Spa Alert: Prepare for changing guest expectations
By Jane Segerberg Founder & President, Segerberg Spa Consulting, LLC | April 23, 2010
Let's talk about what makes sense as we move forward in planning to reach higher levels of success than ever before: Twenty-Ten... Bring it On. That's the attitude! Let's get on with the 'New Normal'. We have ducked and run, planned survival tactics and talked about 'riding out the storm'. Now it's time to grab the reins and get on with business by being proactive, creative and engaging our guests and customers in surprising new ways while running our businesses economically and efficiently.
The 'stories' about spa usage have been negatively over dramatized. The truth is that although resort/hotel spa visits are down, the guest capture rate has remained the same. The percent guest usage of spas on leisure or business travel remains the same; it's just that for right now, hotel visits are down.
According to the Hartman Group, "not everyone believes that out of the ashes will rise a new movement of frugalistas and bottom feeders", nor does history support such an outcome. Hartman typically has a good finger on the pulse of consumers and their researchers feel that the belt tightening just hasn't happened. The term 'theatrics of thrift' describes the coupon clipping and social commiseration about the grocery store pricing (which represents 7% of a household's expenditures). One instance of thrift is often negated by another instance of splurging - the wife clips coupons and the spouse buys and iphone.
It is interesting that price ranked 6th in importance following quality in Hartman's Consumer survey. The 'thrill of finding a great deal' still dominates purchasing behavior over pure price. In short, the shopper has been taught to shop for a deal and this behavior will be difficult to change in the future.
Certainly our future guests will be expecting value and the 'value deal'. In the value experience, fun trumps thrift. In the new economic stability, the more conservative shopper wants to enjoy experiences, yet feel that they are getting a great deal.
For spas, the future is now. 2010 – bring it on. Let's put the spa experience back in our existing spas and build new spas with revamped spa sensibilities such as: