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May. 262012

May 26, 2012

►    A Service and Repair Report Card was received from RobinK. in Bennington, NH who had work done on her hot tub.  She rated us as Excellent on all 17 points.  “I thought your technicians were great.  The telephone updates were terrific… I knew the status of parts ordered, est. delivery to store, and given flexible times to schedule installation at my home.  Everyone I worked with were polite and responded quickly to my questions.  A big plus is scheduling a time of day.  In today’s world where repair people arrive “between 8 and 2”, it was refreshing to be able to schedule an appointment that would not impact my job.  Thank you for having standards of excellence that many businesses have forgotten.”

►    Advertising and weekly specials continue from last week:  “Seasonal Beats Them All”, and “Gas Grill Sale”.   

►    Final week for department sales:  Hot Tubs, Above Ground Pools, Pool Tables.

►    Remember, we close at 5PM Monday, Memorial Day.  Don’t screw this up when people call for hours.

►    Weekend parking in the back lot Saturdays and Sundays ONLY until July 1st.  Only park within the lines on the hot top or on the guard rail.  And only on Saturday and Sunday.

►    Need to leave a note for pool questions on a busy day?  Leave it in the “Managers” mailbox, (lower right).  That means several people (including me) can return the call – not just one. 

►    Tod just taught me something – If one of the commercial toilets here runs constantly, shut off the water supply to the store from the sprinkler room (the little off-valve) for a minute.  That will break the vacuum and it will shut off.

►    A customer recently asked for a propane grill to be converted to natural gas.  I told him we could order a natural gas grill for him, or his plumber could install a new orifice.  He didn’t want to hire a plumber, he wanted to do it himself.  And that’s why we can not sell him a natural gas orifice, and why Napoleon won’t sell us one.  A licensed gas fitter would already have one.  We should not be helping a homeowner to do unsafe, illegal things.

►    If someone calls on the phone, we recommend that they come in for a water test 30 minutes before we close:  to give them time for a wait, test, and review.  However, we will test as long as the customer is in the store; which has nothing to do with when we are open.  Even if they snuck in after we close.   Here’s an example:  we did a test last Saturday at ten past five.  The customer was very grateful and spent $377, just on balancing chemicals, shock, algaecide.

►    No one goes home until ALL stocking is finished – not just 20 minutes of stocking.  When I was a store manager, the schedule did not say 5:30, it said “C” for closed.  Not store closed, Gull Group closed.  And when I was a kid, we got paid the same amount, whether we finished in 15 minutes or two hours.  So this is better – we pay you until you are done.  And if that is two hours, that’s the way it is.

►    Please use the “Take a number” system until Labor Day.  Having to wait in a long line makes people angry.  It is terrible customer service.  If they take a number, they can sit and watch a movie, get advice, or SHOP for a GRILL!  They don’t feel their time is being wasted if they are free to do something else. 

►    Every customer requesting Billiard Service needs the pink copy of the Service Request form, and Mr. Cue’s price list.  Why?  To avoid bad feelings, bad service, and screwing Matthew.  They tell him you promised $100 for a $400 job, and what is he supposed to do then?  Looking at the request form, it asks who you are, whether you took the order by phone, in person, and mail.  Plus, whether they got the price list.  If you take it on the phone, check off “Phone”.  Then, also check “Mail” and “Received Price List”.  Why?  Because you are going to immediately mail it.

►    The original price is never manufacturer’s list, or MSRP.  That would be dishonest.  Look at the hot tub price list, for instance, which has an MSRP.  We show that for reference, then show the original – which is exactly the special order price, without waiting for a truckload order.  If fact, you can see that original is lower than MSRP on most spas, the same on a few, and actually higher on the Rendezvous because that has to be ordered in sets of two.                The original price is the highest price we charge or expect to charge in a particular year.  That means it would most likely be a rush special order price, or a high-demand season, or something like that.  Sometimes there is no original price, and it’s the same price almost all year.  That’s called the value price. 

►    Note on changing signs.  The new regular one (white or orange) normally replaces the old one.  A new Sale sign (yellow) goes over the white or orange one so when the sale ends, the regular one is still there.  

