Keep in touch with pool and spa customers long after the sale is done

Jenna DanningerIt's not often that we get out of the office. Trade show season brings us to Las Vegas, Orlando and Atlantic City, but for the other nine months of the year, we're glued to our phones and e-mail, primarily staying in Madison, trying to find local happenings so we can stay in touch with the industry.

This past June I had the chance to visit a swim facility taking part in the World's Largest Swimming Lesson, and I couldn't pass it up. We so often busy ourselves writing about the more technical and professional aspects of the industry that it's rare to find an opportunity to actually see the people affected by what we do - the families enjoying the pool, the children splashing in the water, the instructors teaching kids how to swim.

My little road trip to Swim Reedsburg reminded me of how important swimming really is to people. It's not just a vessel filled with water; it's a sense of belonging, it's family time, it's memories.

The first thing Bonnie Gross, owner of Swim Reedsburg, asked me when I introduced myself to her was whether I had met "the family" yet. She then proceeded to tell me about loyal and legally blind Ellie, who comes in to swim nearly every day, and their oldest swimmer, a 90-year-old gentleman who's a part of the 200 mile club, and the mother who home schools her brood of four, and the family who's father did all of the electrical work for the facility.

Bonnie exuded passion, and it's obvious that she loves what she does because she loves the people she does it for. Her fervor is infectious.

Retailers and builders in our industry sell a product that promotes personal connections, yet it's easy to see the customer as no more than just a dollar sign, especially during times where a steady income is so valuable.

Remember when you sign off on the final invoice to make a note to check in every once in a while to see how they are enjoying their pool or spa. Not for a future sale or an add-on, but just to keep a personal connection with the people that enjoy being in water.

Jenna Danninger
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