|British Columbia is Canada’s most western province. With rugged, natural beauty it provides up to 25,000 miles of coastline along the Inside Passage, the coastal route extending from Puget Sound up into the Alaska Panhandle.
Located on Vancouver Island, is the port city of Nanaimo, with a population of approximately 100,000. It is here where David Sauve, owner of The Soakhouse, relocated, looking for a quieter way of life after leaving a career in radio advertising. “I grew up in Vancouver, but my wife and I wanted to slow our life down,” says David. “We came to Nanaimo and we love it!”
David began searching for a hot tub when a doctor recommended a hot tub for back therapy for his wife, Carmen. He was thoroughly disappointed in the experience. “There was just so much conflicting information that we ended up confused and frustrated” he states. While visiting friends who owned a hot tub, he and his wife discovered the exact model they wanted but there wasn’t a dealer in Nanaimo.
David attended hot tub shows, learning everything he could about the tubs and the industry. In 2008, he opened The Soakhouse at #102 – 2520 Bowen Road in Nanaimo and, based on his own experience, he determined to offer an outstanding experience to his customers. “My main thing is a WOW factor for our clients,” states David. “We even had our sales desk designed to facilitate conversation! We want our customers to talk to us and spend time here!”
Even with a soaring ceiling height in the showroom, David has been careful to keep the atmosphere friendly and relaxed. He is methodical about design, placement and even music selection in the showroom and the hot tub wet-test rooms. “We essentially entertain our customers and it’s all about their experience here,” says David.
The Soakhouse opened a few months prior to the recession of 2008, which wasn’t exactly what David had planned. “We opened into a crashing market,” he says with a wry grin. Determined to weather the economic downturn, he went into survival mode, worked with his manufacturers and maintained fiscal responsibility. The pride is evident in his voice when he says, “We kept the customers’ experience high, but our costs low!” David was able to maintain operations and thrive by maintaining a focus on the customer’s experience. “It was during this time we instituted our ‘6 month touch’ follow up program with customers. It shows them we care!” Additionally, he was able to barter with a high-end photographer for many of the beautiful shots they now use in their ads, brochures and on their website.
David is excited about the coming year, “It’s going to be really good for us as we look forward to continued growth.” He finds himself, and the business, in the rather remarkable position of having a completely new team. “I think we have our best team, ever, in place, right now. It’s going to be exciting to see how they gel and grow together over time!”
In 2013, David ‘discovered’ Nordic Hot Tubs. “Nordic has great quality, they look good, they feel good and are a great value proposition for our customers,” he says with enthusiasm. “Our clients have nothing but good things to say about these tubs!” David also likes the interaction he has with Nordic as a company. “Nordic’s people are always professional and friendly and I’m glad they are on ‘our’ team!”
David has these words of advice for other dealers and is confident when he says, “Know your clients, that’s number one. Know your market and know yourself!”
David Sauve and The Soakhouse Sales Team can be contacted through the website. You can also find them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.
The Soakhouse located at #102-2520 Bowen Road in Nanaimo, BC.
A Nordic Crown™ displayed at The Soakhouse in Nanaimo, BC.The Soakhouse showroom in Nanaimo, BC.
|What makes the Spa & Pool Store in Edison, New Jersey special? “It’s our experience and customer service!” states Jerry Mako, Retail Store Manager. “The people in our key positions all have at least 20 years’ experience, so our knowledge base is vast!” he adds with genuine pride.
The Todd Harris Company, parent company for Spa & Pool Store, has been in business for over 30 years servicing both residential and large commercial customers. Beginning small by providing pool service out of his pickup truck, Todd Harris steadily built his company which, today, has 5 divisions and over 50 employees and regularly services accounts within Manhattan and surrounding areas. “We have a construction division, commercial division, and sauna and steam group! We are a chemical distributor plus we sell pool supplies, hot tubs and chemicals through our retail division.”
