4 Steps to Building a Successful Reception & Reservation Team

1. R & R Role Identification — Finding the Right Fit
First, identify the ideal characteristics and skills required for your R & R positions. Then, create a detailed position description for both the receptionist and the reservationists. Clarify expectations in writing.

Note: R & R position qualification must go beyond the ability to pick-up the phone and say hello. They must be able to sell your services and maximize revenue by promoting the spa's services and products. Stay away from order takers; instead, seek sales achievers.

2. R & R Compensation Structure
"What motivation does your team have to improve their performance if they are paid an hourly rate, no matter what their performance is? What compensation plan do you offer your R & R team?"

In most spas, the R & R departments are paid a straight salary. This is one of the biggest faux pas you could make since R & R control revenue generation. Instead, change the compensation structure to a target driven performance compensation.

The compensation mix should include a small salary and a commission scale based on targets.

This type of compensation structure will result in elevated income opportunities for the team and the spa. It promotes stretching, goal setting, and performance awareness.

It's a win — win. The team will have the opportunity to increase their income and the spa will only pay the higher level of compensation when the team achieves their targets.
Change your spa's R & R compensation plan from straight salary to a compensation mix and witness a performance transformation while generating a new level of success.

3. R & R Structure and Positioning
Depending on the size of your spa, you may want to differentiate between the two positions. The receptionists' responsibilities should include guest relations and tending to the front desk. The reservationists' responsibility should focus on phone calls and communication management. It is ideal to separate the two by moving the reservation department to an off-site call center or to a different location within the spa. This allows the receptionist to focus on guest relations and the delivery of a great spa experience. The off-site call center can focus on converting callers into guests and maximizing spa revenue.

If separating the two is not an option due to your spa size, then consider having two or more people (depending on your guest flow) at the front desk; one to focus on calls and one to attend to the guest reception.

All spas strive to deliver a great and unique spa experience. When your receptionist and reservationist positions overlap, it makes it difficult for them to perform their functions and will take away from the overall guest experience. Not differentiating between R & R positions creates confusion and low productivity.

4. R & R Department Training
Training and coaching the R & R department is an essential component to retaining a professional and successful team. When your R & R department is trained and skilled, they are able to maximize reservation rates while increasing the overall revenue generation.

Not having a training manual is like building a house without a blueprint: you can do it, but it will tumble in time. Having a training manual can make everyone's job much easier. It can be the difference between working smarter instead of harder. By investing the time in creating a manual, you are investing in the future of your business. The R & R manual should include scripts, operating guidelines, systems, structures, reservation management steps, software hints and shortcuts, marketing techniques for your services and products, treatment benefits, do and don'ts, and more.

By implementing these 4 steps, you will transform your R & R department from order takers to movers and shakers! Find the right fit, train them, implement a performance driven compensation plan and maximize your revenue while enhancing your guests' experience.

By Dori Soukup, Principal, InSPAration Management www.insparationmanagement.com 



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