The spa business is possibly one of the most personal businesses other than a doctor’s office. People come in for a massage or another treatment for not just reasons of vanity but to help treat, alleviate, calm down physical, emotional and sometimes mental issues. These types of clients are also most likely to be the most loyal customers. And we know loyal customers are also the ones that refer a business to friends and family. However, even the most loyal of customers may have difficulty doing one thing, giving a spa manager feedback when things didn’t go too well.
Have you ever been in a situation when you are at a business, made use of their services but something made you unhappy? But when the manager came around (if they did) and asked you how you felt you politely smiled and said everything was all right? But in your heart you knew you were not going to come back to this business? For the business owner, this is possibly the most unfavorable situation. Not only has the business lost a customer, and the many referrals that customer could have brought with them, but also risked public humiliation on social media if that unhappy customer were to go and write about their experiences on a social media platform.
People generally do not like to be confrontational with others. This is where social media comes in and creates a layer of anonymity and distance between the consumer and the business. The consumer, protected behind their computer or phone screen, can provide any sort of feedback, knowing that they never need go back to that business again.
However, spa operators can integrate a few simple operational habits in their everyday business to minimize negative reviews on social media. Nobody can guarantee doing something will guarantee only positive reviews but, certainly stack the odds in favor of the business. Here are a few simple ideas:
- Consistency in quality
Customers are particularly averse to coming back for future treatments when they perceive inconsistency in quality of service due to change in staff or ambience. As much as possible have your staff take an initial training from the same webinar, playbook or instruction manual so that you can maintain consistency in quality of care even with staff turnover.
- Be proactive about bringing up things that may bother a customer
Perhaps you are short on staff a certain day or your staff is running behind schedule or maybe there is construction going on next doors. Essentially, there maybe things you are unable to control but you know they will impact quality of service. It is best to address these issues upfront with the customer and apologize for any inconvenience caused. This will help your customer to look past those issues and enjoy and focus on their treatment.
- Use a system to monitor quality of service and gather customer feedback
Research has shown that just through the act of collecting customer feedback we can improve customer satisfaction and create customer loyalty. Customer loyalty directly leads to repeat business and customer referrals. Keeping a tab on quality of service for your customer also will lead to fewer negative reviews on social media sites. Make sure that this system is not just a nice to have but a key component of your strategy to manage and deliver on the very best of service for your customers. Also before you install a customer feedback solution, discuss with your staff how the data you collect will be used to improve services. This ensures that everybody is bought in the system and they know that it is ultimately there to help them connect with their customer.
Don’t be afraid to ask your customers to give you feedback. Remember, whether you ask or not, you may get the feedback anyway on social media. Knowledge is power and as the famous Management Guru Peter Drucker famously said- If you can't measure it, you can't improve it. Make it simple and quick for your customers to tell you how you’re doing. Use that feedback to improve your services further. Customers will not only appreciate being asked but will really appreciate when they see that their feedback was taken by the management to improve things at their favorite spa.
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