials. Thus, employers need to issue a health insurance cover for them. Nonetheless, Gen Z seems less interested in health insurance.”Gen Z desires to have their wages paid on flexible terms. They prefer getting paid at the end of every shift rather than getting monthly wages; It helps them make better financial decisions.
Where does your company lie?
From this article, it is clear to see how employers can establish millennial-friendly workplaces in the pool and spa industry. Typically, it is clever to create a work-friendly environment that best suit a millennial’s requirements. Avdoian says, “Spare some time to organize work meetings with your employees. Here, you can ask the millennials their opinions and views on certain subject matters. Some of the questions you can ask them include, “What do you find motivating in the workplace? What improvements would you like us to make? Are you satisfied with our compensation plans?”
How do you know your business has met the millennial’s needs?
Below are some of the questions you can use to determine whether your company’s environment is suitable for millennials. Answer each of the questions using:
- 0 for “Never.”
- 4 for “Seldom.”
- 8 for “Often.”
- 10 for “Regularly.”
Once you are done, calculate the total score at the bottom of this page.
- Does your company work towards bettering the lives of others?
- Have you taken part in charitable community projects?
- Are your staff members included in the decision-making process?
- Does your company offer opportunities for personal and professional growth?
- Do you tell your employees how their actions affect the growth of the company?
- Does the company offer regular performance?
- Are working hours flexible?
- Does the company’s benefit mix show team member preferences?
- Do you ask your employees how they view their workplace environment?
Interpretation of results
- 70: Your work environment is millennial-friendly
- 55-70: You need to work on some things to make the workplace more millennial-friendly.
- 55: You have to change and enhance your understanding and mentality of millennials.
Asking such questions would help you know whether your millennial employees are happy with their work. Whenever you identify something, your employees are not happy; it would help if you change it. Consequently, you’ll be able to have a highly motivated and productive workforce that offers quality services. At the end of the day, your company will receive increased sales, revenues, and profits.
Becoming the preferred Pool and Spa Company
Working in the pool industry can be tedious but indisputably rewarding. Therefore, you have to know how to stay relevant in the industry. You can do this by showing your clientele that you can offer solutions to their pool and spa problems. Consequently, you will manage to portray expertise and, in turn, enhance your brand reputation. And it’s in the little things you do. It’s all about how to address the queries, fears, and doubts of your clients. Remember that your brand reputation mostly depends on your client’s feedback. Establishing a strong rapport with your customers requires you to do more than just informing them about your pool and spa products. You have to make your customers love your products. It would be best if you found something that will keep bringing back your customers. Often, most companies do this by coming up with a unique value proposition. In this article, we look at some of the things you should do to establish an extensive customer base for your pool and spa company.
How do you become a renowned pool and spa company?
Quality services and products:
It is crucial to offer high-quality services and products. It would be best if you were sure that what you are providing to your clients offers value for money. Once you do this, you will get positive customer reviews, increase your brand visibility and expand your business. Besides, staff members are always happy to work where there are quality services and products. It makes their sales conversation much easier since they know what they pitch to the client is distinctive.
You have to be flexible if you have a pool and spa company. What does this mean? Simply put, be available when your customers are available. More often than not, your customers will want to come to your showroom at any time of the day as well as on Sundays. So, always focus on what your clients want rather than what you think they want.
Indulge in charitable projects:
You can win your clients’ hearts by taking part in charitable work. Some people get moved when they hear that your company seeks to better society. And even if they don’t like your products, they will end up buying them to support the charitable project. Moreover, it feels nice to help out. So, if you have a few coins to spare, take part in a charitable organization.
Provide excellent customer service:
Nearly 75% of customers fall in love with brands because they portray excellent customer service. So, ensure that all your staff members are well trained in this. You have to be friendly and courteous to your customers. In turn, you deliver 100% customer satisfaction.
Practice listening skills when it comes to the customer:
Regardless of your experience in the pool industry, it always helps when you listen to what the customer has to say. Hear out all their requirements and adhere to them. It would be best if you set up a meeting with your customers. Here, listen to what they want. Then, you can advise them on the way forward. Doing this helps you boost 100% customer satisfaction.
Solutions to existing problems:
You can always make your brand exceptional if you develop solutions to problems before anyone else does. Thus, it would be best if you conduct extensive research on the pool and spa industry. Identify the requirements of most customers. You can do this using questionnaires and interviews. After getting the results, come up with a fantastic solution to the problem. This way, you create an extensive clientele for yourself.
Be quick to respond and act:
No one loves delays in their projects. Therefore, you have to find a way to offer immediate replies. You can do this by creating a duty shift for your staff members. Try to find the best way you can provide instant replies to your customers. Additionally, always deliver before the client’s deadlines. Otherwise, you might get your company into trouble with a bad review.
