2 mins

To steam or sauna… oh wait a minute, there isn’t one!

Frequent spa goer and marketing expert Keshantha Naidoo reveals her top bugbears when visiting spas. Owners and managers may want to take note

As a regular visitor to spas with an absolute weakness for indulging in spa days, I’ve become quite the critique when it comes to spa service and facilities. I’m all about switching off and being pampered. It’s my self-care spoil and I want to enjoy every moment of it, including being fussed over to ensure I’m happy. That’s what true customer experience is!

Furthermore, there are a couple of things that help attract and retain spa guests and not paying careful attention to these value-adds can detract from the ultimate spa experience, turning guests away.

Lack of amenities

A big pet peeve is having no basic amenities in change rooms – from shower caps to tissues, disposable undies and swimsuit wet bags. If spa facilities include pools, steam rooms and saunas, it’s essential to have basic toiletries that make the experience hassle-free and enjoyable. Small extras like hairbands, cotton buds and shampoo are a huge benefit. I once visited a Johannesburg spa that had normal and large size shower caps, making it easier for women with long or curly hair, braids and other voluminous styles that need more space without the shower cap immediately tearing. A considerate touch given the diversity in South Africa. We should be able to show up at a spa without thinking of almost packing an overnight bag.

Faulty facilities

Some of the oldest, most reputable spas are often the most equipped, providing spa facilities that set them above the rest. Often (from wear and tear) these facilities are not working or in desperate need of renovation. Mouldy showers and steam rooms are my worst. Not only are they unhygienic but a complete turn-off. Not much more to be said!

Poor time management

Some spas have challenges with guests arriving late, which creates a ripple effect on the day’s schedule. On numerous occasions I experienced therapists not on time and unable to honour my full treatment time due to running late and pressure from management. This leaves guests rushed, highly unsatisfied and not getting the full service. Spa managers need a solution to immediately tackle the problem once the first guest is late.

Customer service

It’s so important for therapists to remember and greet regular guests by name. Many spas have loyalty programs, members and regular guests frequenting a few times a month. Remembering someone not just by looks but also by name, as well as greeting them, is a small but huge touch that is essential when trying to establish valuable relationships.

Spa managers’ tip – scan the day’s schedule, highlight members and regular guests and make a special effort to be present on arrival for some small talk. Encourage your front desk staff to do the same.

More tips

Ensure you are fully stocked on retail products, especially those that therapists recommend to guests. Always have the full range of colours available for nails. Be consistent in your marketing for spas with multiple branches. Clearly state available facilities and services for each branch on your website, highlighting the diverse offering across each.

Keshantha Naidoo is the founder and director at Channel Reach, a niche digital marketing agency specialising in social media, content marketing and communications. Email
This article appears in Professional Beauty October Issue

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Professional Beauty October Issue
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