Off-Season Profitability Producing Pick Me Ups

By Melinda Minton Executive Director, SPAA | May 19, 2010

Side By Side Moments

Side by side treatments have never been more popular and for any occasion the perfect answer to lifting your spa's agenda. Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Anniversaries, Christmas, New Year's and Birthdays are all natural occasions for these types of services. Couples, friends, mother and daughter matchings are all natural spa-goers to enjoy treatments like: side by side massage, facials, body treatments or a combination of all three. Sundries like robes and slippers are always appreciated for these "event" kinds of treatments as are items like beverages, appetizers, flowers, take home goodies and special touches that make the treatment special for the individuals enjoying them.

Thematic Services

Establishing a theme for a treatment, month or series of treatments really develops an interest in spa-goers who might not otherwise come to your spa. For instance, treatments that are different than the typical fare found on most spa's menus like Ahshiatsu or bar massage can be quite intriguing to the typical guest; sea-based treatments like Watsu can be a draw as well as many types of multi-layer facial or body masquing services. The point is, make some of your treatments unique, hard to find and entertaining. The difference will show in your bottom line.

Develop a Local Following

Especially if you are a seasonal property, when your low season hits staff is cut, morale is low and profits can fall to non-existent levels leaving your financials in shambles. One way to counteract this is to give locals a lower price, a membership to use the spa and market to them as locals. Those who live in vacation spots often resent being ignored when tourists come to their towns in droves and unemployed when the tourists leave. Adopting a familial marketing campaign lets them know that you are understanding and one of them too. Additionally, your facility will keep staff which means no rush to hire and train when the high season comes. Marketing to locals doesn't just develop a revenue stream it also cuts a lot of the cost that go into the season fluctuations that many resorts experience. Also, once the high season is upon you those who work within the tourism component will freely promote your spa over those spas who don't embrace a local market.

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Guest Service: A Culture of YES

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.