Pedicure oops and retention rates

While visiting my friend Gerri this summer, we decided to go and get pedicures. We called a new day spa near her house, made an appointment and off we went.  When Gerri and I checked in, we met our nail techs and were escorted to a very nice pedicure area.  So far, so good! We sat back, got settled and the experience began.

We soaked our feet for few minutes, then were asked to take them out of the water. They dried them and then proceeded to apply a thick, white, gel-like substance to the bottom of our heels.  Then, they placed gauze on top of it and proceeded to work on our toes.

One thing I don’t like about getting pedicures is toenail filing.  I often wonder if the nail techs ever had a pedicure themselves, because who would file such small nails with such force? It feels terrible, doesn’t it?  So I informed my nail tech that I prefer she cuts my toenails and to please perform very light filing. That went well and I was happy.

Before I continue with the story, I have to tell that Gerri and I take very good care of our feet. We don’t have callous problems and receive pedicures on a regular basis. We may have a little dryness, but that is it.  Once they were done with the toes, they took a callous remover scrubber, took off the gauze from our heels and began to scrub the bottom of our feet.   This is when I was shocked!!! I saw layers of my heel falling down.  It’s as if they took a knife and cut the bottom of my heel off.  I knew then and there this was not good.  Gerri and I were looking at each other wondering what kind of product that was, considering that neither one of us had calluses to remove.  I knew this was not going got be a good thing.  So I asked the nail tech, “What was that?”  She said callous remover.  I thought to myself, “No, it’s more like heel remover.”  So they finished our pedicures and we left.

Days later, Gerri and I were talking on the phone. We both noticed that our heels were growing thicker and harder. We were both concerned.  We were so proud of our heels and now we have a hard formation where the nail techs carved our skin like you carve a turkey.

So I am asking, have you ever had this type of experience?  Why did the nail techs use this product when it was not needed?  Do you believe that if you remove the skin on the heel it will come back harder?  And as an industry, how can we avoid mistakes like this?  You know we will never go back to that place!

Spas wonder why their retention rate is not as high as it should be, this is why!  Things like this happen all the time.  Guests visit your spa, but if their experience was not customized according to their needs, they won’t come back!   Not everyone needs the same products and the same protocols.  Not everyone has the same issues…Maybe this product works great on some people who have issues with calluses, but it certainly was not the right product or treatment for us.  They could have gained my friend Gerri as a regular client, but they won’t now!

Let’s talk about retention rate and how we can improve it.  Do you track your retention rate?  Do you call people who have visited your spa but have not returned to see why they haven’t been back?  If you don’t want to call, at least send an electronic survey to see why they haven’t returned.

Remember:   If you don’t know what’s wrong, you can’t fix it!

Let’s talk about it. Please leave your comments.


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