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  • Heidi Grimwood

The Guest Journey

Going to the spa has become part of our everyday lives. It’s no longer an annual treat or a birthday gift for people but factored into our lifestyle as an essential part of our wellbeing.


But has our guest journey evolved?

Have "WE" moved with the times to meet our guest’s expectations?


I visited a high-end five-star property recently and was rather dismayed that my end of treatment offering was a sorbet and fruit kebab……. I kinda feel these types of offerings went out in the ’90s with fluorescent shell suits! A bit exaggerated but you get my point.

The expectations of the guests have exploded. Even I struggle to keep up with them. But we need to, and we need to keep thinking ahead.


So, what are the guest expectations?

What are they looking for?



The Connection

Guests love to be remembered but they also love to feel known by their therapists. Even if it is their first visit to the spa, they love to feel like they are the only person in the world. They don’t want to feel like they are on a conveyer belt and the therapist is just trying to get through their day. Work with your therapists to help them understand how to create that bubble with their guests.


Make sure they are listening to their guest and not just hearing. Make sure they say their name and then repeat it a few times during conversations. Use eye contact, smile and take note of things they love, and ensure they ‘love’ every moment of their treatment journey.



Remember Your USP’s

The Unique Selling Points of a spa are often forgotten because we see them every single day. But to the guest, they are the WOW experiences. Only yesterday I met guests who I had connected with earlier in the day and said oh you must come and see what the spa is really about and I took them to see the gorgeous pool and viewing point of the spa. They wouldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe that they may not have seen it at all if I hadn’t shown them. Be proud of your USP’s and invite guests to view it and experience it – that enhances the guest's journey.



Make Instagram Moments

Whenever I am creating spa journeys or new spas the key focus in the initial phases are – what is going to impress the guest so much that they want to take photos, post them online and tag our business?

I heard a guest one day sitting in a hot tub saying, we have to come here every weekend and overlook the bays, this is just so amazing. Take another picture of me, my friends will be so jealous!!


FREE PR and marketing – do I need to say more?



From beginning to end

The treatment journey doesn’t start from when the guest is collected. It starts from the very start of their research into what treatments they want to book. This can be online, through reservations, in the spa, in another department asking questions.

How strong is your guest's journey and can you trace every single step?


If you are wondering sometimes why a guest has such high expectations, or that nothing seems to please them – It can often be because some part of their journey did not meet their expectations. Maybe the website was not easy to use, maybe they asked questions in another department about the spa but no one had strong answers for them.

Identify each journey from beginning to end and see if you are a guest would be satisfied. Then ask someone who is not in the spa to do the spa and see if their experience is positive. If not, identify the issues and tweak.



Experiences

Guests don’t just want a spa treatment, they want an experience. Guests don’t just want a hotel room with a comfy bed and great tv, they want to know what other experiences the hotel has to offer. The more appealing these experiences are, the more likely they will book.


So look at your spa journey as an experience and see how you can improve it.

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