As a spa owner, you have made a commitment to take care of your guests. They take care of you, so you must take care of them with all your skill, compassion, and heart. It should be your goal to ‘make their day’. Their spa visit is something they look forward to, and you have an obligation to fulfill their expectations.
But how do you do that? Aside from the experience and skills you have in delivering treatments, the most important factor is your communication with your guests.
The largest component of communications is words: everything you say, and how you say it. Your spa probably—or hopefully—has a script that must be followed by your staff when interacting with guests, but a script is just the beginning. A script serves as a framework for your guest interaction, and is the first step towards consistency.
Why Your Script is Important
The script is required, but it’s just a starting point. You need to go above and beyond – that’s where the magic happens.
It is important to establish a script that covers necessary, non-negotiable points such as consistent greetings, finding out how the guest heard about the spa, re-booking procedure, confirmation calls, and who the guest is booked with.
All interactions must be done with respect and enthusiasm. Greetings must be welcoming and when a guest leaves, staff must use words conveying appreciation.
Consistent communication by all the staff conveys professionalism and proficiency in all areas. A guest who receives consistent, excellent communication will have confidence that they will receive consistent, excellent spa treatments.
For new staff, a script is particularly important while they gain confidence and experience.
But do you want each person in your spa to say the exact same thing to the guests? I hope not! As long as the key elements are covered, there is room for some customization of the script to suit an individual’s style – and the message will be delivered more naturally. Also, your staff does not need to say the exact same thing each time. If they do, they might sound like a robot by the end of the day.
The Script as a Starting Point
Just as no two guest enter your spa with the same mood, attitude, or personality, no one script can deal with all the variables of dealing with guests.
Your guests may be stressed, demanding, rude or impatient. No matter how they behave, you must communicate to them with courtesy and respect.
So how will you know what to say? Some guests will tell you how they are feeling, some will only give clues. Pay close attention to guests: watch their movements and other physical characteristics like facial expressions. Are they cold? Hot? Uncomfortable? Listen closely to what they say to try and determine their state of mind: are they relaxed, stressed, rushed, sad, or tired?
Ask open-ended questions to learn about their needs. Don’t ask not yes/no questions. Those types of questions tell you very little. Get to know the guest and let them talk. Put your mood and feelings aside and remember this is the guest’s experience. Communicate with them in a genuine, personal way and ultimately you’ll develop long-term rapport.
Developing a Secondary Script
While a well-crafted script will cover the essentials and can serve as a solid foundation for customer interaction, a secondary script is one that is needed to deal with variables of your customers’ attitudes and moods.
It can be challenging and frustrating dealing with guests. You can make your staff’s job easier by having a secondary script to help them handle difficult situations. Instead of having your staff struggle to find the right words, give them the tools they need by practicing and role-playing difficult situations. There will never be one perfect single word or phrase—just as there will never be two identical situations. By practicing, your staff will be more prepared and confident in their interactions.
Discuss examples of appropriate responses to guests who are going through difficult times. What words convey sympathy or empathy? If a guest is very busy or stressed, what words can be used to help them relax and enjoy their spa experience—to help them ‘escape’ for the duration of their visit at least.
When your guest is given excellent care and attention at all times during their visit—not just during their treatment—their perception of your spa as a whole will be greatly enhanced.
People do Business with People They Trust
Your ability to consistency outperform your competitors by providing a superior experience separates you from them. Your business and job will enjoy long term security when your guests trust you—and every member of your team—to give them an experience they cannot get anywhere else. Easier said than done.
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