“The art of listening”

RosemaryOur Day Spa recently had the privilege of being included in a major magazine feature article about Day Spas. It was not the first time this had happened to us, nor do I expect it will be the last. The primary reason we were selected by the writer and the editor was because we are a DSA Accredited Day Spa. Once again, I was grateful for our DSA membership and the wisdom we had to apply for and be granted DSA Accreditation. In these economic times when consumers are particularly discerning about where and how they spend their money, I was grateful for the opportunity to showcase why and how we are distinguished from our competition and why they should choose us from amongst the many Day Spas in our area.

The second revelation came during the photo shoot for the magazine article. At that time, while the photographer was in the treatment room, the writer was interviewing one of the clients she had selected, from a list of five volunteers, in our spa lounge. I excused myself, to allow them privacy. However; I went around the corner to remain out of sight, but still remain in ear shot of their conversation. To my amazement, not only did the targeted interview client respond to the writer’s questions, there were other clients, resting in the lounge, which overheard the writer’s questions and spontaneously chimed in. What they had to say was amazing and extremely revealing!

The clients said things like “I love that the treatment beds are heated…… it’s so warm and cozy”, “the Chai Tea is to die for and I really look forward to that comfort drink every time I come here …one time the Chai machine was broken and I was really bummed out”, “ I am not an overly modest person, but I appreciate the way that they respect your modesty during the service really impressed me”, “all of the staff are so warm and friendly from the minute I come through the door”, “when I was in the bathroom, I was thinking that it was clean enough to eat off the floors….not just because you’re here, today, but every time I come here”, “ I love the emails….I get discounts and the first shot at their new services” “if I ever have a problem or concern, I have the confidence to call the owner or the spa manager and know that they will take care of it without embarrassing me or firing the staff person involved… I know they care about what I think”.

The lesson……..listen to your clients and pay attention to details. We all think it’s about the technology, the latest treatment or a competitive price for the service. Wrong! It’s about the details and listening to what our client values most. It’s the small things that contribute to the entire Spa Experience that matters most, and will keep them coming back to your spa.

How do you listen to your clients? Don’t wait until a magazine visits your spa. We survey every new client. We ask them to simply rate their experience with our professional & support staff. The choices are simple; (1)on par with other salons or spas (2) met or exceeded your expectations (3) did not meet or exceed your expectations….if not why? We use the survey results to “fine tune” who we are and how we do our job so that we can be better than “on par with other spa or salon services” We also have a desk procedure to document both Client Compliments & Client Concerns. We use both forms to educate staff and give them client feedback and improve or modify or policies, procedures and techniques.

What do you do to listen to your clients?

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2 Responses

  1. great article, thank you

  2. Thanks for that insightful article Rosemary. It really shows that your spa is great at taking care of the details from the practices you mentioned and the comments your clients made for the article. Funny though how so many of us get caught up in the daily grind of running the business that we lose sight of how the clients perceive and experience things.

    The truth is that the day spa experience is more than just one experience. The client has many small experiences within each and every visit to your business. From before they walk in the door to the moment they leave and beyond, there are at least 25 different moments or “touches” that your spa has to impress or disappoint them. It is important for every spa to have a handle on these details, to see things from the client point of view, and to do everything possible to have all contacts with the client be positive ones.

    Congratulations on making your spa a success. I hope other spa owners will take your advice and be successful as well.

    Felicia Brown
    Spalutions!
    Spa Consultant & Certified Guerilla Marketing Coach

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