2019 AQUA 100 Winner: Gohlke Pools

Cailley Hammel Headshot
Photo by Chevy Chey Photography
Photo by Chevy Chey Photography

Aq100 419 Gohlke Customer Service1 Sm

Aq100 419 Gohlke Company Story1 Sm

"We strive to provide the highest level of customer service, professionalism, service response time and workmanship possible in order to ensure the longevity of our company through repeat and referral business."
—Matt Gohlke
Owner, Gohlke Pools

"The customer is king" is a phrase commonly heard in the retail world, but few businesses abide by that code as strongly as Gohlke Pools. That dedication, combined with a humble, friendly attitude, has led Gohlke Pools to become a leading retailer in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area.

"What pushes us to reach our highest level is the commitment that we have to continual improvement — to never get content with who and where we are as a company and to always strive to get better," says Matt Gohlke, owner.

That commitment comes across in every customer interaction. When a guest comes in the store with a stubborn water chemistry issue, Gohlke staff offer their expert advice on the spot — and never fail to call back a week later to make sure the issue is resolved. (If not, they'll often go in person to take next steps.) Customers who spend $250 or more in a single transaction receive a handwritten thank you note, as do new customers after they are entered into the CSM system for the first time. When someone has a pool built in their yard, or when new owners move into a home with a pre-existing pool, they are sent a water sample bottle and introductory letter inviting them to visit Gohlke. (And a $20 gift card to sweeten the deal.) Even the little things, like carrying all goods to the customer's car, are deeply meaningful to the Gohlke team.

"This gives us the opportunity to talk about their pool and any problems they might be having that we can help with. The way we see it, this is a service the large retailers cannot provide," Gohlke says. None of this would be possible without the support of an enthusiastic team of employees. Where other retailers struggle with a shrinking labor pool, Gohlke Pools — which has a team of more than 50 — has found the recipe for success: a markedly strong company culture that is tailor-made for the employees the company is hoping to attract.

They accomplish this with competitive compensation, including above-market pay for those who excel in their positions. A generous work/life balance helps their predominantly young workforce make a living and pursue personal goals. And other perks, like access to a game room with ping pong and a pool table, are simply fun. All together, it's easy to see why people want to work there.

"We truly want to be the best place they have ever, or will ever, work," Gohlke says.

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