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Hamptons Pool Service: There Is No Justification In Being Cruel To Be Kind

Service, as defined by Webster, is “an act of kind assistance.” In the Hamptons there can be arrogance among service companies, especially swimming pool service companies. I’ve seen it for over 30 years.

When I first began performing swimming pool service, I’d frequently meet clients before beginning work on their pool. The stories that I heard were beyond belief. I wish I had taken notes. A lovely woman from Wainscott greeted me with a hug and said, “Thank God you’re here. Right before I called you, I got off the phone with my old pool company. I explained that we had been patiently waiting for our pool to clear for the last four weeks and tomorrow we are having a big party for my son.” The woman went on to tell me that the owner of the pool service company replied, “What do you want me to do, cry?” That’s cruel, and I can’t imagine speaking to someone like that. I wish I could tell you that this was an isolated story, but it is one of the hundreds of stories I’ve heard. In fact, I most often hear the cruelest words of all: “They simply never called me back.”

I’m not going to pretend that Hamptons’ clients aren’t challenging. Sometimes clients can be unreasonable (even unkind themselves). However, when you are the person performing a service, perform the act of kindness that defines what you do.

I’ve believe that there are two implied rules that go along with owning a swimming pool service company. First and foremost, you’ve entered into a career that is demanding and you are in a market that is particularly demanding. Service companies in our area are paid extremely well and are expected to perform on a high level. When I had the responsibility of servicing hundreds of pools, I took it very seriously. I realized that the pools we were maintaining were an integral part of a multimillion dollar estate. And, if the pool wasn’t perfect for sixteen weeks we have compromised the enjoyment that family deserves while vacationing.

The second rule is that the client hires you and you hire the client. Only work for someone that you intend to give your very best. A client should be reasonable, pay their bills, and abide but the rules that you have set up for your company. I consider it reasonable for a homeowner to expect that their pool is perfectly maintained. It’s also reasonable for them to be able to reach you and request a prompt service call. Most service companies charge a premium price for (promised) premium service. Take the call, perform excellent service, and send the bill. After all, that’s the agreement.

Those are the two rules. Your contract should make your commitment to excellence clear, pricing structure should also be clear, and the responsibilities of the client should also be defined. The client needs to provide proper access to water, electric, the estate management company, and any other tools you may need.

It’s a simple formula that few can master. Rules number three and four … appreciate your service company if they deliver what they promise and appreciate your clients’ silent praise (if you don’t hear from them, know they are enjoying their perfect pool on a beautiful day).