Questions to Ask an In-Ground Pool Builder – Part 1: Customer Satisfaction
Today, in the first of our four-part series focused on the best questions to ask potential in-ground pool builders, we’ll highlight important questions to ask about customer satisfaction. By asking these questions, you’ll ensure that you’re selecting an in-ground pool builder with a proven commitment to customer satisfaction and clearly defined processes in place to ensure a positive experience and a pool that lasts a lifetime.
- How does the pool builder monitor and track customer satisfaction?
It’s highly unlikely that you woke up today and decided to build a swimming pool. More likely, your perfect backyard oasis is something you’ve been dreaming about for a long time and your satisfaction is hugely important.
Sadly, many companies – not just pool builders – make hollow claims about customer satisfaction. In reality, few pool builders are able to backup their customer satisfaction claims with evidence. While many builders talk a big game, few pool builders have defined processes in place to actively monitor satisfaction. This should be an obvious red flag. How can a company claim to be committed to your satisfaction, without clearly actually tracking satisfaction levels?
When looking for a pool builder that will be committed to your personal satisfaction, the first step is simple…. Ask companies what processes they use to monitor and track customer satisfaction!
- Will your feedback be taken seriously?
Once you’ve verified that a pool builder does collect detailed customer feedback, it’s equally important to find out how the information will be used. Will the builder take action based on your feedback, or will it end up in a waste basket? Top pool builders will use your feedback not only to ensure that you personally had a great experience, but also to continuously enhance their overall customer experience.
- Can the pool builder provide links to at least 300 positive online reviews?
If you’re looking for a simple litmus test to verify a pool builder’s commitment to customer satisfaction, look no further than online reviews. Pool builders with strong reputations and true commitments to customer satisfaction should have no problem providing you with links to at least 300 positive online reviews. But make the same request of a less-than-reputable pool builder and they’ll likely begin to squirm.
When discussing online reviews, it’s important to understand the difference between website testimonials and online reviews.
Today, most pool builders feature customer testimonials on their websites. And while testimonials are a good starting point, it’s important to remember that website testimonials are published directly by the pool builder. Best case, the testimonials highlight only the most positive customer feedback. Worst case, you’re reading something that the pool builder wrote themselves. With that in mind, always look beyond website testimonials to online reviews.
Finding online reviews is easy. Using a search engine like Google or Bing, simply type in the name of the pool builder, followed by the word “reviews.”
Example Search: “Anthony & Sylvan Pools Reviews”
A high volume of positive reviews is a strong indicator that the pool builder is following through on their commitment to customer satisfaction. If you’re struggling to find more than a handful of reviews, consider it a red flag. This likely means that satisfaction levels aren’t high enough to generate positive online reviews and that choosing this builder is a gamble. If you’re finding mixed to overwhelmingly negative reviews, then the builder is even more of a gamble. Proceed with extreme caution!
You wouldn’t choose a brain surgeon with a bad or nonexistent online reputation, would you? Choosing a pool builder is no different. Look for a pool builder with a strong online reputation, built on a high volume of online customer reviews.
- Does the pool builder maintain an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau?
By checking online reviews, you’re confirming that the builder has lots of happy customers. But even the most reputable pool builders aren’t perfect. What happens if something does go wrong? This is where the Better Business Bureau comes in. The BBB rates pool builders – and companies across all industries – on their commitment to resolving customer concerns. Ratings are based on letter grades ranging from A+ to F. Would you rather hire a company with an A+ rating or an F? We hope you answered A+ on this one!
After asking pool builders about their BBB rating, it’s a good idea to double-check their rating. To do so, simply use a search engine like Google or Bing and type in the name of the pool builder, followed by “BBB.”
Example Search: “Anthony & Sylvan Pools BBB”
- How much new business comes from referrals?
All pool builders love to talk about referrals. We can’t help it, it’s in our DNA. Back in the old days, pool builders lived and died based solely on referrals. Then the internet came along and everything changed. Today, internet marketing channels are available to the masses. 3rd-party online reviews empower customers to instantly find out not just which pool builder their neighbor recommends, but their entire neighborhood! As a result, swimming pool enthusiasts are spending more and more time searching for pool builders online. So while you should still ask pool builders about their referrals, be prepared to view their answer in the larger context.
For pool builders that can’t afford to invest in advertising, referrals are going to make up nearly 100% of their new business. This is common sense, not an indication of excellence. If they’re only getting new business via one source, then that source will obviously equal 100%.
On the other hand, more successful pool builders will have a budget to invest in advertising and other lead sources. As a result, their new business will come from a variety of sources.
To find the right builder, look for a healthy mix of referral business and non-referrals. An even blend of referrals and non-referrals demonstrates that the builder has lots of satisfied customers and that they are also healthy enough to invest growth.
- Can the pool builder provide a substantial list of recent and older happy customers?
After confirming that the potential builder has a healthy mix of referral and non-referral business, you’ll finally want to ask them to provide you with a list of happy customers – with both recent and older customers. Most in-ground pool builders, even untested newer builders, should be able to provide you with at least a few recent happy customers. But you’re not just building your pool for today. You’re building it for tomorrow, next month, next summer, next decade and beyond! Make sure to ask each builder for a happy customer list that includes a blend of recently completed pools, as well as older pools.
For the same reason, go a step further and ask the builder if they have built any pools for multiple generations of the same family. If a pool builder can say that they built swimming pools for grandpa, grandpa’s children, and grandpa’s grandchildren, then you’re likely in great hands.
Armed with this questions, you’re well on your way to choosing a pool builder with a rock-solid commitment to satisfying your swimming pool dreams. Stay tuned, as we’ll be continuing this series by exploring the right questions to ask pool builders about construction quality, professionalism, and company stability.
Questions. Share them with a comment.