Getting to GREAT Spa Customer Service

Adrilla V Perdersen Business Trainer and Coach

Hello, SPAPARAZZI Blog readers. My name is Adrilia V. Pedersen and I’m happy and excited to be writing for you. Just like you, I am an avid spa patron. As a trainer, speaker and consultant I’m often focused on how to make things better for businesses and for customers. I plan to share my insights, observations and expertise with you here, and I hope we can begin a dialogue. I look forward to hearing your comments, your experiences and your questions.

Because I love the opportunity for transformation that spa experiences offer, I am keenly aware of the enormous opportunities that exist in all kinds of spas to delight customers, develop strong relationships and create a sense of community.

Great customer service is about an experience: delight, wellness, trust, attention to detail, respect, appreciation. It is a shared experience between a spa patron and a service provider. It may sound easy to provide great customer service but it isn’t easy at all. It requires training, skill, caring and a commitment to do whatever is necessary to amaze, wow, dazzle and honor your customers.

While as patrons you do have a responsibility to communicate service expectations and share feedback, overall the task of delighting customers rests with the spa provider. It is they who should be asking the right questions, observing closely, looking at their referral programs and at their customer comment cards.

In this two-part article series (this is part 1) I will address Great Customer Service from the perspective of the spa patron, and then (part 2) from the perspective of the spa provider.

When I was much younger, I still visited many spas, but I wasn’t a very responsible spa patron. The truth is I was much to shy to know any better. One of the things I resolved to do when I started my training business, as a way to “train myself” to behave out of the box was to put myself in tough situations on purpose. So I would for example go into a busy store with a large bill, not buy anything and just ask for change. And yes, eventually my courage and chutzpah grew and the perceived limitations were gone … but that’s a story for another time ….

I have since then overcome my shyness. Wish I had been more communicative in San Juan, Puerto Rico when I got a massage treatment at a beautiful spa overlooking the ocean, in a room that unfortunately way too cold for my preference. I mentioned this to the masseuse and asked for a blanket. When nothing was adjusted, I put up with the cold instead of insisting that I get a blanket or we move to another room. That would have been the responsible thing for me to do. I have to believe that someone in management at that spa would have cared about my experience and why I never returned.

So how can you as a spa patron communicate expectations and position yourself to receive great service?

1. Begin sharing your expectations when you set the appointment. Ask about the environment, the length of treatment, the technician and their expertise, ask if they can have tea or water ready for you, ask if they offer valet parking. Communicate any and all things important to you in the form of questions.

2. Call to confirm the appointment if you don’t receive a call. Say you are looking forward to it and if it’s your first visit, say so.

3. If something is not to your liking, find a way to share this with your technician or receptionist as soon as it occurs. If you hold it in, this will affect negatively your experience by beginning to zap your mental and emotional energy.

4. Send a message after your visit to say thank you. Include any observations or comments you have about the facility, the service received, the courtesy of the staff.

5. If the spa provides comment cards, be sure to complete them directly and honestly, providing feedback on specific services, staff members and programs. Include suggestions for services and programs you would like to see offered.

I love to visit spas where people are thrilled to help each other and their patrons and are truly excited about their work. It translates into powerful and memorable spa experiences. Unfortunately, in my case these instances have been the exception rather than the rule. I know there is enormous opportunity in the spa industry to deliver consistent, reliable, dazzling service. My next article will focus on the role of spa providers in offering great customer service.

As spa patrons, surely you have other ways in which you communicate your enjoyment or displeasure when you visit a spa. Please share your comments here.

ABOUT Adrilia V. Pedersen
SPAPARAZZI Featured Expert and Contributor

Adrilia V. Pedersen is a professional trainer, speaker and consultant experienced in customer service, marketing and publishing. She has helped businesses in the U.S., Mexico and Canada to develop multicultural marketing initiatives, train and motivate personnel and succeed through shared values. She inspires people and companies to grow and unfold their highest potential. Her blog can be found at www.adriliapedersen.com/blog

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