Jerry feels that the internet and big box stores have impacted some sales. “If customers are shopping for price point alone, they’ll go to the internet or big box stores,” he says. “However, if they want personal service, knowledge or advice, they buy from us!” Spa & Pool Store’s Sales Team is focused on making their customer service special. “We know our customers well and are able to troubleshoot most issues quickly. Because of our knowledge, we can custom tailor programs to fit customers’ individual needs.” Jerry adds.
Spa & Pool Store is a newer member of the Nordic Dealer Network, having joined early this year. Jerry had heard about Nordic some years ago but didn’t bring the line in until recently. He is pleased with his decision and states, “The thing I like most about Nordic’s is the value our customers get for their money. I like to say they are a bulletproof hot tub because they don’t break! They have good quality control!” Jerry feels the exceptional quality control is the ‘little extra step’ Nordic takes which makes a huge difference in the reliability and value of the product. “Oh, and the DTS™ (dual therapy system) sells itself!”
Jerry has this advice for other dealers, “Don’t go into the pool business!” he quips. He adds quickly, “Just kidding! Seriously, though, try to do the little things for your customers.” Jerry is convinced that listening to their clients is a huge part of how Spa & Pool Store has grown over the years. “Listen to what they are telling you. Positive or negative, just listen! See what you can take away from it and grow from it.”
Nordic welcomes Spa & Pool Store to our Dealer Network! Jerry Mako and the Spa & Pool Store Sales Team can be reached through the website or find them on Facebook.
Spa & Pool Store is the place to go for chemicals!
|About 3 years ago, Doug Davidson was looking to purchase a hot tub. Frustrated with the search, he decided to sell and service hot tubs on his own. Working as a one-man operation, Doug opened Aquatic Spas of Florida. Recently, he moved the business into a new showroom located at 1757 North Nova Road, Unit 102 in Holly Hill, Florida. Aquatic Spas is dedicated to selling hot tubs, chemicals and supplies along with providing maintenance and repair services to their customers.
Doug knows that customer service is the key to success for Aquatic Spas. His customers appreciate that he is a small business and able to be very responsive to them. "My thing is service,” says Doug. “I do it all, sell, service, deliver…everything! And, my customers don’t get a run-around!” he adds with a smile. His customers agree as he has a 5 star rating along with very positive comments on both Facebook and Google Reviews!
Currently, Doug is helping customers with the aftermath of hurricane Irma. “The store had very little damage, just the power was out for a few days,” says Doug. However, while that was a relief for Doug, many of his customers didn’t fare as well. He has been busy servicing and repairing hot tubs for customers whose hot tubs were damaged and flooded. Even prior to hurricane Irma, Doug’s concern was for his customers' wellbeing. As a service to them, he posted information on Aquatic Spas’ Facebook page to help his customers prepare their hot tubs for the coming storm. The posts included practical tips on how to minimize damage and what to do after the storm if they sustained flooding or damage.
When asked what he finds most challenging in his business he responds quickly with, “Finding good help!” He goes on to explain that his company is small and he likes it that way. His focus is on hot tubs, building and maintaining the relationships with his customers without the distractions of a larger business.
In today’s business world, if you aren’t learning and growing, you are going backwards which is something Doug keeps in the forefront of his mind. He is looking to expand his showroom to allow him to stock and display more hot tubs. “I’ve also scheduled more education and training so I’m sure I’m up to speed on everything related to spas.”
Aquatic Spas became a Nordic Dealer Partner in February 2017. Doug has been very happy with carrying the Nordic Hot Tub line. “I really like their basic simplicity,” he states. “I sell it as nothing fancy but great quality!” What also impresses him is the quality of construction and components Nordic uses.
Doug works hard to build and maintain the relationships he has with his customers. If he could share advice with other dealers, it is to keep learning. “Know all about the products you sell but also about what others are selling. You have to show your customers why your product is better.”
Nordic extends a warm welcome to Aquatic Spas and Doug Davidson as one of our newest Nordic Dealer Partners! He can be reached through the website and on Facebook.
A recent trade show exhibit by Aquatic Spas.
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