Michael Moore, Morehead Pools
Michael Moore, Morehead Pools

The historic demand that has accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic brings with it certain challenges when it comes to customer service. How do you serve exponentially more customers than normal without any of them feeling neglected? And how do you ensure that they feel okay during the often months-long wait time between the contract signing and breaking ground?

Morehead Pools of Shreveport, La. has developed a few key strategies to accomplish this.

Early on, the company decided to keep its volume and production pace at about the same rate as pre-pandemic — namely 50 to 60 pools per year.

“We maybe could increase our capacity 10%, to about 70 or so,” says company President/CEO Michael Moore. “But we know we can't get much further than that.”

By resisting the urge to take on as much work as possible, the company ensured it kept its grip on quality control. It has subcontractors whom it feels confident and comfortable with. To build a substantially higher volume would require moving to what Moore calls “Tier B” subcontractors, those who have shown issues in the past, or who just aren’t a proven entity yet.

“So basically we’re going to dance with the ones who have been with us,” Moore says. “They’ve been loyal to us, we’re going to be loyal to them. We’re not going to go shopping for more subcontractors only to increase by 15 pools maybe.”

This ensures a higher-quality product and, therefore, a happier customer, he adds.

While keeping up with the same basic production pace, the company also is placing more bids and selling more. This means increasing lag times before the start of construction. To make that waiting period a little easier on clients, Morehead Pools has established touch points, at which times it reaches out to the client with a thank you note, along with a little gift such as towels, tumblers, etc.

For this builder, those touch points are based on where in the queue the customer falls. For instance, when they are 60th in line to begin construction, Morehead might provide some towels or other branded items to the homeowner. This not only updates the customer as to where they fall in the queue, but it also ensures that the customer knows they haven’t been forgotten, and that their business is appreciated.

“We calculate that every two or three months, we want to have a touch point of engagement,” Moore says.

To help his staff solve problems for customers as quickly as possible, his company empowers them with the authority to make many decisions.

This allows employees to fix problems quickly, thereby minimizing the issue. But it also instills confidence in his employees.

“It gives ownership to the employee, but also it gives to the homeowner the assurance that everybody in this company has bought in,” he says.