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?