This excerpt written by spa consultant Kamillya Hunter strikes at the heart of our profession. Her poignant article gives us all something to think about.
There is no other profession more personal than massage therapy. If you disagree, name one. I’ll wait. As massage therapists, we expect a fully conscious person to agree to remove their clothes and expose to us parts of themselves they may be ashamed of. 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
I’ve been in the U.S. now for longer than I anticipated. What started as a three week trip from my home in Bangkok has morphed into a prolonged visit. While I now have an unlimited opportunity to watch cable networks like CNN and MSNBC I feel that I am caught in the throes of a weird addiction to political news. I begin my day craving information on what havoc has been visited on our world overnight. I check Twitter trends and Huff Post headlines for my fix on the latest global backlash caused by our current administration. Because truth be told drama has happened everyday since January 20. I find myself headachy before the day really begins.
I know that I am not alone.
I exist in a constant self imposed state of low level anxiety.
“As things get more uncertain wellness gets more important.”
I totally agree with her viewpoint.
Last week I visited my favorite massage therapist. Nothing fancy, she works at Hand & Stone and she is fabulous! The time spent in a quiet environment with her was exactly what I needed. She knew exactly what to do and recommend and I can’t begin to express how much I appreciated her. In this time of turmoil and stress and uncertainly, the spa and wellness industry should be a safe haven. It is crucially important for our therapists to be totally on point. Excellence in customer service is a teachable skill that should never be taken for granted by management.
Enabling therapists to listen well, respond authentically and recommend knowledgeably is what proper training can do.
Recently I’ve read a lot of great articles from spa professionals and product manufacturers. The topics are mostly about how to get spa therapists to sell everything from post facial makeup to yoga clothing. Read More
While too many spas continue to struggle with single digit retail sales to service ratios, cosmetic outlets like Sephora, Space NK, Ulta and Blue Mercury are experiencing revenue growth that dreams are made of! Read More
We believe that spa guests deserve a perfect service. But with 27% of spas at 0-10% in retail sales to service, we wonder if a perfect service is being delivered. Is product training for therapists providing all of the necessary information and tools? Or is something more needed? What gives?
If you missed our March 4th Blab no worries. In this segment we discuss product distributors, manufacturers and expansion of training. Tip:click your mouse on the verbiage to the right side of the screen to read the comments.
Next Blab-Can Introverts Sell?
Friday, March 11 7:30 p.m.-8:pm. Bangkok time | 7:30 a.m.-8:00 am East Coast
12:30 pm London | 11:30 pm Sidney,Au.| 2:30 pm South Africa |4:30 pm UAE
Most people don’t like change. Almost no one changes just for change sake. There has to be a strong motivation behind it. The fact is, many luxury groups have such a steady stream of new customers that they aren’t yet feeling the impact of their reluctance to change. Read More
Despite the proliferation of introverts in the industry, old school methods of training are still being used in spas around the globe! This may be due in part because hospitality companies don’t often conduct personality assessments for their employees.
However, those of us who work in spas know that the serene atmosphere and mellow vibe tends to attract a more laid back soft spoken kind of person.
In the case of sales training, 99% of programs are designed for extroverts. Read More
As consumers become more knowledgeable about what other consumers are experiencing, the demands for excellent customer service increase. The vast majority of consumers say they will walk out of a store if they receive inadequate assistance from employees. Nowhere is this more impactful than in the luxury market.
Despite the importance of individual attention at luxury retailer stores, many consumers think today’s brands aren’t delivering. Only 38% of consumers said they receive better customer service in luxury retail than in non-luxury retail.
Want to read more of my article? It’s on Huffington Post-Click Here
Would Marilyn Monroe or Elizabeth Taylor have tolerated customer service shaped only by a checklist? No. Neither do today’s guests of The Beverly Hills Hotel, a favorite of those two actresses. While leading the 1,000 employees at The Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air, I’ve seen how a customer’s experience can change based on something as small as a smile. At such moments, smooth operations and efficient processes are no substitute for an engaged, motivated employee with the instinct to do the right thing.
Yet luxury hospitality and retail businesses, like many other companies, can struggle to motivate employees. This is often a particular challenge with hourly-wage workers. Few organizations master it. As customers, we have all experienced an overworked and undervalued employee dismiss us with a shrug.
At our hotels, we keep our team motivated and our morale high by focusing on four important factors:
Financial Security One of the most important ways that managers can help these employees be their best is to start by making them feel safe. Employees can only deliver great service if they have peace of mind. They can’t give their best if they are worried about their incomes or job security. Creating this sense of safety is really about speaking to two parts of each employee: his heart and his head.
Forgiveness Fair pay is the basis for creating an organization where employees feel secure, but of course, it’s not enough. You also have to manage each employee’s emotions – that’s the heart. One of the most powerful ways to do this as a manager is to forgive errors. No matter how high your standards, perfection is beyond human reach. True forgiveness must be felt, not just stated.
When a person in my organization makes a mistake, I always try to ask: Are they repeating a mistake or making it for the first time? Can we forgive and teach? Sometimes the cerebral policy has to bend to the heart – because the employee made a mistake trying to do the right thing. Perhaps the employee took initiative to solve a customer problem for which we don’t have a policy. Looked at that way, maybe the mistake wasn’t a mistake after all.
It’s just as important to practice collective forgiveness. A hotel in San Francisco where I worked previously lost a 5-star travel rating after an inspector gave us a poor grade for front-of hotel experience. We had to connect head and heart to rally the team to win the rating back– even as customer volume was booming and we always felt short-staffed.
For two years, we nurtured excellence, meeting with employees one-on-one to analyze service. A secret shopper evaluated the team every six to eight weeks. At shift meetings, we shared the results, praising successes and noting mistakes. Individuals who scored well earned gift certificates or salary boosts. Soon, staffers were congratulating each other for 100% test scores. We shared positive reinforcement openly, but gave negative feedback privately, in combination with coaching.
Respect When I arrived at The Beverly Hills Hotel, the employee entrance and locker rooms were, in the words of one colleague, “horrific” — quite run down and dirty. When you’re asking people to come to work in an ultra-luxury environment, this is a stark way to start the day. So we revamped the employee entrance to resemble the hotel’s iconic front-of-house arrival area for the guests — down to the green-and- white-striped canopy, palm plants, and red carpet. Today when employees come to work, they walk the red carpet, with music playing in the background. They have a sense of arrival and strong team morale.
Decisions like these lead employees to articulate not only that your company is a good place to work, but also why it is a good place to work.
Communication To make employees feel safe, respected, and when necessary, forgiven, leaders have to make themselves available. At the Beverly Hills we have an open-door policy. Any employee can come see me with a question or suggestion. According to employee survey data, that policy helped overall employee engagement rise by 12% between 2010 and 2014. And at lunchtime, I frequently eat in the employee cafeteria, not the guest dining room, and I sit with different people in order to hear a range of feedback. This also gives me the opportunity to put our company’s good growth news front and center for our team, which reassures everyone in the organization – from the back office to the lobby – that their incomes are secure. It’s a positive, self-reinforcing loop.