Cell Phones in Spa Treatment Rooms?

Cell phones, Blackberries, iPhones…. it seems that everyone is so attached to them!  No matter where I go, people are always preoccupied with them.  Do you remember when we did not have all those devices?

In the spa, we always remind our guests to turn off their cell phones in order to enjoy their experience.  While I was at a spa not too long ago, almost half the people in the lounge were either talking on the phone, texting or emailing.  Ok, maybe the clients have the right to do what they want, but what about your therapists?

Do you know what is going on in your treatment rooms? I visit spas often and lately I am seeing more and more therapists on their phones or texting.  Listen to this… I was assessing a spa last week, the owner was concerned about her retention rate. She reserved a massage and a couple of other treatments for me to experience. During my massage, all of the sudden the massage became a “one handed massage.” Have you had a one handed massage?  I was wondering what happened to the therapist’s other hand… this went on for a little while.  I was curious, so I lifted my head to check things out only to find her texting!  Needless to say, I was shocked!  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  She saw me look and immediately she said, I am so sorry, this was my daughter blah blah blah…. Of course, she had no idea who I was or what I was doing. Was she in for a surprise!!!

You are probably thinking, this does not happen at my spa?  Well, I want you to think again.  The spa I was at was a high end spa. They are charging $90 for a massage.  How would you like to pay $90 for a one handed massage?  The owner of the spa was wondering why her retention rate was so low… well, I think this explains it.

Now I am not saying all therapists do this, but I am certain it happens.  What can you do to prevent this from happening at your spa?

You will need to implement a no cell phone policy for your team. When they step foot into your spa, they need to leave their cell phones in their lockers, their cars, or somewhere else.  Definitely do not allow phones to be carried ON THEM.

They might tell you “but I need my phone in case of an emergency.”  The answer to that objection is “whoever needs you should call the spa and we will pass on the message to you.”  As an industry, we need to forbid having cell phones in treatment rooms.

What is your cell phone policy?  Have you had issues with cell phones?

We always recommend to our clients to budget for a secret shopper in order to evaluate the guest experience (at least once per quarter). There are companies you can hire to perform this service. A professional company like InSPAration Management will provide a detailed assessment and improvements needed. If your budget is tight, you can use a loyal client, a friend-of-a-friend…

If you are using a "friend" inform your spa secret shopper to look for the follwing  Key Performance Indicators.

  1. The reservation process

  2. The check-in procedures

  3. The facility, amenities and spa image

  4. Guest refreshments

  5. Guests attire

  6. The therapist greeting and professional skills

  7. The treatment: products used, quality of products and service and the experience

  8. Therapist/guest communication, bedside manners, touch etc.

  9. Treatment and product recommendations

  10. The overall experience rating

What are your thoughts about secret shoppers?  and cell phones??

Share your stories and suggestions. We would love to hear your thoughts...