Kevin Bentrup, lead service tech/salesman with Two Men and a Spa Dolly, demonstrates the functionality of a new Cal Spa for a customer in the company’s showroom.

Best Service-Department Tips

Retailers share what makes this department work

Now that the holiday decorations are put away and most New Year’s resolutions successfully broken, it’s a great time to take stock of the service department. Are there ways to streamline? Can you improve customer service?

“[Evosus Business Management software] really helped us get more service people out in the field more often. With Evosus, we developed a service-call worksheet. This allows salespeople to properly take and input all the information for a service call, even on the weekend. This form also includes questions to ask the customer about the problem they are experiencing, model and serial number of the unit, etc. Since we’re coming out, we also ask if the customer needs replacement filters or chemicals. Basically, it’s allowed our service department to upsell a call before they go out, and to make sure they have the needed
replacement parts for the repair itself.”
– Scott Clark
The Spa and Sauna Company of Reno
Reno, Nev.

“We take photos of all of our jobs, before and after, and then they’re uploaded to Google+. We do that to make sure we have a photographic record of a repair site, showing the physical condition of the equipment, serial numbers, parts replaced and so on. That helps us on future service calls. If a customer has questions after a job, we show photographic verification of what parts were replaced or what was repaired. Job photos are good for marketing and credibility, and work records help service techs on future repairs to see what was done and the condition of equipment to be worked on.”
– Rita Rowlen, co-owner
Ultra Modern Pool and Patio
Wichita, Kan.

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“We try to get everyone’s e-mail for customer correspondence or marketing. On the service side, we send the customer a confirmation e-mail with the service date, time and a reminder to make sure the tech will have access to the backyard. In the e-mail, we also include a color photograph of the service tech who will be making the call, standing in front of the service truck with our logo on it.”
– Steve Ruscigno
Oregon Hot Tubs
Beaverton, Ore.

“One of our mantras is talking about the profit killers of shop time, drive time and overtime. I’ve worked with our staff on minimizing call-backs, return trips to the shop, and instead using one of our bigger trailers to load two or three hot tubs for a delivery run instead of one tub at a time.” (Editor’s note: A tool Kelly and his staff have found helpful in mitigating time vampires is a water storage device called The Onion Tank.) “It’s a vinyl tank that collapses down and rolls up when empty. If we have to do anything that requires draining a hot tub and that water is still good, quality water, we can quickly pump the water into the tank, do the job on the spa and pump that water back into the hot tub faster than waiting to fill it with a garden hose. We have four of these in the field, and the guys have embraced how it allows them to move much quicker from job to job.”
– Kelly King, owner
Mountain Hot Tub
Bozeman, Mont.