A beautiful business

Savvy spas focus beauty services to create customer loyalty

Customers won’t hesitate to switch companies due to poor service, whether it’s the phone company that keeps them on hold or the sales attendant busy gossiping with her co-worker. This also applies to spas. Half-off discounts and two-for-one specials will bring in business, but you won’t gain the loyal clientele to grow your spa if your staff is inattentive.
“It’s so simple yet people overlook this,” says Vivienne O’Keefe, Spa Profits Consulting. O’Keefe says a lot of staff are caught in a rut. Spa staff must be attentive to customers’ needs and recommend products that are appropriate, not just those that need to get off the shelf. “I have spas that are doing that and they’re growing. Their retail is up and their services are up,” says O’Keefe.

Building blocks

Spas generally have a range of beauty services to present to the client and use to build customer loyalty. Leslie Lyon, founder, Spas2b Inc. identifies three opportunities to promote your services: before the booking, during the treatment, and afterward. She suggests for a first-time manicure booking, perhaps you automatically upgrade the client to a deluxe manicure for the same price. “They may never turn back to that basic mani,” says Lyon. If the client declines and wants to continue with the basic, the therapist may upgrade her client during the treatment if time permits.
“Your costs are minimal and if the therapist does not have a service after that, then why not? It’s all about building the future... locking in our clients,” says Lyon. However, you want to stay away from “the push,” which is telling the client she can benefit from an additional treatment and then mentioning the extra $5 or $10 she will have to pay to get it.
After the treatment, educate the client about how she can benefit from an upgraded service, be it extra hydration, pigmentation lightening, etc. Let her know if she wants to get the best value from the treatment, a deluxe or spa manicure may be more suitable. But if all she wants is a buff and quick polish change, that’s fine, too.

Something special

While customer care is an important factor in growing your beauty services, value-added incentives and specials do make a difference. Lisa Kozoriz, managing director, The Ten Spot, in Toronto, says because her spa offers basic services (manicures, pedicures, facials, waxing) they can make an impact on their guests by offering specials and deals. The Ten Spot recently brought back The Hot Box, a popular special. “With any booked Brazilian, they receive a lip wax or an eyebrow clean up,” says Kozoriz. “We like to do things for free rather than a discount. I think it’s a bit more meaningful,” she says. The Ten Spot also offers a club card. Clients receive one point for every $10 spent on a service. Once the client racks up a certain number of points, she can redeem for a free service.
Know your clients, be attentive to their needs, and offer that little extra to make them feel pampered. The loyal clientele you build will be your perfect reward.

The 3 L’s

Listen to what your client is telling you. If she hates her sun spots, you know what to recommend.
Look for visible signs and recommend add-ons that complement the treatment. For example, cracked cuticles deserve a nail conditioner with the manicure.
Learn how to approach your client with product and treatment suggestions in a warm and non-threatening manner. No one likes a product pusher.


by Julia Teeluck | Spring 2012