Over the July 4th weekend my pool turned green. We never owned a home with a pool and so we were bummed to find out that our pool was full of algae. We were diligent home owners and had a pool man take care of it since it’s beginning. I knew the care for a pool was out of our expertise so I hired out.
Well to our surprise the pool man didn’t handle algae. After months of working with this person we found out that there is one more step you must take to ensure the pool would be safe. You must test the water. This is a simple test in which you can take the water to a local pool store and have it tested.
To our surprise, we found out that we needed to drain the pool and have it acid washed. After all that, we contacted the pool man and he was able to do the work. He charged us $500 and informed us that it was a steal of a deal. Other pool guys charge $800-$900.
As a customer I was really surprised by the lack of additional service of this pool guy. Here he was in a perfect situation to offer us more services that we would be glad to pay for yet he didn’t. Our pool was in dire straits before we knew about the additional services we could hire him to do.
The good news is our pool is on the mend, nice and sparkly.
The bad news, many business owners run their businesses the same exact way.
This is a perfect example of leaving money on the table valuing quantity over quality. In the short term this is a strategy that may work but eventually you will find that your customers are going to leave because they want more.
So, how do you not be the pool man?
Here are a few tips:
- If you can be proactive and offer services to stay ahead of a problem offer it. Your customers will appreciate the additional care and you can make a few more bucks with no extra marketing expenses.
- Educate your customers. Your customers will value the time and experience you have which increases the trust and opportunity to make more money.
- Don’t discount. If other businesses are doing work that is considered market value then do not offer services at a discount. Competing on price is not usually the best marketing position for most businesses.
- Pay attention. If you see a situation going south as things sometimes do its your responsibility to alert your customer. If you don’t you will be seen as incompetent. Again, people appreciate honesty.
- If you can serve your customers with more services that they need, you are the expert after all, then by all means offer it. The worst they can say is no. If they don’t listen you at least tried to help. Most people will remember that too.
- Get a written agreement. This keeps what you are doing up front and center with your customers. They know what they are supposed to do and so do you.
Being a service provider is tough but very fulfilling especially if you are really helping people. Many business owners simply do not have the time to do all these extra steps. We help our customers develop systems so that they identify these opportunities and grow their business.
Let us know if you identify with the pool man and other tips you have found that have helped you be more valuable to your customers?