There’s been a recent discussion about a technician who went to a customers house for a leak detection and didn’t find the leak, so he didn’t charge them. I’d like to review the situation and explain why you charge for a leak detection, even if a leak didn’t present itself, and how not finding the leak and charging the customer is going to make them extremely happy.
When John got a call for leak detection, the customer explained themselves as such:
“We bought this house and have lived in it, in upstate New York, for three weeks. We’re new to pool ownership, but we can see that the pool is losing 1/8th of an inch of water a day. It’s a standard sized concrete pool, one pump, a heater, one skimmer, fairly new construction.”
John is relatively new to the leak detection industry, a little less than a year into it, and he trained with LeakTronics. He has the Pro Complete Kit and has had repeated success with leak detection on pools and spas over the past year, but was stumped on this pool.
After 2 hours of crawling over the pool and the attached spa, John called, frustrated that he simply couldn’t find the leak. He didn’t charge the customer, apologized and left the job without an explanation of why they would have suspected a leak. He told them he just couldn’t find it.
John’s not bad at his job, but John clearly missed some of the explanation on running a business in the training program.
1. John spent two hours on the job, travel time, used equipment and training that cost money – he get’s paid for the work he did, even before explaining to the customer that there was no leak found.
2. The pool has a heater, that’s been running for 3 weeks in the September air of upstate New York – the evaporation off the spa alone is subject to give 1/8th of an inch of loss.
3. He gave the customer a 7 day guarantee on his findings. This doesn’t mean anything to the customer, we suggest a minimum of 30 days, typically 90 days. This allows you to follow up when you realize the mistake you made, and it gives the customer the satisfaction that they aren’t alone in this.
4. When you give the customer 90 days after you perform you leak detection, especially being new pool owners, you’re giving them the benefit of a comfort zone, so as they learn about their pool, they don’t have to be afraid of what it’s doing and keep calling on contractors to come to the same conclusion John did – that the pool isn’t leaking.
5. Then there’s the 45 minute rule we teach. If you didn’t find a leak in any form in the first 45 minutes, it’s likely not leaking, but something else. Consider those “something elses.”
It’s true, some customers are already convinced of a situation before you arrive. They spoke to a friend, or a neighbor and they’ve been made to believe that no matter what – there is a leak and a leak detection technician who didn’t find it did the job wrong. The truth be told, you did the job right! You’re trained and equipped to do the job right, you have experience now doing the job right – but you didn’t end the job right.
In the Swimming Pool Leak Detection training program, we give paperwork and explanation of how to deliver results. This includes “charging your customer for the job,” regardless of not finding a leak. You guarantee you’ll find the leak, if it exists! If there is no leak, you’ll have an explanation for why the suspect water loss, even when there isn’t a leak, and you’ll back up your findings report for 90 days, just in case that 1/8th of an inch becomes 2 inches overnight two weeks from now. Likely it won’t.
Your time and capabilities as a leak detection professional are worth you annual salary; when you work, you get paid. A customer is getting the benefit of having your professionalism a phone call away for the next 90 days. They’ll be happy to pay for both, and truthfully, happier to learn there really isn’t a leak.
Review what you’ve learned, take everything into consideration and keep your eyes open. Deliver good findings reports and assure your customer that you’re a phone call away if things change and you’ll have a happy customer for life.
LeakTronics leak detection equipment is made in-house, designed by LeakTronics research and development team, and built for professionals in the pool leak detection, plumbing and irrigation industries. The LeakTronics brand innovates the traditional tools and methods of leak detection with products professionally manufactured to find leaks from inside the swimming pool, pipes and plumbing; as well as finding leaks in pipes that run sub-surface. Each piece of equipment is designed to work in unison and to meet the technical aspects and durability required for working with modern day pool and plumbing equipment systems.