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The Case of the Good Bad Receptionist

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So often the performance rating of a receptionist is predicated on her charm or even her beauty. It’s rare that she or he is judged on their ability to engage with clients in a way that drives sales.

I like to tell the following story because I think that it’s indicative of so many spas. Your reception area can be a microcosm of your entire operation and as such can shed light on your flagging sales.

I was sitting in the reception area of a very upscale spa which was located in a resort. A young couple came in. It was quite apparent that they were infatuated with each other.  The young man had a camera and snapped pictures of his lady literally every few seconds; it was as though he couldn’t get enough of her. She seemed to enjoy having her picture taken since she would strike a pose at every opportunity.

When they sat down at the reception desk to take care of their business, the receptionist asked how she could help them. They told her that they weren’t certain, so she proceeded to hand the young woman a treatment menu. The young man continued taking photos of her and told her to select any treatment that she desired.  The spa receptionist said nothing, as the young lady perused the menu.  She finally decided on a hot stone massage.

Upon checking the schedule the receptionist discovered an opening available in the next 15 minutes. She verified their room number, booked the appointment and the couple reluctantly parted ways after an extended hug.

So many opportunities were missed. Here are some of the ways the receptionist could have done more;

  1. Acknowledge their passion for each other and recommend a couples treatment.
  2. Address his penchant for picture taking, ask questions, and initiate a conversation about it. Was he a professional photographer? Perhaps an upper body massage focusing on arms and hands might be in order.
  3. It was obviously their first time at the spa. How far had they traveled? How long were they staying? She might have recommended treatments designed to eliminating jet lag.
  4. Offer to take a picture of the two of them together in front of spa signage. (Free advertising)
  5. Since carte blanche was given, recommend a series of treatments over several days. Include a couples foot massage or in room treatment.

She could gone even further outside the box to ensure that they were taking advantage of any romance discount packages that the resort may have been offering.

Sharp receptionists will recognize opportunities to up sell and generate more business. I wonder how much revenue was lost long term by this employee? How about at your spa? It’s impossible for you to observe what’s happening at all times but you can be proactive. Maybe its time for refresher training?

Linda Harding-Bond
Linda Harding-Bond is shifting the paradigm on spa retail training. Her Express Online Retail Training Course is exactly what's needed for post-COVID-19 spa re-openings. Designed to bring your therapists' retail skills up to speed, it will quickly position retail as a robust alternate revenue stream. Linda has provided training for many world-class organizations including The Oberoi Group, St. Regis Hotel, Anantara Hotels & Resorts, Shangri-La Hotels, The Resort at Pedregal, GoldenEye Resort and Spa and Six Senses Resorts. She is author of "Listen, Engage, Sell!: The Foolproof Method for Increasing Spa Sales in 7 Days or Less" and "The New Esthy Handbook: an Essential Guide for Novice or Nervous Estheticians". Connect with her at Linda@Moontideconsulting.com .
Linda Harding-Bond

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