►    There is only one right way to review a water test with a customer.  Mia tells me that she has taught everyone the same way.  And yet, every time a customer comes to me with a test – and that would only be because something went wrong – the report is written up wrong.  If you believe you know more than me, either prove it or do it my way. 

►    D&P is getting overwhelmed with inground liner replacements right now.  Pat O’Keefe has asked us to tell people it will probably take him a week to call them back, instead of right away.  I have put a note to that effect in the folders. 

►    The Polaris 380 rebate expired 12/31/11, and was not replaced until a couple of days ago.  Problem is, there are no rebate forms.  Application is on-line, but no where I can find it on their website, and I can’t find out how much it’s for.  So, as far as I am concerned there is no Polaris rebate until they get their act together.  Don’t even bring it up to a customer, or they will be angry if they click “Buy online” to get directed to Leslies, or a list of Nashua-area dealers (none of whom actually has a store) where we are listed 21st, on the third page.

►    We will move and fill any hot tub in stock for a wet test.  That’s any – not just the two already full.  And, move it into the mood room if the customer wants us to.  We just need an appointment allowing us the time to do it – and not interfering with another wet test.

►    Once we run out of the Splash 6% Econo Shock, we will have a new version: Austin’s Pool Tech Shock.  White bottle, ugly label, marked 12½%, but only good for 1 gallon per 10,000 gallons.  Also contains more impurities (usually rust). That’s why the bottle is white, so you can’t see inside.  Target shock is purified. 

►    We have taken several items off the floor because I don’t like them:  the new platinum vac heads, and the brush/vacuum combos that attach to the pole with a twist lock.  I don’t trust the twist-lock mechanisms.  Customers love them because they are easy to use, but they won’t love them if they fall off the pole in the water. 

►    We expect to get more grills Friday, though I’ll bet we won’t be able to assemble any until Tuesday.  So if it’s not assembled already, they will have to wait a few days.  Try not to sell the floor model, or you won’t have anything to show until they get around to assembling another.  If the customer insists on the floor model, you will have to do it.  You might just miss a sale or two over the holiday weekend, or the product support team is going to have to figure out how to assemble another in between customers. 

►    You are going to be very busy this weekend, so we used the tip money to buy lunch for Saturday (pizzas and salad from Hungry Herb’s).  It was a last minute decision.  Most likely, this will not be our busiest weekend – just the first of the busy weekends.  So let’s use it to see how we can learn to be more efficient.  We will need that for the next few weekends. 

►    Thank you to Mia, who found two more sale tags from the August Clearance Sale in the store.  Hopefully, that’s August 2011, not August 2010.  Here’s the problem:  people who put things from the store into the warehouse last August or September, were supposed to take the sale tags off.  Say they didn’t do their job.  Then, people putting them back out in March were supposed to check what they put out.  And, if we rotated stock, everything that was repacked, and fit in the store in August, should have fit in April.  So one would think we would have fixed all of these problems by April tenth.    So please keep your eyes open for repacks going out now, and former repacks already in the store.  It should be easy – sale tags are yellow, not white or orange. 

►    From Victor:  When throwing away recyclable paper, throw away in a box.  Loose paper could fly out of the dumpster on a windy day. 

►    Internet Humor:

       – Confucius didn’t say… Man who want pretty nurse, must be patient.

       – Confucius didn’t say… Passionate kiss, like spider web, will lead to undoing of fly.

       – Confucius didn’t say… Lady who goes camping must beware of evil intent.

       – Confucius didn’t say… Man who leaps off cliff jumps to conclusion.

Feb. 182019
►     This week’s report card comes from the Smerekaniczs from New Boston.  They said that their shopping experience was excellent, mostly because Stephanie was so amazing.  They also said that the best thing we could do for our business would...
Feb. 112019
►     The Whites from Londonderry send us some very positive feedback!  “We love shopping at Seasonal Specialty Stores – there is such a great selection!  Everyone was awesome.  Nobody did a bad job – everyone was great.  You have a...
Feb. 22019
►     James & Jackie from Westford, MA have this to say about us:  Always professional and efficient.  Sean helped us buy a Saber grill.  Everyone was timely and polite and nobody did an unusually bad job.  We really appreciate the...