Creating a memorable spa experience is the cornerstone of customer service, and “the experience a client has with your spa furniture and equipment represents the bulk of the client’s entire appointment,” says Kelly Metz-Matthews, communications director for Earthlite/Living Earth Crafts. “This makes their comfort, and thus the quality of that furniture or equipment, a huge factor in their overall spa experience.”
Vince Legut, equipment sales manager for Pevonia International, points out that high-quality, well-maintained equipment is a reflection of the type of service and level of care a customer can expect during their spa treatments and is often a part of their first impression. “Equipment is an integral tool for success that the spa will use daily for years. Therefore, the equipment needs to function with regular usage without breakdowns and faults,” he says. “To be a success in business, you need the best tools available. If your equipment is out of service, it has a direct impact on the bottom line, because you are losing potential revenue.”
According to the experts, equipment should last anywhere from five to 10 years before it needs to be replaced, depending on quality, usage, and other factors. Equipment will last longer if it is cleaned, maintained, and inspected as directed by the manufacturer, but even the best-cared-for equipment will need to be replaced at some point. Signs that it may be time to think about an update include wearing down of foam or upholstery, unusual squeaks and noises, mechanical breakdowns, or wobbliness and shakiness. Even if your equipment seems to be working just fine, it may be time to think about adding something more current. “If the appearance is no longer up to date, it’s time to invest in something new,” says Sammy Gharieni, founder of Gharieni.
Whether your spa follows trends or relies on more traditional options, furniture and equipment can be a significant investment, so there are many things to consider. Design, workmanship quality, and value are important, as is client accessibility, product versatility, ergonomics, and superior functionality. “I always recommend that spas search for a balance of comfort, function, and style,” says Metz-Matthews.
Another important consideration is the spa staff and the equipment’s ability to help them do their jobs safely and effectively. “Good staff makes a spa, so having products that are easy to use and have great ergonomics are critical to attracting the best staff and keeping them healthy,” says Rich Elsen, chief sales officer for Oakworks.
Perhaps the most vital choice is selecting a company with which to work. Consider the company’s history and reputation, as well as its customer service and warranty policies. Legut advises spa decision-makers to ask for references and seek recommendations from colleagues. And don’t forget, it’s the little things that count. Philippe Therene, SpaEquip’s founder and chairman of the board, suggests asking the following questions: Do you get a return phone call or email in a timely manner? Are the parts needed identified and shipped without delay? Other important questions,
according to Francois Requier, general manager of Silhouet-Tone: Does the manufacturer offer loaners? Can the equipment be repaired? Can the manufacturer be contacted directly for parts or repair services? How long will it take to have the furniture or equipment shipped? Who will be your primary contact?
“Working with a company that stands behind every product it produces is very important,” says Elsen, who adds that a reputable company will be there to offer advice in the buying process and support throughout product ownership. He also says that some warning signs include problems getting a knowledgeable person on the phone, poor customer service, and a lack of history in the marketplace.
Trends to Watch
When it comes to trends, there are certainly some noteworthy options. Requier says he’s seeing an increased market for wood furniture. “Surprisingly, wood lasts longer than metal and is often more economical,” he says.
As medical spas and spas that offer medical services grow, multifunctional chairs that can accommodate these services are becoming popular. In fact, multipurpose equipment in general has become a must. “The more you can do using a specific piece of equipment, the better,” says Therene. “The real industry trend isn’t in furniture or equipment, per se, it is in the ever-changing nature of the spa menu itself,” adds Metz-Matthews. “Versatile furniture and equipment that meets the diverse and malleable needs of today’s spa is what you’ll find in demand.”
As technology increases, the options are truly becoming endless, but in the end, you should consider your spa’s brand and image. “There are new options for spa furniture that include music, lighting, vibrations, and more, but spas need to consider what options best support their brand and the environment they are trying to create for their clients,” says Legut.
No matter what furniture and equipment approach you may take at your spa, the experts can’t stress enough the importance of quality and durability. “I like to say that a spa treatment table is your most reliable worker,” says Metz-Matthews. “After all, it is there through thick and thin. It doesn’t get the flu, have bad days, or need to leave early for emergencies. It offers you the opportunity to make a good impression no matter what. That makes it, without question, one of your most valuable long-term investments.”
New & Noteworthy
Curious about the future of spa furniture? Check out some of the latest, most
unique offerings on the market, and discover why they are making an impact.
1. Clap Tzu WaveMotion Bodywork Table: Distributed by SpaEquip, this table can rotate 360 degrees, rock from side to side, and tilt up to a seven-degree incline or decline to facilitate fluid movement and deep relaxation.
2. Gharieni Crystal Quartz Bed: Filled with alpha quartz sand and equipped with a regulated heating system, the dry, mild heat from the quartz sand ensures rapid and intensive relaxation. “With this bed, customers will experience heat in an extraordinary, luxurious manner,” says Sammy Gharieni.
3. Living Earth Crafts Everest Eclipse: “Comfortable, functional, and stylish” are the words Kelly Metz-Matthews uses to describe this pedestal electric-lift treatment table with multipurpose cabinetry. An electric-lift actuator provides smooth and quiet height adjustments, while a deluxe cushioning system offers complete comfort.
4. Oakworks 300 Series Procedure Chair: Rich Elsen says that as the lines between medical and spa continue to blur, “the 300 Series Procedure Chair is the solution for facilities looking for medical functionality with the aesthetic appeal and comfort of spa furniture.” The multifunctional chair transforms to a zero-gravity recliner or a flat-table position.
5. Pevonia Equipment LEMI Gemya: Called by Vince Legut one of the “most beautifully crafted tables on the market,” Gemya combines functionality and design. This facial and massage table features state-of-the-art technological solutions and materials, including chrome and curved wood.
6. Silhouet-Tone Elite Platinum: According to Francois Requier, Platinum is ideal for limited-space environments, as well as for the growing medical spa segment. This multipurpose table’s fully electric capabilities allow easy access and comfort during face treatments, thanks to height, leg, back, and seat tilt adjustments.
7. The Floating Bed: A unique potential addition to a relaxation area, The Floating Bed, distributed by SpaEquip, hangs from one point and provides a gentle rocking motion that increases blood and lymphatic circulation, which reduces soreness, aches, back pain, and swelling.