Over the past two years, Poolwerx Indooroopilly has been quick to adapt its business model to be more agile and responsive to snap lockdowns and supply chain issues.
Despite the challenges, the business has grown through Covid as Australians spend more time and invest more in their home, their backyards and their pool, according to Poolwerx Indooroopilly franchise partner, Peter Vogel.
“Regular maintenance is essential to protecting a pool’s health, so we have worked hard to educate our clients on the benefit of regular servicing to prevent costly issues. Interestingly, we’ve seen an increase in clients wanting to care for their own pool, with intermittent checks from a technician,” he told Retailbiz in a recent interview.
“This has opened a new revenue stream in retail sales and education as we work with clients to inform them on the process of caring for their own pools. Retail has been such a growth area for us as a result of changing consumer behaviour so we ensure we stock the highest quality products, so clients are keeping their pools in top health between services.”
Superior customer service is at the core of the Poolwerx Indooroopilly business, and the team does not have sales KPIs because it takes away from the essence of the business and the client experience, according to Vogel.
“They’re focused on advising better, not selling more, to ensure that clients get the right product, in the right quantity at the right time, and then add this to their pool at the right time to receive the right outcome,” he said.
“The difference with my team is that they’re educating clients on the ‘why’. Why they need different products and services, why this will benefit them, and why we’re the best people to deliver this. There’s a fine balance between seeming ‘salesy’ and genuinely wanting the best for your clients. That’s why we’re so successful; because our people are our marketers, and they communicate in a genuine and informative way.”
Poolwerx Indooroopilly is on track to generate the most revenue in the company’s history, which Vogel describes as an all-team achievement.
“My wife and I are incredibly proud of our team’s hard work and dedication to get us to this point. The past two years have been challenging and rewarding all at once. We’ve been able to build and retain a strong team of 18, and continually invest for them to upskill to provide the best customer service for our clients,” he said.
“It’s also allowed us to reinvest in the business to continue to grow and provide innovative solutions and the best experience for our clients including replacing tools and equipment, and fully refitting three of our stores.
“My wife and I used our five-year Poolwerx anniversary to reflect on how it all started. Back in 2017, we were relocating from Melbourne to Brisbane and browsing new business opportunities when the Poolwerx Indooroopilly store went on sale.”
Combatting supply chain issues and product shortages
Over the past five years, Poolwerx Indooroopilly has worked to build valuable relationships with key suppliers and service providers to ensure consistently exceptional service and products.
“These relationships have been strengthened by the challenging business environment caused by the pandemic but have ensured our customer experience was not interrupted. Our positive cashflow position has given us the ability to make strategic decisions about rolling stock, which has been crucial given the supply chain disruption we have experienced.
“Salt continues to be in high demand but with supply historically low, Poolwerx’s support centre was innovative, quickly onboarding a third salt supplier, creating a secondary supply chain bespoke to Poolwerx, and even going to the length of arranging extra shifts amid a worker shortage to produce salt at night.
“For us the focus remained on providing the best solution for clients and educating them in the process. We’ve implemented a process where all salt purchases require a water test before purchasing to accurately diagnose the pool problem and prescribe the correct quantity of salt, as clients often mistakenly assume the more salt the better. This has enriched the client experience through education and helped to combat a buying frenzy.”