|Thirty-nine years ago, Penny and Bobby Ratliff decided to have an in-ground swimming pool installed in their backyard. During the process, the company they purchased the pool from asked if they would be interested in selling pools for them. As Penny states, “We thought that might be something we could do!” As it turned out, it was something they could do very well….they sold 27 pools that first year! Based on their success, the Ratliff’s struck out on their own and have never looked back.
With two locations in Ohio, one on Eastern Avenue in Gallipolis and the second on East Main Street in Jackson, Ratliff Pool Center’s 15 employees are available to help with any pool or hot tub need their customers may have. Specializing in pools and hot tubs makes Penny happy and keeps her company ahead of the competition. “We have a fun niche,” she states with a laugh. “We love what we do! We are a happy store!”
Ratliff Pool Center is known throughout the Gallipolis/Jackson area for their quality and reliability. “We don’t do anything low-end,” says Penny.
Penny is hard pressed to identify obstacles they have faced as a business. “The products we carry are in demand. We get a lot of word-of-mouth referrals,” she states. The referrals come from the hard work put in by their Sales Team through to the Delivery and Installation Crews. It’s this dedication and attention to detail that makes Ratliff Pool Center worthy of the high praise from their clients. “We do whatever we can to make happy customers,” states Penny. And they are doing something right as 2016 was another great year! “Next year we look forward to making even more happy customers,” she adds with her ebullient laugh.
Ratliff Pool Center has carried Nordic Hot Tubs since Nordic began. She is very pleased with the way Nordic fits into their philosophy of carrying only quality, highly reliable products. “If anything breaks on a Nordic, it’s simple to fix!” she states. “Maintenance and service costs are minimal.”
Penny operates her business under this principle, “Be kind, because in the end, only kindness matters!” She knows that treating her customers with courtesy, kindness and respect keeps Ratliff Pool Center standing tall within the local area, the business community and within the pool and spa industry.
Penny and Bobby Ratliff and the Ratliff Pool Center Team can be contacted through the website. Also, find them on Facebook!
|Located on the corner of Miller and North Polk Street in Pineville, North Carolina is Mister Spas, Inc. Founded in 1987 by Kevin and Jody Glunt, it grew from humble beginnings to a thriving hot tub retail, installation and maintenance company employing 6 full-time sales and service staff.
“Our main thing is customer service,” states Kevin Glunt, owner and CEO. “We work hard on consumer communication. It’s the referrals that really help us grow our business.” As Glunt knows, the communication starts with the customer when they first call or walk through the door. He stresses that his staff advises every Mister Spas’ customer with personal attention before, during and long after the sale. “We make sure our customers are trained and knowledgeable about the operation of their hot tub. And, we provide a cleaning service to help them maintain their spa, if they want.”
Mister Spas specializes in hot tubs and swim spas. “We sell hot tubs, swim spas and all the accessories that go into their maintenance; chemicals, toys, filters….all of that,” says Glunt. He feels that staying focused on what they do best is what keeps his company at the peak of performance.
Glunt states that the greatest challenge he faces in the market today is the Internet. While customers can shop his company without ever getting into the showroom, he knows that building personal trust and satisfaction can only come with a personal touch. “Referrals have helped us in that respect,” states Glunt. “The way we get people to trust us is to keep our staff trained and to keep the lines of communication open with our customers.” His staff provides personal training with each hot tub and swim spa Mister Spas delivers. “You can’t get that online,” chuckles Glunt.
2016 has been one of Mister Spas’ best years ever and Glunt is very optimistic about 2017. “We are hoping, obviously, to top 2016 but we still want to keep our business small and our quality high.” To do this Glunt knows that organization is the key. He is continually looking for ways to keep organized and stay ahead of all of the demands on his time.
Around 18 years ago, Glunt made the decision to become a Nordic Partner. He found making the decision to bring in Nordic Hot Tubs line was easy due to the quality and reliability of the product. Staying with Nordic for the better part of 2 decades has been due to a solid relationship. “Nordic has a top notch staff,” states Glunt. “Is there a problem? It gets taken care of right away!”
Glunt gives this advice to other dealers: “Concentrate on your customers to make sure they are happy. They tell everybody when they are thrilled with you!”
Kevin, Jody and the Mister Spas Sales Team can be contacted through the website and on Facebook.
|Mark Dabney has a keen eye for how things work. While employed in upper management for Southern Railroad, he had to make sure things got to the proper place, intact and on-time. Now, as President and Owner of Tropical Spas in Panama City, Florida, Dabney applies the same principles to the pools, spas and accessories he sells.
Dabney knows that to keep Tropical Spas strong, he and his staff need to bring 110% every day. “We ensure the customer is ASOLUTELY happy,” states Dabney. He adds, “Because we SELL happiness!” It’s that personal touch along with great pricing that fosters and maintains the loyal customer base that Tropical Spas enjoys.
Competition from the internet and big box stores is something Tropical Spas experiences daily. When customers come in who have been price shopping at big box and internet stores, Dabney tells them, “You can buy off the internet, but it’s not the same quality. You will get what you pay for.” His second point with these customers is service. “When you have a problem with your hot tub, the internet guy doesn’t answer his phone,” states Mark. “And, when your product isn’t working you forget what a great deal you got on it.” This is the reason Dabney only puts high quality, US made products in his showroom. He is confident that what he sells is well-made, priced right and the manufacturers stand behind the warranty.
Tropical Spas is looking toward expansion in 2017. To help with the expansion, Dabney recently brought his son, Chris, into the business. “Chris does everything right now,” quips Dabney. “From being our Finance Manager to sales, maintenance and delivery, he is learning it all.” Dabney also is looking forward to increasing their presence on the internet with a new website. “Chris is designing this right now,” states Dabney. He is hoping to take it live within the next four to five months. This will help customers find them more quickly and let them know about all the products and services Tropical Spas offers.
Tropical Spas has been a Nordic Dealer Partner for about the last 8 years. Dabney recalls that when Nordic and Tropical first started working together, Maurizio Vozza, President and CEO of Nordic Products, made a personal phone call to him to discuss some of the details. “I’m always impressed with how professional Nordic is to do business with,” says Dabney. He goes on to say he enjoys the quality, durability and simplicity of Nordic Hot Tubs. Dabney quickly conferred with his maintenance person and they concluded, “We haven’t really worked on a Nordic. Oh, wait, I think we changed a motor once.”
Dabney gives this advice to other dealers, “Be honest and up front with your customers. Stand behind your products!” It’s worked for Tropical Spas for 33 years and Dabney will continue to build on that.
Dabney and the Tropical Spas Sales Team can be reached through the website or find them on Facebook.
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