For many people, a backyard pool or spa is a luxury they are willing to pay someone else to maintain. But even customers who prefer to contract out pool care should know basic pool maintenance requirements. A poorly maintained pool will look unsightly, will be more expensive to fix, and can become damaging to their health. Customers who know what is involved in maintaining their pool appreciate the work that goes into it and know when they need to call in reinforcements. And when you support customers who want to do it themselves, they are more likely to come to you than a big box store to purchase supplies.
Pool Care 101: Show Them Around Their System
Instruct new pool owners on all parts of their system, so they know proper names (pump, filter, etc.) and what each part does on a basic level. This will enable them to perform quick fixes themselves and help you estimate times for service calls when problems arise. Instruct your techs to answer their questions and to truly listen to their concerns. Make sure customers know what type of filtration system and pool liner they have so they won’t damage them by using the wrong supplies. Consider creating a one-sheet pool care manual to give to your customers or make it available on your website.
RB pool and spa software complements your water analysis program by printing maintenance calendars which show chemical dosages based on water volume. These pool chemical cheat sheets will encourage customers to return to your store because they know exactly when to add your chemicals to their pool or spa. The cheat sheet makes it easy for them to stick to a regular schedule that keeps their pool at optimal conditions.
Pool Care 101: Show Them What Is Normal So They Can Spot Issues
New pool owners need to know what concerns they can handle themselves and when to call for service. Customers who understand routine pool care can quickly identify when there is a problem with their system.
Make sure your customers know the water should be clear. Water that is green or cloudy is not only a potential health risk but also poses a drowning risk since you can’t see the bottom of the pool. Explain what algae growth may look like and why it is a problem.
Customers need to know that a change in a pump’s sound generally indicates a problem. Some noises are an easy fix, while others require a service call. The fix may be as easy as adding water to the pool or emptying the filter basket, or it may indicate a serious issue with the internal workings of the pump. Caught early, some problems can be fixed quickly and inexpensively.
Pool Care 101: Routine Maintenance
Proper routine pool care can prevent many problems. Instruct customers to avoid getting dirt and other substances in the water, so the filter doesn’t have to work harder than necessary. This will keep the water cleaner and prolong the filter life. Suggest that before entering the pool, they wipe dirt and grass off their feet and consider washing off cosmetics and lotions that can lessen the effect of pool chemicals.
Pool owners should use a leaf skimmer daily to remove leaves, pollen, bugs, and other debris from the water’s surface. Leaves not only can clog drains and filters to cause pump burn-out, they can also contribute to an increase in phosphates and algae growth. These increases require additional chemicals and, in extreme cases, a temporary loss of use.
Brush and Vacuum
Regularly cleaning the pool walls and floor helps prevent algae growth and maintain the proper chemical balance in the pool. Instruct your customers on how to brush the sides of the pool to remove stuck-on debris and algae, and make sure they understand the correct way to use their vacuum.
Demonstrate how to perform regular water tests (2-3 times per week) and how to adjust chemicals as needed. Make sure customers know that certain conditions can affect the water chemistry, like bad weather, extreme temperatures, or having more people than usual in the pool.
While many homeowners successfully manage their own pool care, it can’t be overestimated that pool chemicals require careful storage and use. Handled improperly, they can be a danger to people and pets.
Encourage customers to run the pump for 8-12 hours per day. Cost-conscious homeowners may not want to run their pump 24/7. You can help them by informing them of the minimum run time needed to keep their water clear. Inform them that the strainer basket needs to be checked regularly and should be cleared of debris at least weekly. Customers should also be aware that water levels need to be high enough for the filter to work properly.
Pool Care 101: Installing Covers
While many customers will only cover their pool at the end of the season, some choose to cover them at other times to keep debris out, reduce evaporation, and maintain water temperature. Customers should know that testing and treating the water before covering it will save them time and money when they want to re-open their pools, and that the treating process may require them to wait a certain amount of time before covering the pool. They should also be instructed on properly using their cover to keep out debris and any special winterizing methods particular to their area.
Considering Offering Pool Care Classes
Some customers prefer to be hands-on and want to handle their own pool care rather than hire a professional. A pool care class taught by one of your technicians will help them follow best practices and get more satisfaction out of their investment.
Teaching your customers about pool care will help ensure their pools stay clean and safe throughout the season. In addition, itt will help build a trusted relationship – your customers will look to you as the expert and are more likely to come to you with questions or concerns rather than heading to a big box store. It will also position you as the “go-to” provider if they decide to outsource the job after all.
RB’s software offers pool chemical cheat sheets and a host of other features that help you provide a better consumer experience to inspire more consumer loyalty. Schedule a demo today to see how!