Five Ways to Make Your Spa Customer Fall in Love with You

By Elaine Fenard Partner & Chief Operating Officer, Europe and U.S., Spatality | February 12, 2012

The current economic environment has created a focus on spending patterns and while spa in general is enough of a respite at a reasonable price not to qualify as a 'guilty pleasure' spa guests are doing the research and becoming increasingly more savvy about spa-going. It is therefore essential that spa operators take the extra step to know their guests, connect with them, and build loyalty that will enhance repeat visitation and increase revenue.

The experiential nature of spa generally bring guests into the facility initially, it is then up to the operator to create an environment that will keep them coming back to the spa; this could mean multiple times during a vacation or weekly. To build loyalty effectively it is important to develop a connection with the guest so they feel committed to the entire spa - staff, services, and overall concept of the operation. Creating this connection is a worthy challenge that takes consistency to maintain.

1. Fully understand the needs and aspirations of your guests:

Each spa has its own guest profile and it is essential to fine tune the spa experience based on this consumers needs and wants. While many spas conduct a market study prior to opening to determine their target market and competitive environment, your target market and competitive environment will continue to change and it is imperative to assess the competitive environment as well as your guests needs constantly in order to maintain a spa that exceeds the goals and expectations of the guest. Moreover, expanding the research to include other venues where this demographic may spend leisure time and disposable income will help to create a better understanding of what the guest base is looking for from service related experiences. Conducting monthly reviews of other spas, restaurants and local boutiques that target a similar guest will help the spa management team to keep a constant pulse on what your guests are looking for in services, staff interaction, retail options and operational structure. Analyzing both the positive and negative strategies used in the competitive market will create a spa that more intuitively understands and reacts to the guests needs and aspirations.

Leveraging these regularly conducted competitive studies, the spa operation can adjust service touches, menu items and retail product to fill voids in the market; creating a spa that is varied and interesting upon each visit. Without adjusting the core DNA of the spa or the operational structure of the facility, the spa can incorporate fresh ideas into the guest journey to ensure that the spa speaks to the guest's desire to purchase unique items and experiences.

2. Involve the customer in the future development of the spa experience:

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