5 Key Functional Areas for Service Excellence

1.  Front Desk - *A potentially key problematic area*

 Many complaints may be generated from this functional area, for many reasons.  BUT, your frontline staff possess the most unique opportunities to learn; impress; gain clients and grow the business with their expert service and people skills from this area. Every phonecall, every walk-in, and every appointment should be viewed as an opportunity for showing off their service excellence skills.

In a nutshell, the opening sentence in the Front Desk's Job Description would read something like this:
 "Your Top Tier Priority is to focus on providing guest service excellence to all guests, at all times, with the intention of building fruitful relationships that will help grow the business."

Our reception, call center and concierge staff must demonstrate behaviors that the rest of the staff can emulate. In tandem with the Leaders, these individuals literally set the tone for the whole service excellence experience.

2.  Treatment Rooms - Monitor with Guest Surveys

Ideally, you want your spa professionals to take personal pride in providing a "closed door" service that rivals all others. 
But left uninspired, a therapist can be in danger of losing confidence and enthusiasm, leading to a less than stellar work ethic.  Personal doubt reflects dramatically during a hands-on treatment.  But this can be recovered with an improved support system, and ongoing technical training.  So if improvements are needed, look first at how your staff are being guided from both a Leadership and Managerial perspective; and then test their actual proficiency in the treatment room, to determine if they need reinforcement training.  

Only when your spa professionals have mastered their craft with unwavering confidence through training and support, will you see the transformation to service excellence.

3.  Common Areas - Conduct regular "Walk-abouts"

The common areas in a spa (lounge/relaxation areas; locker rooms; wet floors; retail; check in/check out, etc.) can be quite prone to customer dissatisfaction. It is in these functional areas that customers are looking for the overall attention to details that will make their experience a memorable one. Here's where you must increase customer contact:  Know the importance of having caring, attentive staff ever present; hire and train staff on the art of being likeable.

Never underestimate the power of charm.  The "like" factor will be your biggest advantage in building relationships and the business.

If all else fails, its amazing how far a smile and a sincere effort will take you.  Listen; then speak their language; strive to understand; and solve their problems.  As the Leader, you must circulate and witness behaviors every day, in every area, if you really want to know what's going on.

4.  Management Office - Encourage staff feedback

Your most important role as a Leader is to inspire those who answer to you, by leading through example. You are silently observed and critiqued by your staff, every minute of every day.

The less involved you are, the more doubtful, negative, and even critical your staff will become of you
and their interest in service excellence.

So it would seem that the more positive involvement you provide, the more likely it is that your staff will become more accepting, reachable, true believers. If you really want to know what it feels like to have success in the palm of your hands, you must become that "Leader with Presence" and develop a support system of voluntary advocates, or even better, true activists. Your ability to shed a positive light will be the single most important thing you do. 

Be self-ish, not selfish - take care of yourself, so you can take care of others.

5.  The Books  - Monitor how you're doing

Are you gaining, losing or staying the same?

  • Staff turnover - if your staff turnover is high, your customer service will be suffering
  • Client retention - if client return rates are low, there is another indicator of lack of service
  • Lost business - if you are losing business, word of mouth is most likely bad
  • Customer complaints - lots of complaints are an obvious sign of trouble in the service department
  • Average ticket price - an increase in service & retail combined, indicates they believe and trust in you
  • Utilization - higher room utilization percentages are a reflection of staff wowing their customers
  • Total sales per staff member - an increase indicates that staff understand their job purpose
  • Productivity - increased productivity means guests are coming back, showing their loyalty
  • Profitability - a better bottom line means your clients are happy to be there and becoming advocates

Remember to review all of these functional areas with staff, to continually improve service excellence!

By Leslie Lyon, CEO Spas2B www.spas2b.com