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Forging client loyalty

Keep your spa clients coming back for more

In an increasingly competitive market, spa operators must take both a creative and personal approach to building and retaining client loyalty.

Taking the time to get to know your clients on a personal level allows you to connect with them and form a relationship. This relationship becomes much more than a business transaction but rather a friendship of trust built by taking a genuine interest in their lives

Build relationships

Take detailed notes about conversations after your guest leaves. Adding these notes to your client’s profile allows you and your team to ask each guest about events in their lives. When your client returns, you are able to ask them questions like how their daughter’s wedding went, how their trip to Spain was, how their new granddaughter is and how their children are doing at school. This type of personal interaction fuels long-term business relationships.

Thirteen years ago when we opened our second Vida Spa location and I was operating our front desk to get Vida’s feet on the ground, I distinctively remember our first guest. I made special notes of his preferred treatment room, preferred music selection, light levels and how he enjoyed being seated next to the fireplace in our lounge. I then took the time to get to know him. As our company grew, I would strategically look at his history to see when he was next booked. If I was able, I would plan to be at that location around his booking. I would walk through the lounge to talk to him and check up on his world. He has always remembered this and often thanked me for being so interested in his life and taking the time. Fourteen years later, he is still a loyal Vida fan, coming to the spa every week to find his balance of mind and body. We took interest in his world, and as a result we became a part of his world.

Train your guest service team to recognize repeat guests and to follow up with a notation citing the return visit. When the guest arrives, they should be greeted with a friendly, “Welcome back!” versus “How may I help you?” Acknowledging a guest with enthusiasm makes the guest feel less like a number and more like someone who is important to your business. This creates the desire for your client to return.

Reward client loyalty

When booking new guests, your team should be making notes on the guest file about special occasions, mothers-to-be, birthdays or anniversaries. When the guest arrives, greet them with a personalized birthday wish or congratulation. To take it a step further, have the guest leave with a small memento from the spa to celebrate their occasion and to reward them for coming to your spa.

Rewarding your loyal and long-term guests is also essential in strengthening your future relationship. Guests not only want to be listened to and cared for with the attention to personal details, they want to be rewarded and thanked for their loyalty. Tracking your guests’ visits and rewarding them with a complimentary service after so many visits is always a welcome surprise. The loyalty program however must make sense for your business.

Happy staff, happy clients

Equally, you want your staff to feel listened to, appreciated and rewarded for their efforts. Reward your staff for keeping your clients coming back. Having a fair booking process which allows equalization of appointments among staff is essential with the exception of personalized staff requests. These requested appointments are a bonus for staff in their daily appointments. Reward both your guest service team and therapists with treatments. Show them you appreciate them when they have gone out of their way to help the spa or have achieved certain sales levels. Giving your team treatments as a reward also keeps them balanced to allow them to give the best to each guest. Five-year and 10-year milestones should be recognized with something special.

Retention in your team is also key to retaining your guests. By mastering the two, you have the perfect recipe for longevity and success.

A shared passion

When I was recently approached by a business to build and operate their spa, I met and toured with the general manager. In touring, I took note of his friendly acknowledgment of every staff member and guest he passed. He took a genuine interest in asking how they were and in some instances referenced past conversations. Seeing this, and knowing our mutual desire to grow our business through getting to know our staff and guests alike, I knew in that moment the pairing of our two like-minded brands would be a successful collaboration!Your team should strive to be equally as passionate about building a relationship with your clients. This way, each guest feels cared for and listened to on every level, from the minute they walk in the door to the minute they leave. Helping your guests feel well through personal interaction, attention to details, and small gestures, all paired with exceptional service is the key to your businesses success and to guests coming back for more.


Allison Hegedus is the President of Vida Spas and currently oversees five spa locations in Canada’s Pacific Northwest. She started her career in the spa as an aesthetician, before her interest in training and management led her back to school to formally study sales, marketing and business management. She has since worked as an educator and sales executive for OMI Technologies, Somak International and Dermalogica Skincare, and served as Spa Director at Chateau Whistler, Park Hyatt Toronto’s Stillwater Spa, and the spa at Toronto’s Old Mill Inn.

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