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Setting the Stage for Spa Clients

The number one reason that most clients visit a spa or wellness center is for relaxation and stress-relief. So consider how much more effective your spa treatments could be if your clients arrived at the treatment area already well down the relaxation road? A few simple strategies can help to ensure that your treatments are as effective as possible and that your clients return.

Confirmation Call – First things first; getting clients to the spa in plenty of time before their appointment is scheduled to begin is a no-brainer. A client who comes tearing in the spa’s front door 5 minutes before they’re due on the treatment table is hardly starting off with an orientation to relaxation. We need to respect the client’s time, but you’re not setting them up for success if you do not ensure that they arrive at the spa in plenty of time to check in, review their services (and potentially add on or up-sell), fill out any paperwork, and, if applicable, change into a comfy robe and enjoy a cup of tea in your quiet lounge. If a change to a robe and rest in a lounge are part of your amenities, ask them to arrive at the spa 30 minutes before their appointment begins; they’ll still be a little late, but you’ll at least have 20 minutes to get them settled.

Check-in – Stand back and take a look at your spa entrance as though you’ve never been there before. Is it easy to find the spa for a first-time visitor? How convenient is parking? Is the entrance clearly marked? Once they enter, are they greeted immediately by a smiling and welcoming customer service rep? If one of these components is not ideal, what can you do? You obviously can’t move your parking lot, but you can ensure signage and verbal directions are sufficient to remove any stress clients might encounter trying to find you.

Locker Room – If you do offer a client locker room/changing area, you should try to experience it much like a guest would. Can a first-time client easily navigate the whole experience? Make sure that the sequence is as smoothly choreographed as possible, from the time clients are escorted from the check-in desk back to the locker or changing area. Many spas employ script for this segment, but frequent delivery can cause the interaction to become rushed and sloppy. Just being clear on how to manage the lock and key, and understanding what to leave on and what to take off, can reduce anxiety for many clients.

Lounge – I was recently in a spa lounge that was furnished with 3 or 4 black chaise loungers, and dark walls to go with them. No reading materials were supplied, but that was okay, because there was no light to read with anyway. We want to create environments that allow people to relax, but you can’t force them into it. Make sure there are options for how they spend their time. Floor and table lamps on dimmers should be sprinkled about. Reading materials should NOT be the latest copies of People Magazine; how about some coffee-table books on art, architecture, travel, with beautiful visuals? If you have a self-help refreshment bar, make sure that is clear with signage inviting clients to enjoy whatever they like. Yes, your locker room speech might have mentioned that, but they won’t always remember all of those details, especially if it was not mentioned with the refreshment bar in front of them.

These may seem like brief and insignificant portions of a spa visit, but they’re quite impactful. A little focus and attention here will deliver clients to the treatment room who are breathing slowly and calmly and enjoying their surroundings, primed for your therapists to do their magic, and boosting their opportunity for client retention.

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