The Power of Your Spa Receptionist

As businesses we spend a lot of time training our therapists to be the best spa therapist they can be. We send our managers on training and development programs to ensure they have the skills to successfully manage a team but how often do we offer training to our spa receptionists?

Think about it for a moment…….

Your spa receptionist is usually the first and last person to have contact with clients and potential clients. They in effect start the initial consultation process- well they should. But how many spas have taken time to give their receptionists the business training they actually need?

In my Business Spa Manager training programs I discuss the importance of analysing the therapist’s columns all day every day. So unless you are a reception manager you need to give the staff members who are managing your spa reception, the skills to empower them to follow this process.

The process starts like this:

  • Initial contact

When a receptionist makes the initial contact they need to ensure that they are taking control of the inquiry. It is not enough to just say “yes I will book you in for that 30 minutes massage”. Questions need to be asked first, because as I say again and again WE are the spa professionals and most of our clients are not 100% sure what treatment they want but a back massage or facial is ‘a safe option’.

Action point – After reading this article, go away and ask 10 non spa people (can be friends, family, hotel staff members) to name 5 face and body treatments that your spa offers that are NOT massage or facials. You will be very surprised with the results.

  • Educate

It is our job as spa professionals to educate our clients. Even if they have been with us again and again we need to remind them we have other treatments available. For example a client calls and asks to book a back massage, my next question is ‘is that a massage with body wrap or hot stones?’. Usually their next question is ‘I’m not sure what is the difference?’. My next question is ‘What results are your looking to get from your treatment?’.

Boom you are now into new territory.

Ask yourself the question why people go to the spa? It’s not because they want to look good in front of their friends or because they have nothing better to do – it is because they want some kind of results.

When I worked on the cruise ships (we did training 3-4 nights a week with our teams) they used to say but I ask them that question and all they say is ‘I just want to relax’ and the therapist felt it was an objection and that they couldn’t recommend anything for them they have no needs.

But if someone needs to relax then they are either stressed, they haven’t been sleeping well or they may have tension in certain muscles. It actually opens up a whole new set of questions. Also everyone relaxes differently. For me I de stress and relax with exercise and the type of treatment I like has to include my scalp and feet rather than a body massage. Take a moment to think about how you like to de stress and what areas of your body have to be treated in order to relax you the most? You will find that you and I are probably different and therefore we cannot treat every client the same.

Never assume they know what they are talking about. You don’t go into McDonald’s without being asked if you would like to supersize your meal. You don’t go into a restaurant without being asked if you would like the wine list, drinks with your meal and the dessert menu after. We all know they are available but the waiter will still always offer. It should be no different in a spa.

Next you need to identify what treatments are high profit. See how the GP affects your bottom line (gross profit you have from each treatment in order to understand what order you offer these treatments). Many times we think a particular treatment is high profit but once you take out the cost of the treatment, the therapist wages, robes, slippers etc it’s a whole different story.

So my advice to you is to increase the training and development of your spa reception team. Once you empower them with business and revenue skills you will see an instant increase in your spa revenue without moving away from your reception desk. Why not give them this booster module to try out

3 Steps to Instantly Increase Your Spa Revenue (module only €47)

and give them the tools they need to help you increase your spa revenue, improve the overall guest experience and give your therapists a better mix of treatments so they don’t experience burn out from back to back tough massages.

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