One of the biggest considerations for spa managers is training. Particularly with therapist retail training they always ask , “Is it worth it?” “Will the results justify the expenditure from my budget allowance?”
Recently I completed retail training at another Five-Star resort in the Philippines. The training was completed in just four days and required 4 hours each day for 16 therapists.
After training I monitored the therapist’s product sales for three weeks.
Here are the results, pre-training and one week post-training and final week. Look at the difference. Read More
We’re now in the second week of tracking the retail results. If you’ve been following me you know that three weeks ago, I wrote about training the hair stylists at a Five-Star luxury hotel in Hong Kong. This was a new area of the beauty industry for me as my experience has always centered on spa. Read More
This excellent article by Stephanie Leger defines the difference in levels of service from four to five star. Spas may look good and smell good but if your retail products are not moving it indicates a lack of engagement. What can you do differently? Read More
Do you believe that every customer deserves a great experience? Your quiet, somewhat shy therapists are well skilled in treatments. They can perform a perfect massage or facial. They diligently attend product training and know the ingredients contained in your retail offerings. Read More
Social media can be very powerful. A well positioned customer review can make or break a business. It can also elicit feelings of relating to the writer’s experience.
This week my friend Mark A. McKenney, a media consultant, posted the link to an article highlighting a woman’s birthday spa experience. It was published in Luxury Daily a leading trade publication.
Here is an excerpt:
“I am a mum of two young children and I am also client services director for an agency specializing in beauty, luxury and healthcare brands. So the time I spend in a day spa is at an absolute premium, carefully chosen based on trusted recommendations.
My expectations are high, but spas are everything that luxury should represent: immersion in a sensorial and physical environment that is a total escape for mind, body and soul.
However, my recent birthday visit to one of London’s hottest five-star day spas was distinctly lukewarm. Yes, there was beautiful interior design and excellent products. But all the little things that add up to make this an exceptional day out were absolutely wrong.
When luxury brand experiences rely 100 percent on attention to detail to elevate things to the extraordinary, this spa was not worth the five-star price tag.
Suffice it to say I did not leave as a brand ambassador. Things went awry from the moment I arrived and was greeted with the wrong customer’s booking details.
Then there was the couple next to me incessantly swiping smartphones in a no-mobile phone environment, the staff sounding like a training brochure recitation, and I was asked for payment as I was leaving even though the bill had already been settled.
It could have all been so different.
Let us start with the personnel. Throughout my stay, hospitality staff and therapists seemed to lack the empowerment necessary to deliver a great, personalized luxury brand experience.
My companion explicitly mentioned it was my birthday upon arrival, but it was never once acknowledged. A glass of bubbly or a gift of nicely wrapped samples has a minimal cost outlay, but could have paid huge dividends in terms of my brand loyalty and advocacy.
Staff members that are allowed to flex treatments and service rather than follow a set script are the difference between a competent and excellent customer experience.
There are thousands of beautifully designed spas and beauty products globally. Delivering an exquisite, personalized experience over and above a beautiful setting with some nice smells will be the only way to survive.”
By not revealing the name of the spa, Sara Jones, graciously gifted our industry with a teachable moment. As a hospitality professional what did you learn and how will you put it to use in 2016?
My friend Cheryl developed a beautiful line of organic body products. She sent me samples and I was thrilled to discover that her creations where some of the best I’d ever used.
When it won a best new product of the year award in New York City, she and I celebrated with a champagne lunch. I remember screaming in delight when it was later selected as one of the swag bag items for the Emmy Awards. A Five-Star hospitality group in Asia began carrying her line at their chain of spas. Her product was unstoppable. Read More
As a spa professional I am often highly disappointed in the level of service delivered at Five-Star spas and resorts. I’m an American living in Bangkok, so I’m particularly sensitive to respecting the local culture.
However, it seems as though a trade-off has taken place which has allowed the universal “culture of spa” to be compromised. It seems to me that it’s been replaced by a lazy, non-caring apathy masquerading as customer service.