Spa Times Have Improved, Now What?
By Jane Segerberg Founder & President, Segerberg Spa Consulting, LLC | January 02, 2011
Finally we are seeing some light at the end of the long dark tunnel. The slow but steady rise in hotel occupancy, forecasted rise in ADR, forecasted rise in RevPAR indicate that "spa times are improving". But wait, we have all realized that we cannot return to business as usual and still maintain the market share that we have previously enjoyed. Yes, times are improving and in addition, our guests have also discovered new expectations, learned new behaviors and changed their selection criteria. To capture the uptick in the travel business, spas will be required to offer more than just "bang for the buck".
The word for 2010-2011 is "Quality".
- Quality of the Service.
- Quality of the Experience.
- Quality of the Program.
Our guests are looking at our spas with increased knowledge and intensified scrutiny. They have moved to great clarity of their own expectations and won't settle for less than what they want.
With the innate attraction to quality and genuineness, our rules for attracting and retaining business are becoming very clear! We can no longer compete with the brag of "The Most Treatments", "The Most Interesting Design Feature" or "The Largest Space". Instead, our laurels will rest on how we genuinely reach our guests through a heightened level of service like none ever seen before along with a well-defined and easily recognized heart and soul of the spa. And, we must be able to do this with a keen eye on the budget and on improved net profits.
To highlight our resort and hotel properties under the new rules of guest scrutiny, our spas must be the best performer in the market, not just better than most. The guest experience will be not just one thing done right, but a lot of things done consistently right. The higher the guest's satisfaction with the spa experience, so goes the guest spend. On the guest side of the equation, the requirement is quality that is delivered with pervasively consistent service and in a genuine sense of place.
In order to minimize cost, we need to get it right the first time and we have to de-construct our old way of thinking. When we review or plan the guest model, we will view it first as a product of the building design, software infrastructure and programming and then consider staff selection and training. When we consider the spa's sense of place, we will plan to deliver it with a concept that is defined, concise, appealing and consistently delivers a genuine feeling of "heart" throughout each guest touchpoint. Then we can add design and a simple and powerful program along with management strategies that identify and justify the concept and service model.