Keep 'em coming back


By Chris Strode*
Monday, 17 December, 2018

Keep 'em coming back

It can be hard to keep up with demand when the swimming season is in full swing — but how do you keep clients coming back when the weather turns? 

Small business owners find themselves constantly investing time and money in finding new customers. While retaining existing customers can be more cost-effective than finding new ones, the seasonality of the pool and spa industry can make it difficult to keep repeat customers. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible, though. Here are five tips to help keep customers coming back to you for their pool and spa maintenance.

Build customer trust

Pools and spas are a costly investment. Initial purchase aside, the cost of their ongoing maintenance requires a great deal of planning, consideration and trust. Building trust should be at the forefront of everything you do in your business. What kind of reputation do you have online and off? Do you follow through on all your promises? Do you meet your deadlines? Do you offer consistent communication and respond to your customers’ emails or calls quickly? Do you provide professional quotes and estimates that are easy to understand? Showing you are trustworthy will not only get you the job in the first place, it will keep customers coming back and referring you on.

Give them something to come back for

Being a small service-based business, as opposed to a larger company, gives you the chance to offer a more personal experience. You have the opportunity to invest in getting to know your clients while sharing your expertise along the way, so take advantage. In maintaining a friendly, personalised service, your customer will feel more valued and be more likely to come back to you for all their servicing needs in the future. You can also offer special discounts for repeat business, such as a 20% discount on a pool cleaner they buy through you or ‘buy two spa services and get one free’.

Offer a convenient service, all the way through to payment

A difficult payment process at the end of a project is often the last impression clients have and the part they remember the most, no matter how smooth the project was. Mobile invoicing apps like Invoice2go make it easy to send professional estimates and invoices from anywhere, and accept multiple forms of online payment. Offering a wide range of payment options helps ensure you can accept every way customers expect to pay. Not only will this remove friction, it can also help you get your invoices settled faster. Providing convenience is key to giving customers a positive experience and making sure they come back to you. .

Keep in touch with email marketing

How can you stay top of mind long after the job is done? Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to maintain a positive relationship with your customer after you’ve completed a service. Occasional emails will serve as a reminder of your exceptional service, and demonstrate that you care about the customer’s ongoing experience with their pool or spa. You can use email marketing to offer follow-up support, discounts, special offers and tips for DIY pool and spa maintenance, to keep you top of mind when the time comes for their next service or when referring a friend.

Acknowledge your most valuable customers

Customers who spread positive word of mouth are invaluable to any small business. Seeking feedback from these customers will allow you to better understand what drives them to your business, so you can be sure to consistently deliver what they value. Identify these customers and reach out to them on a regular basis, particularly if you haven’t heard from them in a while. Put out an invitation to come back or check in to see if they require any other services from you so you can maintain that rapport and positive sentiment.

Attracting new customers is always important, but finding ways to retain your existing customers will bring you value for years to come. Whilst it may take some time to develop repeat business in what can be a seasonal industry, adding an increased level of convenience and personalisation to your maintenance service will keep you top of mind for the next time clients realise their pool or spa needs servicing.

*Chris Strode is the founder of Invoice2go, the mobile platform that enables small businesses to easily manage their invoicing, expenses and operations. As a small business owner, Chris founded Invoice2go in 2002 out of frustration with the lack of simple invoicing options available.

Image credit: ©

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