3. California Pools & Landscape

Jeremy Smith, President
Chandler, Ariz.

Problem Solving

Whether it’s a customer struggling to visualize a concept or an unexpected construction delay, your company should be ready to come up with a solution that turns the situation around.

California Pools & Landscape solves customer problems and concerns by empowering its employees to take ownership of a situation. If a challenge arises, the employee who catches it has the authority to do whatever he or she thinks will solve the issue and satisfy the customer.

“[The customer’s] perception is our reality,” says Jeremy Smith, president of California Pools & Landscape, in Chandler, Ariz. “We can help shape that by expectations we put in place ahead of time.”

When something does go wrong, the company takes a straightforward approach: “We look the customer in the eye and say, ‘What do we need to do to make things right?’” Smith explains.

To help coax the highest level of customer service from its employees, California Pools & Landscape holds them personally accountable. Each employee’s email signature includes a customer-service survey where clients can rate them on a scale of one to five. When an employee receives a rating of three or lower, his or her supervisor contacts that customer to see what went wrong.

“I want my team members to be heroes,” Smith says. “I want whoever is on site and working with the customer to feel like they can have a meaningful impact with that customer.”

Customers clearly feel the difference. “California Pools and Landscaping did an exceptional job from the time Steve Reichmuth came to our home to draw up the plan for the pool and landscaping until the job was completed,” says Jefferey R., a California Pools & Landscape customer. in Arizona. “A virtual reality video was produced after the waterfeatures and plants were chosen, and this helped [us] visualize the whole concept before construction began. The crews were all very professional and all questions were answered in a timely manner.”

Rena Goldman Rena Goldman

Rena Goldman joined Hanley Wood in 2016 as a content producer for Pool and Spa News and Aquatics International. She has contributed to a variety of different publications, including Remodeling and ProSales. Rena recently relocated from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles. rgoldman@hanleywood.com