How we treat and communicate with our guests in spas or salons is a critical factor in their impression of the experience. It has a major influence on how they feel about their visit to your business. But how do we give them our full attention? What are the specific things we can do to demonstrate to the guest that they are the most important person to us in that moment?
There are many techniques that can help you to convey that you are giving the guest your full attention, and these same techniques actually do make you give the guest your full attention! When you employ these techniques, you will find yourself engaging with your guest in the best possible way.
Be Prepared for Your Guest
You can only give your guest your full attention if you are prepared to do so. It starts with being on time, and continues with being organized throughout your day. Are you able to manage your working time efficiently? Manage your time effectively by planning ahead, setting goals, determining priorities and, minimizing interruptions.
Make sure your space, supplies and equipment are all prepared in advance so you are not distracted by setting up. Convey a professional appearance with appropriate clothing and cleanliness. It demonstrates a respect and commitment to your profession and lets the guest know that you take your work seriously.
Before your guest’s arrival, be prepared by knowing as much about them as you can so you can greet them properly and not need to ask them about past treatments or services: you will be better able to focus instead on their present needs. This includes knowing what services they had, what product they used, and yes: what they spent with you. With repeat guests, make notes about the guest and the conversations you had. Read over those notes before the guest arrives. By refreshing your memory about a guest’s planned travel or event, you’ll be able to ask them about their trip or how that anniversary party went.
Being properly prepared can contribute greatly to a positive guest experience.
Your Guest’s Arrival
It’s show time! Make sure you make eye contact, greet them warmly and avoid distractions. It’s the guest’s turn for attention — ignore your cell phone and whatever is going on in the room, and focus all you attention on your guest.
Even the posture you have when you greet your guest matters. Our body language ‘speaks’ volumes about our attitude, energy and focus. Standing up straight conveys that we are interested and attentive.
Maintaining control over your own emotions is very important in good customer service. Do your best to put aside your own personal stresses before your guest arrives. Keeping your emotions in check will help you to deal with on-the-job surprises, changes in schedule, and negative or angry guests.
If you’re not ready and in the right frame of mind, they will sense that you are too distracted to give them your full attention. Make sure you’re ready so that things start off on the right foot.
Get into the mindset that you will treat each guest independently from any other guests that day. Don’t let a negative comment from an earlier guest affect the way you treat your next guest. Each interaction with the same guest must also be treated separately. They may be in a different mood, or have different needs. Responding appropriately to the way they act and what they say on that particular day will demonstrate that you are giving them your full attention.
Listening to Your Guest’s Needs and giving your full attention
Listen carefully to the guest’s requests and needs. Ask questions to verify and clarify what you’ve heard. This shows that you were truly listening.
Refrain from sarcasm and critical comments, and be patient with your guest as they may not be clearly expressing their needs, or they may be unsure.
By paying close attention, you may be able to detect hesitation or uncertainty in what they are telling you. If you pick up on those cues, take the opportunity to question them further and hopefully they will reveal their true thoughts about the service or treatment you are going to do. Maybe they just need a little more information to make them comfortable about trying a different service, treatment, haircut or colour.
Give them thorough responses to questions, and make sure that the answer you gave actually answered their question.
When an element of personalization is introduced to your guest, it helps them to feel special. Know the client, products, and services well enough that you can present them to the client in a personalized way – how that product or service is good for their particular needs or how a treatment can be done to best suit the guest.
Being a persuasive speaker can dramatically improve your customer interactions. The secret of persuasive speaking is putting the verbal focus on the target of persuasion (the customer), rather than on the speaker. In practice, it means calling a customer by name, using action-oriented words, the active tense in words or phrases instead of the passive tense and avoiding prefacing statements (like ‘I think’ or ‘I believe’) that express your personal thoughts or opinions. Putting your customers at the centre will make them feel more respected and appreciated.
Communicating with other Staff and Management
The same principals we discussed regarding how to interact with your guest applies also to your engagement with other staff and management. Use these same strategies with your co-workers in order to foster a positive work environment. You are either a positive contributor to your work space, or not.
You can use all the techniques above to help you stay in the moment, but often it is your own mental discipline that can be your greatest asset. When your mind starts to wander to other areas of work or life, your ability to come back to the present is critical. These mental wanderings can distract you from the technical competency of treating your guest. In fact, they also impact your guest in a subtle but powerful way. You quite likely know the difference of how it feels when someone is completely focused on you or not focused. Two massage therapists can perform the exact same massage, but the one who stays ‘present’ with their guest will always get greater results and long term loyalty. Being present indicates care for the guest, and that is truly what they are looking for and deserve.
Give your guests your full attention, get ‘present’, and they will give back the gift of their loyalty and dollars.