Archive for January, 2011

Understanding Spa Culture: Part 1

Monday, January 17th, 2011

When people call and inquire about our spa services, we like to think they are interested in our recommendations. As spa therapists, we are so caught up in the realm of relaxation and turning back the hands of time that sometimes what comes out of our mouths isn’t always taken the right way.

A young lady came in to inquire about facials. Her mother’s birthday was coming up and she thought a facial would be a nice gift. She asked what facial would be suitable for her mother. I answered, “We have the Anti-Aging Facial.” The young lady was taken aback by my answer and found it to be insulting that I would say such a thing. It was a ‘reality check’ moment for me.

Sometimes the names of the services on the spa menu can steer a prospect in the wrong direction. They can scare off the person who is inquiring about a service or they can build unrealistic expectations. We actually walk the buyer through each treatment on the web site so she doesn’t get the impression that we are promising beauty miracles or overnight results. They are polite disclaimers, if you will. It helps the buyer make the most of her treatment and allows her to speak up if something about her treatment needs to be adjusted. Being tactful is ever so important these days as people are more insecure about their looks. Going to a spa can seem intimidating and uncomfortable for a spa newcomer. We’ve had to supply enough information on our web site so the would-be client can make a purchasing decision.

Communication with clients is always done on a personal level with her needs in mind. But it helps if she has done her research online and then calls the spa to ask for some clarification. The telephones get very busy and there is a lot of activity in the reception area of a spa. The desk manager may not be able to convey all that you need to know. So it’s important to brush up on some of the reading via the web site and then call with questions. When you do research online for a particular spa, it’s best to find out if the images featured on their web site are of the actual spa or if they are stock photos. You need to know exactly what you are getting when you call to make that appointment.

Gone are the days of stock photos and the usual cookie cutter description of a service in the brochure or on the web site. Spa menus around the globe are changing to come across more inviting and customized without overwhelming the buyer with too many choices.

We’d like to offer online booking as an option at Body Restoration Spa. It will allow you to make appointments if the telephone keeps prompting you to voicemail. This means that both of the telephone lines are occupied with callers. The desk managers can handle two callers at a time and voicemail messages will be returned at the earliest opportunity.

We enlisted the help of an automated marketing and communications company that handles all of our email confirmations with our clients. It engages our clients and asks them if they want to ‘opt in’ to our online community and confirm or request appointments via the internet. They can also complete a satisfaction survey to let us know how we are doing. It frees our desk managers so they are not making as many confirmation calls and gives them the opportunity to service clients in the spa.