Barefoot Pools in Arizona delivers chemicals to a customer's trunk, limiting social contact.

Distancing Through Technology

Business software can aid your pool business during COVID-19

By Rachael Pritz, vice president, RB Pool & Spa

Barefoot Pools in Arizona delivers chemicals to a customer’s trunk, limiting social contact.

It is certainly a difficult time for our community and the world right now as we work to navigate the unknowns of this global pandemic and its profound impact. In most cases, hot tub dealers are considered essential right now. Your customers (and potential new customers) are going to need your help to keep their spa water clean, clear and safe.

Fortunately, there are now technology services and business software programs that allow for safe social distancing or the elimination of physical contact with consumers. Whether it’s delivering the right chemicals to the client’s doorstep or doing interactive phone calls to troubleshoot problems or sell a spa, it’s time to make the most of these technologies to build deeper customer loyalty with your clients. Here are our recommendations on how to use these innovative solutions to keep your business moving.

Connection and Support

With the shift to remote work, it’s important for you, as a spa retailer, to adjust the ways in which you connect with customers who are now working from home. These clients are looking longingly at their backyards and their spas for relaxation and stress relief.

We recommend starting with an email that tells customers you are open and ready to help. These same messages can then be used to start a phone conversation. Remember, these aren’t cold calls since you are reaching out to your existing customer base. Your clients will likely be pleased to hear from you. This is especially true if you are offering support and solutions to make their time at home more enjoyable.

Some email subjects or phone call openers might include:

  • Don’t Panic — we have a plan to maintain your spa
  • Get Your Spa Maintenance Kits — we’ll prepackage and deliver them to your home via curbside delivery, or we’ll give you a time to pick them up at our showroom.
  • Don’t Panic — we have a plan to keep your spa clean, clear and safe
  • We’re Open Online
  • We Deliver
  • We can help you maintain your spa in person or remotely
  • We will help ensure your spa water is clean and clear for your summer stay-cation
  • Curbside Retail Available!

Split your customer list among your staff members. Even with your staff at home, they can still connect with dozens of customers using remote business software to take orders, take notes, schedule service etc. Not only is this a productive way to reach out to clients, but it is also a great way to cross-train employees while giving them meaningful work that builds deeper customer loyalty.

Once you have a customer on the line, take the time to explain that for everyone’s safety, your retail store is closed and explain your plan for continuing to care for their spa. If your clients aren’t comfortable having you in their backyard, offer to walk them through doing the work themselves and charge them a special ‘FaceTime’ service call rate.

Enhance Project Management

One of the best ways to manage your projects and still provide exceptional service during this time is by implementing the latest mobile platforms. Mobile technology will be especially important this spring and summer to ensure your operation runs smoothly and you have a profitable season with happy, loyal customers.

For example, RB Pool & Spa Mobile Live can be accessed at any time and from anywhere with your phone or tablet, and has the following features:

  • Record spa water test results from the job site to automatically become a part of the customer’s records (eliminate service forms).
  • Calculate recommended chemical dosages. Add job notes, then select an easy-to-use customized checklist to record service work performed.
  • Add parts and chemicals used directly to the ‘sales order’ through the mobile device.
  • Send invoices and take payments online in order to comply with social distancing. Look up warehouse inventory from the job site and keep track of inventory on service trucks.

Additionally, with RB Pool and Spa Software and RB Service Pro, service technicians can view all scheduled spa maintenance and valet jobs along with the customer’s equipment profile, job notes, directions and photos on file.

Be Creative

Maybe consider a chemical drive-thru that is open from noon to 6 p.m. daily. Explain that this allows your team to pull the orders and have them ready for an assigned pickup time that is convenient for all. Using mobile technology or business software for customers to order and pay is essential. Explain that these prepayments online are required for safety and provide a specific pickup time. Don’t forget to emphasize that you are putting these procedures in place to avoid congestion and adhere to social distancing protocols.

Go the Extra Mile

To take customer service to the next level, your service techs can email your customers a virtual door hanger to let them know they were at the spa and the work they performed. This is particularly helpful for social distancing. You might include information on how your techs used gloves and masks while in the customer’s backyard and took extra steps to clean all surfaces touched during the spa service.

Since your clients can’t visit your store, before your service and valet techs hit the road, be sure to call clients and ask if they want anything else for their spa. You might find your technicians delivering towel racks, chemicals, aromatherapy products, umbrellas and towels, or installing spa steps, spa surrounds, covers, lifters and other products that were previously sold primarily in the retail store.

Spa stores and service professionals need to take advantage of every technology tool available in order to keep up with demand this spring and summer. This will help to ensure customer loyalty that will continue on long after this crisis has passed.