Safeguard the environment:
Another way to become a pool and spa company that your customers fall in love with is by protecting the environment. We live in an era where environmental degradation is a common thing. If you show people that your products are safe for the environment, they will buy them without overthinking the costs. It will help if you inform your target population of the distinctive advantages and downsides of these products. Needless to say, tell them why they should choose environmentally friendly products over the standard products.
Becoming a pool and spa company that your customers fall in love with requires you to incorporate certain skills. When it comes to winning a sale, it is not always about your products/services. Remember, the goal here is to establish a strong rapport with your customers to expand your clientele. So, make sure you portray excellent customer service and professionalism when dealing with your customers.
Pool and Spa Automation Industry
Surprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased demand for pool services and products. Consequently, the majority of pool companies have been hectic from the start of the last summer. Mark Bauckman, vice president of Fluidra product development, says, “We always see the number of sales made. Last summer, a lot of people were investing on pools and pool products.” Pool and Spa Automation manufacturers report that there was a significant increase in sales last year. Think about it. The majority of homeowners are now revamping their backyard spaces to create the ideal staycation in their homes.
The innovation of smart pools
With the expansion of the pool industry, there have been numerous innovations over the years. Swimming pools are now easier to control more than ever. Some pools have voice-activated systems compatible with Google Home and Amazon Alexa. Moreover, there have been several apps that show how to balance water chemistry and maintain your pool. “Such innovations have been well received by customers and are now gaining a lot of popularity,” says Greg Fournier, senior product manager for Hayward Pool Products.
Currently, almost everything is technology-driven. Therefore, we plan to come up with a smart pool.group category leader for Pentair automation, KEVAN COOPER
The smart pool is uniquely designed to function as per the needs of the customer. As a result, pool owners will spend less time operating and maintaining their pools. Smart pools work like home appliances. For example, if they sense the pool owner opening the front door, the pump would automatically go on. Such pools rely on day temperatures and time to function. Gauckman says, “One of the main advantages of having a smart pool is that you save a lot of energy.”
Automatic and robotic pool cleaners
Fournier says, “Robotic cleaners are also growing in popularity. You can operate this equipment using a simple app or remote control.” On the other hand, Bauckman is expecting to see more advanced versions of automatic pool cleaners. Robotic pool cleaners with additional sensors will indisputably function more efficiently and make it easier for you to clean even the most unreachable areas. Tim Murphy, President of Blue Square, reports an increased demand for their products. Even so, he is expecting to see more growth.”
The benefits extend to pool experts too
Bauckman says that smart pool appliances will benefit not only the user but also the pool professional. “Fixing a smart pool is easier since you can easily find the primary source of the problem. Also, there are usually some sections in the pool equipment that you wouldn’t want the pool owner to reach. Smart pools make this possible.” Bauckman anticipates that these pool and spa automation products will get combined with business management systems.”
Addition of new technology features
At present, most pool manufacturers are doing their best to make pool and spa automation products available to many people, Fournier says. Consequently, there is a wide range of products and services offered in the market. Unlike before, portable and smaller equipment are in the market.
“A good example is the Bluetooth pool pump. You can easily switch on and switch off the pump using an app.” says Mike Tuttobene, Waterway sales vice president. You can also control the speed of the pump using the app.
Chemtrolnational sales manager, Dave Button, says, “Pool experts are now making pools more user-friendly by coming up with controllers incorporating more complex functions. “Back in the day, it was possible to regulate the main pool pump. However, it was impossible to control variable frequency drives. Additionally, Ultraviolet regulators only enabled you to switch them on and off. But now, you can intensify the light radiated by Ultraviolet systems. Furthermore, modern systems are systems that allow you to regulate the opening of the main drain, unlike traditional systems.”
Modification of pool lights
In this present age and time, pool owners fall in love with the evolution of automated lights. I mean, every pool owner wants to have a multicolored swimming pool or water features. Murphy says, “Majority of pool owners wants their pool lighting to automatically switch colors.” Fortunately, there are many innovations meant to cater to such customer requirements.
Pool experts are working towards more advanced versions of pool lighting that can switch up the backyard into a serene haven.PAL Lightingnational sales manager, Jai O’Neill
Additionally, he says that these modern pool lighting systems allow you to control the intensity of light getting radiated. He says, “occasionally, pool experts will require a certain number of lumens for their pool. And such pool and spa automation systems allow you to control them.”
Ultimately, the COVID-19 pandemic led to increased demand for pool and spa automation products. Most homeowners are looking for more user-friendly products that allow them to consume less time, energy, and effort during operation.
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