Spa Reception – Are They Making You or Breaking You? Part Two

4 Steps to Building a Successful Reception & Reservation  Team - R & R

In Part One, we spoke about how important spa reception is and how the goal should be to transform order takers to revenue generators. In Part Two, I am going to share with you more details regarding the 4 Easy Steps to Transform Your Reception and Reservation Department.  If you did not read Part One, read it first, then come back for Part Two.

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 spa position description for both the receptionist and the reservationist.

Note:  R & R position qualification must go beyond the ability to pick-up the phone and say hello. They must be able to maximize revenue by promoting the spa’s services and products. Stay away from order takers. Instead, seek achievers.  Many spas still don’t have position descriptions. (mistake #8)

The receptionist should be a skilled communicator and have thorough knowledge of all spa services and products.

2.  Spa Reception Compensation Structure - the VPG Complan

While conversing with a spa owner recently, the owner expressed disappointment with her spa front desk performance.  She went on to tell me, “I don’t understand why they don’t attempt to up-grade services, promote packages, schedule future appointments or increase retail sales… especially, when I just gave them all a raise!”  I asked her if the raise was based on performance targets and she replied “no.”  My reply to her was, “What motivation does your team have to improve their performance if their pay is the same no matter what their performance is? What compensation plan do you offer your R & R team?”

In most spas, the spa reception department is paid a straight salary or hourly rate. (mistake # 9)

This is one of the biggest faux pas you can make since the receptionist controls revenue generation. Instead, consider a compensation structure based on targets and performance.  A compensation structure that promotes stretching, goal setting and performance, will result in elevated income opportunities for the entire team and the spa.   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 new levels of success!  Need help with this type of structure? Call InSPAration Management today.  We are happy to help you!

3. Spa Reception Structure and Positioning

Depending on the size of your spa, you may want to differentiate between the two positions. The receptionist’s responsibilities should include guest relations and tending 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 dept to an offsite call center or to a different location within the spa. This allows the receptionist to focus on guest relations and deliver great spa experiences. The off-site call center can focus on converting callers into guests and maximize the spa’s 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 guest reception.

All spas strive to deliver a great and unique spa experience.  When your receptionist and reservationist positions overlap, it makes it difficult to perform their functions and takes away from the overall guest experience. Not differentiating between R & R positions creates confusion and low productivity. (mistake #10)

4. Spa Reception Department Training

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

Not having a training manual (mistake #11) 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 a lot easier. It can be the difference between working smarter instead of harder.  By creating a training 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 your services and products, treatment benefits, do and don’ts, and more.  Check out InSPAration Management’s Reception & Profit DVD.  It will help you transform your reception center!

By implementing these 4 Steps, you will convert 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.  Don’t delay; seek professional advice to assist with your spa’s transition.  You can choose from many options:


  • Hire a consultant or a coach to assist with training and transition

  • Implement a proven effective compensation plan

  • Purchase the Reception & Profit DVD.  It’s on sale this month $45!


Hope this blog helped you. Leave your comments. I would love to hear from you!

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