What difference does it make whether you find a good pool store or not? It turns out that it matters quite a lot, and there are at least 6 things to know before picking a pool store. Your pool supply purchases are not just a one-time thing, but rather items that you will be purchasing time and time again.
It is helpful to have a retailer who both sells quality products and is knowledgeable about how to use them. When you find the right pool store, it is likely that you will maintain a long-term relationship with them. Ideally, there are certain qualities that you will want to see in your pool store. Let’s take a look.
1) How To Find a Pool Store
The Internet is a good place to start. Google “Pool stores near me” for a start and see what comes up for your locale. You should get a decent list of retailers who sell pool supplies and/or provide pool services.
2) Beware the Big Box Store
Forget about purchasing your pool supplies at a big box store. Sure, their chemicals may be cheaper, but they are often of inferior quality, sometimes containing fillers. Also, the products may sit on the shelf for a long time and not be as fresh as they need to be to work properly. A big box store thrives on sales, but a smaller retail business does well because of dependable products and customer service. A smaller business is also more likely to provide personalized service and get to know its customers, which is invaluable.
3) Read the Reviews
What is the trend in the ratings? Are they all 5-star reviews? That could be good, but keep reading. What about the 1 or 2-star reviews, usually all in CAPS? “MY SON WANTED A GREEN POOL NOODLE AND THEY ONLY HAD PINK, BLUE, AND YELLOW!” Ok, take that with a grain of salt.
On the other hand, if one complaint comes up several times, such as a rude employee or never getting a callback, that is a red flag. Also, does the business owner respond to critical reviews in a helpful or sympathetic manner? That is a telling sign of a professional business person.
4) How Long Have They Been in Business?
If the retailer has been selling pool supplies for decades, chances are they know their products and have a good reputation. However, do give newer businesses a chance to prove themselves. They may be wanting to develop a customer base and offer over-the-top customer service and shorter wait times for pool services.
5) Pool Store Website and Certifications
If the website is informative, with product descriptions and helpful blog posts, that is a sign that the retailer is serious about sharing knowledge about products, services, and general pool and spa information. They value the new pool owner and want to provide assistance and help them learn.
Also, and this is very important: does the website indicate that the staff has training and certification in various areas? Some chemical companies offer extensive training in the use of their products, which means the staff will be experts in their use. If the retailer offers pool service, are their service staff APSP/PHTA (Association of Pool & Spa Professionals/Pool & Hot Tub Alliance) Certified Pool Technicians?
6) Check Out the Pool Store In Person
Is the store location and contact information clearly listed on the store website? Then you are good to go check it out in person. Is the merchandise arranged attractively? Are you greeted as a valued customer? Can the employee answer your questions and guide you to the products you need?
We hope these 6 things to know before picking a pool store have been helpful. Obviously, only time will tell if you have found a pool store with whom you want to do business. You will be spending a good deal of time and money there, and the type of customer service they provide you is paramount to a continuing relationship.
A-1 Pools offers a variety of high-quality pool products and services and has been in the pool industry since 1979. Above all, A-1 Pools is committed to offering superior customer service to our clients. Our value to you is that we feel that our relationship with you doesn’t end with the sale. We are here to help you with your pool product and service needs over the long term. Come by one of our locations, and let’s get acquainted!