A spa’s worst nightmare: the spa client who doesn’t return. Clients have multiple exposures to your business long before they step through your door: word of mouth, your website, Facebook page, booking their appointment. They are coming to you with the expectation that they will receive exceptional service and treatment and leave feeling rejuvenated. However, when a client’s experience falls below their expectations, be ready not only to lose a potential client, but also others who will never come because of the bad press.
Here are the Top 5 Reasons Spa Clients Don’t Return:
#1 Booking Process
The first exposure a client has is by phone. Let’s face it, spas are busy places; however, the client calling shouldn’t know that. Short-tempered, rushed staff is a sure way to make a bad impression. If you do not have the bandwidth internally to book appointments and speak with clients, invest in a telephone system that will walk clients through the booking process and have appropriate on-hold messages that talk about specials and your location. Additionally on-line booking takes some pressure off the desk and is a huge convenience for the client; they can book anytime, anywhere and who doesn’t love that?
#2 Unprofessional/Rude Staff
Nothing turns a person off more than rude and unprofessional staff. We are referring to inappropriate conversations between staff, complaining about work or personal life, using cell phones during work time, being indifferent to client requests, not following company protocol for service, offensive language – the list can go on and on. Staff needs ongoing training and education on company protocols and expectations.
#3 Failure to Meet Expectations
Perception is reality. Spa clients need to know all details of their service and what to expect. Often, first time clients who have never experienced a spa treatment are in for a surprise when they are not explained the process step by step. Additionally, when expectations are not met, dissatisfaction ensues. Set the stage when the appointment is booked, from cancellation policies to arriving 15 minutes before scheduled appointment time. Meeting client expectations contributes to overall client satisfaction.
#4 Not Anticipating Needs
A client’s spa experience should be seamless, never a moment of uncertainty or need. From the moment they walk in the door, a greeting, a smile, coat taken, refreshment offered, service confirmed. In the treatment room, correct temperature, music, comfortable treatment table, a place to change and store personal items. A spa client should never have to ask for anything, practitioners should anticipate needs before they arise.
#5 Unclean Facility
Be the client – what do they see? Dusty retail shelves, finger printed glass, cluttered front desk, wax stained blankets, wrinkled bed linens, unclean bathrooms or worse? There is no excuse in the world for an unclean spa. Clients see everything and know that it will be the last time they will frequent your business. If you don’t have a cleaning service, set a cleaning schedule. At a minimum, daily walk throughs need to happen 3-4x a day, staff members assigned responsilities and sign off when complete.
Let this list be a reminder of what not to do. Every spa has challenges and areas that need improvement. Find your weakness and follow through. There is no excuse for losing spa clients for reasons that are within your control Do your due diligence in order to retain your clients and gain new ones.
Posts of Interest:
- Building Customer Trust with Marie Forleo
- Whats Your Business Blind Spot?
- How to Declutter Your Spa