Five Quick Ways to Improve Your Spa's Guest Experience

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Categories: Customer Service

Spas that deliver on the guest experience and exceed clients’ expectations take into account not only what their clients are looking for, but what they may not have considered, as well. Coyle Hospitality’s mystery shoppers and spa consultants have gleaned valuable tips from the hundreds of secret shopper evaluations they’ve performed for spas.  And although these quick tips may seem straightforward, our mystery shopping services have uncovered that, even in spas with solid customer-centric practices in place, a bit more attention is sometimes needed in these important areas.

1. Don’t waste the call. Great news! You’ve got a new spa client on the phone and it’s time to book their visit. Are your reservationists following the scripts you’ve set? Are they asking how clients heard about the spa, if they’ve visited previously, what their preferences are and what their expectations might be? Are they explaining the treatments and offering a few different options if they apply? Are they telling these clients about applicable specials or add-ons to the treatment? Our spa mystery shoppers make hundreds of calls to spas, and, unfortunately, this golden moment to create a better guest experience and more revenue for the spa is often squandered.

2. Provide ease of booking. Coyle’s spa research has shown that many spa clients want to book treatments online. Online booking could be an integral part of the experience a guest has with your spa.  Are you losing business by not offering potential clients (or loyal ones) a way to click and book at any time of day or night?  Online booking may not be for every spa, but when it is, it can lead to additional revenue and a better guest experience for busy clients. If it’s not for your spa, make the booking process as customer-friendly and convenient as possible. Consider providing a separate email address for booking, asking questions or sending comments. This can give you valuable feedback and the opportunity to share more information and sell more treatments.

3. Reward loyal customers in meaningful ways, to them. Many spas have loyalty programs in place and find them valuable ways to reward regular clients and garner those valuable, word-of-mouth referrals. Take a new look at your programs. Consider giving incentives for follow-up or complimentary treatments.  Make sure you gather important information from clients (birthdays, anniversaries, celebrations) so that you can properly offer them the treatments they would most appreciate, and at the appropriate times.

4. Don’t overlook the check out. Coyle’s mystery shoppers report that they’ve seen clients leave spas who are clearly on edge or not pleased with a treatment, yet the spa receptionist and front desk employees happily sent them on their way. If guests are allowed to leave your spa unhappy, they’ll likely never return or refer anyone else to your spa. Develop an approach to address these customers and explore their concerns away from the front desk. Your “service recovery” approach may yet save this client, or at least stop them from badmouthing your spa.

5.  Audit your guest experience. Sometimes the only way to really know if your spa is implementing the standards that you’ve carefully set is to test them anonymously on a regular basis. Consider using a mystery shopping provider or create a spa audit of your own and use friends and family to implement it. Professional mystery shopping services can help set standards to evaluate, objectively report on how these standards are being carried out, and help your spa focus on specific areas of weakness in the guest experience.

For more information on spa mystery shopping and quality assurance services, visit

Stephanie has extensive spa, hotel and sales management experience with companies including Four Seasons, Marriott, and Western Athletic Clubs.  Since joining Coyle Hospitality Group in 2005, Stephanie has developed customized hospitality measurement programs for spa, hotel, restaurant, and cruise clients worldwide.  A graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and sought after expert in guest experience, Stephanie’s passion for spas and their unique cultures has helped her develop tools and research for the industry.


Stephanie -

I came across your article and shared it to my Facebook, great tips! Demandforce works with spas & salons to help them request and measure customer feedback (point #5), create automated referral programs with incentives (point #3), to offer online appointment requests to make booking convenient for the customer but giving the salon full control over weather or not they take the appointment (point#2). I hope you will take a look at our site and see for yourself. If you have any questions please feel free to give me a call (415) 814.4816 - direct


I agree with Margot. We use Demandforce as well and it is an excellent tool for learning how the guest's experience was at our spa just hours after they left. We've connected Demandforce to our Facebook page and viewers can see all CERTIFIED reviews posted by our clients from opting in to our online community via Demandforce.