David Strategy #6: Creating Remarkable Customer Experiences

The David Strategy is a blog series that explains who pool and spa retailers can reinvent their business to become a "High Fidelity business," which is key to successfully battling our industry's version of Goliath — big box stores and online retailers. Past posts can be seen here.

Welcome back to our discussion on how to build a high definition pool and hot tub business. Today's post speaks to the “how” of building high-definition PureWow customer experiences. "PureWow" refers to three critical dimensions: performance, style and substance.
This is a BIG subject and a core deliverable for any pool and hot tub professional committed to transforming their business with the David Strategy as a guide. Perhaps the most important competitive advantage you have total control over is continuously developing the capacity of your business to consistently create remarkable PureWow (“Purple Cow”) customer experiences. There is no competitive aspect of business that trumps the capacity of PureWow customer experiences to get your customers addicted to your business. To be candid, the reason for this is the very low bar set in terms of the typical shopping experience most consumers see when they shop.

Review the diagram below to get insight into what you are shooting for in terms of a customer reaction to visiting your store or engaging with your business. Your goal is to shoot for a consistent PureWow experience and, in particular, remarkable reactions from your customers.

This is an arena (or battlefield) any committed pool and hot tub dealer can both control and excel in. There are many things that collectively impact the customer’s perception of the quality of your customer care. Take a look at this diagram and think about where you are strong and where you are in need of improvement.Then take action!

By way of example, let’s zero in on two of the elements in the above diagram that typically impact a remarkable PureWow experience for any consumer: “they make it so easy” and “problem solved in no time."

Let’s face it: Owning and maintaining a pool or hot tub can be daunting, so let’s first explore “they make it so easy.” Pool and hot tub owners are exposed to a multitude of choices, almost infinite purchase options from both traditional and emerging channels of where to buy their products and services. There are choices for almost every need or requirement. It can be daunting. At the same time, it is a unique opportunity for your business to stand out (think “Purple Cow”) and the place to start on your David Strategy. All of us, when given the option, wish for an “easy button” to cut through the complexity. One of the major reasons pool and hot tub owners patronize professionals is they are counting on them to make looking after their pool or hot tub simple, easy and increasingly better. They expect their retailer to limit their options to what they believe is the most current and effective way to optimize their pool or hot tub experience.

Your role is to constantly be on the lookout for the best options and technologies available for your customers. They expect you to keep the choices in the store from becoming too complex and to let them know what you believe is the best way to look after their pool or hot tub. This, by definition, means that you guide your staff to understand this critical role in product selection and ranging for your high-fidelity business design. You deploy both of the David Strategies; embracing the Vitality Index and “keeping the cannibals in the family.” Constantly updating best practice product solutions and vigorously culling outdated solutions (read: old technology commodities) is good for your customers and for your business.

Let’s turn now and explore the second element: “problem solved in no time.” The most powerful competitive advantage you have, one that reinforces the reasons why pool and hot tub consumers stay loyal to you, is your ability to diagnose and solve problems efficiently, effectively and with “high touch.” When you do this and remove the pain your customer is experiencing, you are their hero. Neither Wal-Mart, nor big box, nor internet channels can provide this. Make your problem solving capability “PureWow” for a significant advantage. As a leader, this mandates you to focus on the following enablers; 1) great hiring practices focused on stacking your teams with staff who have both great problem solving and communication skills (refer to the next blog on hiring smart) and 2) provide highly effective product solutions. Equally important, and one of our industries weakest links, is to practice Purple Cow “problem/solution” follow-up practices.

If you really wish to be remarkable (and I assume you do), never miss the opportunity to track and follow-up with your customers on a solution you have provided to solve a problem. Make it a leadership priority to have a buttoned-down follow-up process and mandate that it be done 100 percent of the time. That is “Purple Cow” follow-up service. Trust me, it will be remarkable to your customers. It goes like this:  “Hi Mrs. Johnson, you visited the store two days ago for help with your algae problem. Algae can be difficult to kill on the first pass so I just wanted to check-in to see if our solution solved the problem for you and you are back to loving your pool.”

This is an arena any committed pool and hot tub dealer can both control and excel in. There are many dimensions that impact the customer’s perception of the quality of your customer care. Take a look at this diagram below on the “dimensions of PureWow loyalty building," and consider your strengths and weaknesses. Then take action!


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