The Retail Store Advantage
I enjoy visiting pool and spa retail stores across the country. I have seen the highs and the lows but overall, I am impressed with the majority of the stores because I find the counter help dispensing great advice to their customers.
In my business, I spend a great deal of time hanging out in the water-testing stations in pool/spa stores. It’s here where I can really see the difference between a specialty retailer and a big box store. The first thing I notice is that the counter people usually know their customers and greet them by name. As they are testing the water samples brought in, I hear the attendants asking questions like, “So how does your pool look? Is the water clear? Are you having any problems?” These are all excellent questions that will help the pool professional diagnose any problems and then be able to recommend the treatment products and dosages necessary for achieving/maintaining balanced, healthy water.
In my opinion, the experience and the knowledge of the pool store professional makes the difference between a happy customer and a frustrated pool/spa owner. In a perfect world, the maintenance should be simple: Keep the appropriate level of sanitizer in the water and keep the water “balanced.” No problem … until people, and possibly pets, enter the water. And then there is the environment. Consider the amount of debris and contaminants introduced to the water by way of wind and rainstorms, from the runoff of fertilized fields and lawns, and occasionally from chemistry changes in the fill water itself. There can be a lot of variables at work. This is where retail store professionals and their expert advice can prove invaluable. You may pay a little more for this service, but the peace of mind it provides is worth every penny!
Sure, you can do your own research on the Internet, but the retail store professional has already done his research and gained immeasurable experience while helping other customers resolve their pool-/spa-related problems. In a day where time is more valuable than ever, I see the retailer as an important partner in the industry.