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3 ways to innovate

With such intense competition for clients in the spa marketplace, it has become necessary for spas to differentiate themselves through innovation. This may mean creating unique experiences that will have clients coming back for more, or simply being able to perform at a high level – consistently – to earn their ongoing patronage. The alternative is to die a swift and painful death, as there are numerous other spas who would be delighted to take their place.

Here are three ways spas can ensure that they remain innovative and relevant in an ever-shifting industry:

1. Technology & Guest Service
We are using technology more every day, and this is slowly becoming more and more evident in spas. Here is what we are seeing:

  • The use of tablets and phones to execute business services on-site.
  • Having the guest history at your fingertips, at the station.
  • Booking the next service.
  • Completing a home care product transaction in the room or at the treatment station.
  • Completing the service sales at the treatment station.
  • Adding a referral to the guest’s file.
  • Adding important notes and follow-up instruction before the guest leaves.
  • Reception services can almost become a virtual or mobile service.
  • The use of tablets and phones for entertainment.
  • Rather than TV, music, or magazines: allowing the guest to self-select how they want to be entertained. Let them choose their own music, movie, or streaming television.
  • Using apps like Texture to allow them to read about whatever subject most interests them.
  • The ultimate result is that by creatively using technology, it allows the members of the service team to be more connected with the guests and provide them with a personalized, customized and interactive experience.

2. Technology & Human Resources

  • Staff training, standards and reporting are far more important than ever before. In fact, how the leadership interacts with staff continues to evolve in all areas of business and the spa is no exception.
  • True online education for staff is available. Apps now allow owners to track how a team member is doing with the training, what they have read or watched and then how they scored on tests. This allows for more consistency in training, better standards and tracking measurements for leadership with the goal of overall better service.
  • More current software systems also allow staff to securely view their financial performance whenever they want. This allows them to be more aware of their impact and income so they can conduct themselves in a more business-like way.
  • With an entire tech-savvy generation now hitting the spa workforce, changing the way leaders think about training, and the tools available, will be critical to long-term success.

3. Spa Service Innovations

As the spa industry has developed over the past 20 years in Canada, the needs of the spa-goer have driven change. The traditional day spa would have manicures, pedicures, facials and massage as the main services. Now, since spas often fall into the more in-vogue category of “wellness” services, we now see more diverse services offered in spas.

Anything from acupuncture, homeopathy, naturopathy, osteopathy, nutrition, sleep, weight management, reiki, tween, and medical services, all of these – and more – are being offered under one roof. The spa is a one-stop shop that can take care of the entire family.

Be a Specialist

We are now seeing specialized spas created for each of these disciplines – where they perform only one service – but they do it well. The proliferation of nail bars, skin clinics, and massage-only facilities lead the way. Much has to do with the demographic of the areas they reside, as both of these models are succeeding in the right spots.

Robert Cass

Robert C. Cass, is the CEO of Spaformation, a marketing, training and consulting business.

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