These days, it’s important to do everything possible to uphold our good name as service techs.

Homeowners are constantly being encouraged by the media to save cash by servicing their own pools. Don’t give any customer a reason to consider that option.

But how to go about that?

First, we must look in the mirror. Do you show up on the day that you say you will? One of the biggest reasons customers have switched over to my company is that their previous pool guy was unreliable. This small courtesy is the single best way to keep your clientele, and requires relatively little effort. Yes, delays do happen, but they should not be due to poor time management.

People seek out certain characteristics in a pool company. These include a low price, good workmanship and strong customer service. But usually homeowners can only get two out of the three.

Many consumers understand this. If they get the excellent workmanship and service they want, then price becomes secondary.

So how can you maintain that high quality?

Maintain sound business practices and make sure your company is properly licensed and insured. Have a fair, comprehensive service agreement, send invoices out on time, and keep an eye on your accounting. When you can offer all of that, people are more willing to pay for the whole package. We’ve had plenty of customers that come back to us after going with a cheaper company that couldn’t deliver.

There are many small touches you can offer to really stand out. Your client expects you to have good hygiene, a clean service vehicle and clothing devoid of last season’s pool chemical grime. It can be alienating when your customer is uncomfortable about shaking your hand.

What’s more alienating is if you try to dazzle them with fancy terminology. People need to know, in layman’s terms, what is happening with their pool. Show concern for the family’s welfare by giving them important safety information. Let them know what is new in the pool world. It is also appreciated if your company is set up to accept credit cards. It sounds basic, but many operations don’t do this.

Take a look at members of other industries who do service work, such as plumbers, electricians and cable technicians. They are more visible, and often influence what your customers will want in a service professional. How do the successful ones stand out from the pack? Observe what they are doing and charging to stay both relevant and afloat.

Then ask yourself if you want to be just a pool dude, or a professional swimming pool service technician.