Many spas and salons fail within their first few years. Some estimates say that as many as 8 out of 10 don’t make it beyond two years; while ISPA estimated, more conservatively, in their 2016 Spa Industry Study that 6.5% of spas go out of business each year.
Regardless of the actual numbers, we do know that it can be a tough industry.
There are a lot of spas out there, and in many geographical locations, there is an embarrassment of riches for customers to choose from. So, how can you set yourself apart? Why should they choose you?
It’s actually quite simple. Here are the two reasons guests will choose to come to your spa or salon – and to keep coming back.
1. Excellent employees
As we have said before, your employees are your greatest evangelists and your most significant selling point. Your guests will come to your spa or salon specifically to see a particular team member, or because they have had such a great experience and been so well treated in the past. A happy and productive team will not only keep your spa customers coming back, but they will also sing the praises of their workplace and recruit their friends – so you will never hurt for staff.
But one cannot simply assume that things will take care of themselves. A good team must be well managed. From onboarding and training to motivation and retention – everything has a vital role to play here.
This means providing ongoing training from day one. It means offering manageable shifts and breaks, and not working your team to the point of exhaustion – particularly massage therapists and anyone else who has a job that is both physically, and sometimes psychologically, demanding. Scheduling is often overlooked as a key employee management tool, but letting employees know what will be expected of them and what demands will be made on their time is vital to managing a happy team.
Top-notch team management also means many things, including setting an example, and effectively communicating with your team – they need to know what is expected of them, and even that they can come to you with any questions or issues.
2. Excellent customer experience
Customer satisfaction is your second most significant element of success. If your customers are not happy – if you do not provide them with exceptional service – they will, in most cases, not come back. Does all this seem just too obvious? Then why do so many businesses not maintain a happy and productive team and an overjoyed customer base?
Keeping spa customers happy requires much attention to detail, but first and foremost, it means knowing your customers. By this we mean knowing their details before they arrive – their preferences and medical concerns, for example (you should never have to ask for these things more than once. This is very unprofessional). And knowing how they felt about their latest experience in your spa -- and whether there is something you can improve upon.
You can’t know if you don’t ask. Gain instant feedback with guest surve ys - this can be done after every visit, or at chosen intervals - and/or solicit feedback with a comment card, allowing guests to share their opinions and experiences freely. Then, you can use this information to improve the guest experience – which will, in turn, improve satisfaction and customer retention.
These two factors are almost everything. Your treatment menu, your facilities, and environment, all these things matter. But without productive staff and satisfied customers, there will be nobody to enjoy them. Marketing is essential, but if you haven’t got good employees, you have nothing to market.
Manage your team efficiently, and keep your clients happy, and everything else will fall into place, your guests will return because they are treated so well by your incredible staff. It’s amazing!