The Edge - Q1 2010 - (Page 51)

SERVICE GOLD | by Ron Derven Growing the Business by Keeping Customer as Key Focus Blue Wave Pool Service & Supplies, Inc’s team, from left: Sean Leary, John Huff, Chris Barthel, Steven Heath, Brian Diglio and Bob Veith. Brian Diglio, owner, Blue Wave Pool Service & Supplies, Inc., Hamden, Connecticut, has a rather simple but effective approach for growing his business. He wants to delight his current customers so that they will recommend his services to their friends and neighbors. How is he doing? One good indication is that Blue Wave has won a medal every year for the past several years that NESPA’s Service Company of Excellence Awards competition has been in effect. In the 2009 competition, Blue Wave won the gold medal. Winning a medal in the Service Awards of Excellence program is tough. Each year, NESPA submits random letters to the contestants, who must list a certain number of customers whose names begin with those letters. NESPA then sends those customers who are listed a questionnaire that requires information on six different areas of service performance. WHERE GOOD SERVICE STARTS Where does good service begin at Blue Wave? “When your commitment is to build a business through referrals, you naturally put considerable effort into pleasing your existing base,” says Diglio. “We are fortunate that we have a great staff that has been with us for a number of years. Our people understand the critical nature of providing good customer service when they go on the job.” Diglio notes that the focus on the customer has to begin with the top person in a company and work its way through the entire organization; customer focus cannot rely on nice people who take the telephone calls. At some firms, people who work in the field do not see themselves as part of the sales team. At Blue Wave, Diglio makes it clear that everyone is in sales every day. They must sell themselves and the company to the customer. NEVER OVERBOOK, NEVER! A critical way that Blue Wave keeps its customer focus is to never overbook. Overbooking achieves two things, according to Diglio: it disappoints the customer and it raises everyone’s stress level. “If you really commit to being a great service company,” he says, “you have to think about your response time. Your customer never wants to hear that something cannot be done, period. When the call comes in, you have to prioritize it, see who is in the area, who is familiar with the pool and then get it done.” As often as possible, Blue Wave has the same tech handle the same pool because he is familiar with the job and the customer. Blue Wave has a mix of commercial and residential service customers; therefore, its goal is to respond to service requests within 24 hours or sooner. “For a commercial customer, response has to be fast. Our commercial accounts THE EDGE 51

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Edge - Q1 2010

The Edge - Q1 2010
The President’s Message
Customer Loyalty
Heat Pumps Do Work. Even in the Northeast.
29 Ways to Save Costs Without Cutting Staff
How to Survive E-Commerce Competition
Uncontrolled Fill Could Leave You With Big Pool Problems
Project Focus
Your Greatest Tool for Business Success: Making the Numbers Work for You
Service Gold: Growing the Business by Keeping Customer as Key Focus
Hot Tub’s Triple Play: Build Health, De-Stress and Reconnect
I-CODES 2010
What You Need to Know About the NEC 2008 Code
Mechanic’s and Construction Liens
Selling Safety in and Around Pools & Spas
Index to Advertisers

The Edge - Q1 2010