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Dealing With a Customer, You Secretly Hate

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Owning a swimming pool service company comes with its own set of challenges, but maintaining a high level of professionalism and customer satisfaction is key to success. But what about dealing with a customer, you secretly hate? If it’s not someone you can just cut loose, we should at least consider some effective strategies to successfully maintain the swimming pool, ensuring your services are top-notch regardless of personal feelings.

No, you cannot key their car!

For a listing of penalties associated with doing stupid sh!t when you’re angry, visit: Levels of Misdemeanors by State

  1. Establish a Solid Routine: Create a comprehensive pool maintenance routine covering all necessary tasks. This routine will serve as the foundation for your services and ensure that you consistently provide thorough care to the pool, regardless of your personal feelings towards the customer. This ensures that you give them nothing to complain about, though some of them may still complain anyway.
  2. Communication is Key: Effective communication is crucial in any business, and the pool service industry is no exception. Keep an open line of communication with your customer, discussing any concerns or issues related to the pool. Addressing problems promptly helps build trust and demonstrates your commitment to excellent service. Consider shifting this customer to an entirely email-based conversation – not only won’t you have to hear their voice, but it will ensure everything is in writing.
  3. Document Everything: Maintain detailed records of each pool service visit. This includes tasks performed, chemical levels, and any issues encountered. Documentation helps in tracking the pool’s condition and serves as evidence of your professionalism in case of disputes or misunderstandings. You never know when this wingnut is going to become unhinged.
  4. Education and Transparency: Educate your customers about the importance of regular pool maintenance and your specific tasks. You can build a more collaborative relationship and minimize potential conflicts by increasing their understanding of pool care. Be transparent about your services and any challenges faced during maintenance. Educating them on why it would not be in their best interest to piss you off is one strategy you may not want to consider.
  5. Regular Inspections: Conduct regular inspections to identify potential problems before they escalate. Proactively addressing issues demonstrates your dedication to maintaining the pool’s optimal condition, even if you may not personally like the customer. In other words, find the problem before they do. When you have a loose cannon on hand, you don’t want to hand over your balls.
  6. Offer Solutions, Not Just Services: When issues arise, always provide practical solutions along with your services. Offering solutions demonstrates your commitment to resolving problems and reinforces your professionalism. This approach can turn challenging situations into opportunities to showcase your expertise. Do not forget to add a PIA fee to your rate. A penalty tax may make the situation more palatable, even when the pool owner is not.
  7. Maintain a Positive Attitude: Regardless of personal feelings, maintain a positive and friendly attitude when interacting with the customer even if you are positive you hate them. A positive demeanor contributes to a better overall customer experience and helps build a good reputation for your company.
  8. Seek Constructive Feedback: Encourage customers to provide feedback on your services. Constructive criticism can be invaluable for improving your operations and customer relations. Use feedback as a tool to enhance your services and address any areas of concern. This is much like triggering smaller controlled avalanches with artillery fire so that a large uncontrollable slab can be avoided.

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Successfully maintaining a swimming pool for a customer you may not particularly like requires a commitment to professionalism and exceptional service. By implementing a solid routine, fostering open communication, and maintaining a positive attitude, you can navigate challenging situations with grace and ensure the continued success of your pool service company.


Rudy Stankowitz is a 30-year veteran of the swimming pool industry and President/CEO of Aquatic Facility Training & Consultants