The Art of the Add-on Sale

By Melinda Minton Executive Director, SPAA | January 02, 2011

The art of the add-on sale is a crucial addition to business as usual in your hotel spa. While many of your guests might naturally book a massage, facial, manicure or pedicure it will be your staff that encourages them to add-on a brow shaping, body buff, multi-layer masquing or enroll in a one hour make up lesson. As odd as these additional services may sound to the lay spa-goer, add-on sales are as natural as breathing once the guest is at the spa receiving a treatment. In fact, many spa professionals would go so far as to say
that by not offering an add-on service as a suggestive sale the spa has professionally failed in educating the client. Consultative service sales are a part of the expected treatment by spa professionals and spa-goers alike.

The Natural Service Add-on

Add-on sales don't need to be bank breakers. In fact, most add-on sales are simply compliments to work performed within a single service at the spa. For instance, a client receiving a facial might not know that a little brow waxing or shaping would greatly enhance their overall appearance. For that matter any type of facial waxing might be a natural conclusion to their esthetics treatment. While the client is in the solitude of a treatment room an overall discussion of the benefits of waxing is really right in line with their similar esthetics goals and might be a topic that the client would otherwise leave ignorant of.

Sunless tanning after a massage, especially for the traveler, is an additional topic of esthetic benefit. Many of those who self tan struggle with the process while on the road because of the hefty aerosol cans involved, the mess and the tedious nature of maintaining a self-administered tan. A professionally applied tan is just the formula for success. Furthermore, a body wrap, pressotherapy treatment, lymphatic drainage massage or similar slimming and detoxifying treatments allow the traveler feeling a bit bloated, out of their element and generally uncomfortable to slip easily into their wardrobe, feel refreshed and glow as if they are on an extended vacation. However, many travelers would never enquire as to receiving such treatments for a variety of reasons. The well mentioned add-on with a massage can be a god-send and a welcomed addition to the usual spa treatment.

Additional add-on services to a classic spa treatment include hand and foot treatments that compliment a manicure or pedicure. Oftentimes a client will come in seeking a standard executive manicure that would also benefit from a detailed glycolic cuticle treatment; an anti-aging hand masquing or a hydrating and invigorating paraffin hand dipping. Pedicure clients often require additional callous removal, nail bed therapy or would enjoy a reflexology massage to both ease foot discomfort and benefit comprehensive internal health. Without a suggestive sale to compliment the basic spa treatment, however, these clients are lost to their own devices. It is challenging enough for the typical spa client to choose a basic therapy let alone to imagine treatment that as small additions would naturally compliment their therapeutic journey at the spa.

The Add-on as a Package

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In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.