Why does it take so long to get a pool company out to my yard?

I had this question today while on the phone with homeowner requesting a quote for service. This is a great question, especially in May, in Michigan. As I explained to the homeowner (and then thought I’d share with you here) there are a few reasons why this happens.

Each swimming pool company maintains a list of customers. These are typically pools the company knows well, and owners that have a relationship with the company. If a service request comes in from one of these customers, the company already has an idea how to handle the issue and what to expect on site. This means they can delegate the job prior to going out to the pool in most cases. This helps to cut down on lead time, and the preferred customer status helps to solidify a quicker timeline.

If a service company is unfamiliar with a pool, they need to send someone out who can diagnose what is going on with a pool and how to best handle it on the spot, in many cases. This service person’s time is very valuable, especially in peak pool season. There’s a balance between visiting pools to give quotes (meaning money later, maybe) and sending a qualified service tech out to do an installation that results in a billable visit. There’s a balance of both, however, the best time to get quotes is when the phones are slower.

Which brings me to the May in Michigan comment. There are 50,000 plus pools in the five county area including Oakland, Washtenaw, Wayne, Macomb and Livingston. The average service company in the area can service about 500 customers very effectively. If you use Google or even word of mouth, and ask around, there are a handful of companies that get recommended. There’s certainly room for more service companies in the area, though for now, let’s deal with what we’ve got to work with (more about the new service business plan being launched by our company this year – later).

If you can imagine, the minute the sun starts shining in May, all 50,000 pools are opened (in a window of about 30-45 days). This is when you find the issues, service calls, and troubleshooting appointments.  That’s trying to funnel a whole lot of people through a very narrow service window.(Who was calling in March- we were available!)

So what can you do to encourage quick service and turn around of your request?

  1. Create a relationship with a service company who gets to know you and your pool. That means when you call we can diagnose over the phone and predict what your needs might be. Customer loyalty also means that we’ll be loyal to you and fixing your issue if you’ve been loyal to us, instead of always seeking the lowest price and jumping from company to company.
  2. Maintain your pool. Follow our instructions and recommendations. We are telling you these things to help you. Preventative maintenance now means less last minute emergency calls later. (Think Zinc Anodes if you have a salt pool – and if you don’t have one, or don’t know what it is, CALL US RIGHT NOW!)
  3. Be a good customer. This means treating your service company and service techs with respect, and understanding, especially when the season is very busy. Just imagine if you had 500 people calling you right  now to fix the pool. You want to help everyone, but you have to prioritize.
  4. Be patient. Again, we can’t stress this enough. We want to be able to help you, as quickly as we can. Servicing pools is an art, and those most qualified to do the best work are in the highest demand.
  5. Plan your fixes. If you know something is coming up, make a call now to your service company and let them know what you would like to do. If it’s a major project, we can help advise you when the best time to complete it will be, and let you know when we’ll best be able to service your need.

The pool season in Michigan, and in most midwestern areas faces similar issues, with the seasonal nature of the business. The pool season is hot from Mid April to Mid October, with the very busy times at opening (May) and closing (September). There are many qualified companies, ready to serve the needs of the area customers – sometimes the requests have to be delegated, prioritized, and planned, and that just might be why it took a pool company so long to get out to your pool.

If we can help answer your question, service your pool, or get you into a new pool this year, please submit a service request or give us a call. We’d be thrilled to add you to our preferred customer list! – Sandi (your operations coordinator)