Waterworks Pools & Spas
Written by the Symplicity team
Maritime Resilience is a series of stories on how local organizations are adapting to COVID-19.
Waterworks Pools & Spas adapts low touch service model to continue delivering dream backyards.
After months of staying indoors, and travel restrictions for the foreseeable future, homeowners are preparing to spend more time in the backyard this summer.
Moncton-based Waterworks Pools & Spas is a family-owned pool company that designs, install and maintains pools in greater Moncton and throughout the Maritime provinces. The company’s mission statement is Improving family time, one backyard at a time.
After 30 years in business and many industry awards for its design, Waterworks Pools & Spas has made significant changes to its business in order to keep fulfilling its mission during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Project manager and designer Brad Cross says while business in some areas is booming, other aspects needed to be overhauled quickly to accommodate public health conditions.
“The first few days were very hectic, as we scrambled to find ways to work remotely and determine if our revenues would be enough to stay open. I have a tendency to work out worst case scenarios in my head so I can prepare for anything, but in this case that wasn’t a healthy solution,” Cross explained.
Waterworks is seeing an increase in pool and landscape design as more people realize the benefits of having beautiful, usable well-designed outdoor spaces. The company is also booking pool and hot tub service appointments earlier than in other years.
Cross said the company felt the biggest impact in its pool construction business. Nearly all the residential pool projects that were lined up for this spring were put on hold because customers were hit hard financially by the crisis. Commercial pool construction projects tend to have a lot of workers on site, so social distancing measures hit those projects as well.
“By the second day after the State of Emergency was declared, our doors were locked and six of our staff were working successfully from home,” said Cross. “We had daily Zoom chats to touch base, and we had a process for helping clients without opening doors, including free delivery options. By the third day we had our online store set up, a complete accounting forecast and many more improvements.”
With its retail store closed, Waterworks started offering curbside pickups, online orders, free delivery and no contact pool water testing. During the first month they allowed only one staff member in the store at a time. They increased the frequency and strength of their cleaning procedures.
“It helps that our business involves bleach,” Cross laughed.
Helping clients is significantly more time-consuming when you’re not face-to-face. Finding ways to help customers with fewer staff in the showroom has been challenging, but the Waterworks team has been positive and creative. The service business alone is up 43 percent, even with the doors closed.
Hot tub sales in the showroom are happening at two to three times the usual rate. The company is offering safely distanced one-on-one appointments, zoom chats and online pricing systems.
The pool and landscape design and installation team started offering remote video and teleconference consultations with clients.
Cross said the team at Waterworks Pools & Spas has learned they can move quickly and introduce innovation when they need to, and that’s a lesson they plan to take forward to continue improving the business.
“We’ve found ways to keep working and help our clients achieve their dream backyards. I think we’re all looking forward to spending more family time outdoors, and this year, we really deserve it!”