Customer Profiles You Will Encounter In The Pool Industry
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The first type of customer profile that you need to be aware of as a pool technician is the "average customer" which is identifiable by their ability to schedule work and pay their bill after you have completed the requested work details. An average customer is friendly but not overly so, and has an understanding that time is valuable and generally leaves you to complete your work. This average customer is pleasant to deal with and rarely complains unless the technician does something unforgivable like leaving the gate opened to the pool area after they leave. Please note that "average customers" equal approximately one out of every one thousand pool owners. Let's take a look at some of the more common customer profiles in the swimming pool industry.
The Gatekeeper customer profile will be identified by a lack of access to their backyard. Be sure to check both sides of the house as well as the mailbox in case they
left a key for you. Knock on the door at least two times before calling the customer to remind them again about your scheduled visit today. Politely decline when they
ask you to climb the fence. A single occurrence is understandable however multiple canceled service calls to the same address indicates they are a chronic gatekeeper
and you will need to have a key for the gate in order to continue service.
The perfectionist customer will not be difficult to spot. You will first notice them as you arrive to their house and they inform you to not park on their driveway
despite the driveway being large enough for six service trucks. There will only be one access point to the pool area, and this will be located on the far side of the
house. There will be a direct path to the pool side however this area will be out of bounds due to a Japanese Maple sapling that is currently recovering from a light
wind storm. The perfectionist customer will explain, in great detail, about their previous life as an engineer, or unrelated skilled trade, and proceed to instruct
you (incorrectly) in how to perform each mundane task of your job. Any project completed for a perfectionist customer will take at minimum twice as long as any other
customer profile, and result in multiple complaints filed by the customer in 92% of all service calls.
The Duffman is always wearing flip flops and Hawaiian print button up shirts that are not buttoned. His skin is browned and leathery like a Christmas cooked turkey and
he is always home whenever having service completed for his pool. He will be drinking before, during and after your arrival and he will try very hard to get you to
join him. Duffman is a great customer and never too picky about the work being completed so long as it does not interrupt any party sequences that he has planned -
which are many. Duffman pays his bills, when he wakes up, which is sometimes days or even weeks later. Duffman only complains when the beer is running out.
The Cougar customer profile will be easy to identify as every man working within the company will know her name and address by memory. She is aggressive, sultry, and
has near constant, minor problems with her "leaky pipes" that need attention. If working on a swimming pool and you notice someone wearing a bikini or loose fitting
housecoat who also happens to be doing a lot of unnecessary bending, such as gardening, you may be in the presence of a cougar. If she has a martini glass this confirms
her cougar status. Do not drink any lemonade provided by a cougar unless you are prepared to wake up in the cougar den with 15 missed calls from your boss. If you
find yourself confronted by a cougar, complete your work in a timely and efficient fashion and exit the property while walking backwards and maintaining eye contact.
The "Big Tipper"This is another easy to identify customer profile as crew members will physically fight each other for the opportunity to service their pool. Any customer identified as a big tipper will receive at least double the care and attention of any other customer profile. While not inclined to complain, when a big tipper is forced to lodge a complaint with a pool company this will usually result in the pool technician equivalent of the "bat signal" turning on followed by an army of eager service technicians crawling all over the property.
The retiree swimming pool owner is the bane of many pool technicians lives. He will find you within one minute of your arrival to the property and will not leave your
side through the entire service call. What makes this customer profile so difficult is that he is exceptionally nice in most cases and as friendly as a family
member...but slow as frozen molasses and as frail as a thing that breaks really, really easily. Being retired, this customer spends most days of the year hoping and
searching for a pool component that is breaking so that he can schedule a service call and spend the entire day regaling you with stories of his youth.
The widow pool owner will make herself known to you immediately upon first sight. She will be sure that you understand how overwhelmed she is with the pool and she
will require constant hand holding through even the most simple of tasks relating to pool care and maintenance. She is inclined to heavily scrutinize any work
estimates that you provide as well as monitor your work from the upstairs window with the blinds closed. Be patient and gentle when working with the widow customer as
she is likely to improve with time and develop into either a perfectionist or even an average customer. If you have a widow customer who has developed into the
Duffman profile, then party with her because she sounds awesome.
The "New Guy"
The new guy pool owner is lost completely. He will complain about problems like the filter tripping the electrical breaker as well as the pump pressure being too high
or too low. The new guy asks the same questions every time they talk to you however they do not listen to the answers that you give. Writing down information may
help to deal with this customer profile. This customer is likely to call and complain however they often cannot remember which of the 30 pool companies he called
actually came out and did the work.
Nobody has ever seen a ghost customer however they are in every swimming pool company portfolio. They are never at home, day or night, weekend or weekday. They
schedule all service via email and prefer to pay their bills online or via check. Ghost customers are fantastic for pool companies and service technicians since there
are never any distractions or voicemails to return.
A hardass pool owner will be identifiable as they will be yelling at you. Usually this customer has had a negative experience with another pool company, or possibly a
difficult childhood, and they will feel justified in yelling at you because of this. While furious, and near to purple in color, this customer will still want you to
perform your work - he just wants to yell at you for a bit while you do it. Avoid confrontation with a hardass at all costs as beating a customer to death reflects
poorly on your company. Any publicity is good publicity...except for being featured on the front page of the local paper for murdering your customers. This is bad for
the longevity of the business.
When working on or around a pool belonging to a "handyman" be sure to wear safety glasses at all times. Keep long hair tied back and long pants and sleeves are
recommended. A handyman will repair his pool with whatever inconceivable materials he has on hand and great care should be taken to avoid getting injured when
attempting to interact with "modified" pool equipment. The handyman customer profile is very likely to complain about "ridiculous prices".
Rare and majestic, the unicorn customer is one that can not be missed. They are inclined to offer, or even bring outside unannounced, various foods and refreshments.
The rarest of unicorns will even endeavor to prepare fresh baked goods that must be hungrily devoured upon sight. Should you be lucky enough to encounter a unicorn in
the wild, be sure to offer prompt and friendly service and remember your "yes please, that would be great!" mantra. A unicorn is more likely to deliver a tray of
baked goods to the store than to complain about service. This could be due to the personality of the unicorn profile, or it could also be that no pool owner that baked
fresh cookies has ever received poor service in the history of mankind.
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