Seven Steps To Abundant Sales And Stellar Customer Service

Webinar: Mastering the Mindset of World Class Service

Registration for this webinar has closed and below are the topics which were discussed. This training is available online as Part 1 of The Spa Concierge Finishing School. Please check the Events and Learning Academy pages for this and other trainings.

Every spa wants to believe it gives outstanding service, and many claim to offer “world class” and “five star” customer care. But do you really? Does the massage therapist you just hired, who’s never patronized a world class spa, know how to deliver that level of service for a guest? How about your spa concierges?

Good news. It’s important to hire for aptitude and attitude; the rest you can teach. This foundation webinar is designed to help spa employees in every position, and at every level of experience, work closely as a team to create a stellar spa experience.

We’ll help your team understand how world class service is created, from the ground up. We’ll explain the vital importance of each of the three “ingredients” of legendary service: values, systems, and art. When these three ingredients are properly integrated by your team, guests have the sort of experiences that convert them to raving fans.

Your team will learn about:

• What customers value most
• The guest expectation of a five star spa experience
• The power of consistency, or why Systems drive all world class service
• How right-brained spa professionals can learn to love the “sacred geometry” of Systems, Rules, and Processes
• Process improvement and quality management skills for everyone in the spa
• Communication skills and easy, low-stress problem solving
• Understanding Social Styles
• Why “going above and beyond” starts with “mastering the basics”
• Unleashing the “Service Artist” within
• The magic of Deep Teamwork

 

Live Spa Staff Training

How can I train my front desk team without any time and budget?

Virtually every spa has cut back on meetings and education during the downturn. There’s good news, though. Training your team is less expensive, and more convenient, than it’s ever been, thanks to–yes–the miracle of modern technology.

We’re talking about online training. These are almost-as-good-as-being-there presentations that will engage and inform you and your team.

We suspect, if you’re reading this blog, that you’d be willing to spend $15-$25 per person to get your front desk team world-class training in the following subjects:

  •  Mastering the Mindset of World Class Service
  •  Mastering the Reservations Call
  •  Checkout that Maximizes Revenue and Retention
  •  Mastering Complaint Resolution and Service Recovery

These are part of our Wynne Business Spa Concierge Finishing School and each includes a Powerpoint presentation and audio lecture, full of fresh, use-it-tomorrow content. They’re just $69 individually, and $234 for the complete set. Choose one segment for a specific need, or for even better results, spend an hour or two each week bringing your entire support team through the series. It will be especially impactful when they learn together, and you should see an immediate improvement in focus and results from this crucial group of staff, who are often overlooked when it comes to training, and yet are one of your strongest links to building a loyal repeat clientele.

To access these as well as others in our training library, click here.

 

The Front Desk Must Die

The Front Desk Must Die!

Spas are working harder than ever to be innovative in their designs, but there’s one convention that just won’t seem to die: the monolithic front desk. Once upon a time, we had big fat computer monitors and hulking CPUs to hide in those enormous desks. So why, in this age of flat screens and cloud computing, are we still confronted with these intimidating beasts when we enter a “state of the art” spa?

Front desks create a barrier between guest and client. In restauranteur Danny Meyer’s parlance, it’s hard to convince a guest you’re “on their side” when you literally are not. Check-in, a simple enough transaction, can be accomplished with about two keystrokes–and for that matter, on a handheld. Why use up valuable square footage that you could use for retail merchandising? Because architects and interior designers think we want these things.

Instead, guests could be welcomed by a friendly host who is visible from head to toe, whose full-frontal greeting will feel much more sincere. He or she checks guests in with his or her handheld, or at a simple podium. (Seeing staff engulfed by giant desks reminds me of those little old ladies you see piloting massive cars.) Perhaps we could even stop calling our spa concierges “front desk staff.” (It’s a bit like calling massage therapists “massage table staff,” isn’t it?)

In the new spas Wynne Business designs, we include a comfortable “checkout lounge” that encourages lingering, with tables where home care recommendations can be reviewed over a cup of tea and some conversation with a Home Care Advisor. This salesflow strategy separates the departing spa-mellowed guest from the frantic incoming one, who often induces the departing guest to unconsciously “giddyup.” Not good for retail or rescheduling. Even when there isn’t room for a checkout lounge, we include in the design a “checkout bar” with stools. “If you perch, you purchase,” we like to say.

The front desk is one part of the spa business that has never undergone a serious rethink, which is very strange. Yes, we store things in those massive desks, we conceal trash cans and we hide our Starbucks cups (heaven forbid.) But our front desks carry tremendous symbolism. They are the physical manifestation of the intimidation that so many guests still feel when they enter a spa. I have no idea why they are so often front and center, like some sort of altar. Talk about scary.

They also function as a sort of fort, from which your staff defends the spa from the clients. Visit a new spa and try to get a spa concierge out from behind their desk. It’s like prying off a barnacle. Behind a desk, it’s easy to look busy as long as you’re not leaning on it, chin in hands. Imagine what happens when there is no longer a desk to hide behind. Shelves get dusted, products are straightened, guests are interacted with, refreshments proffered, doors are opened.

So why not do away with them altogether? Handhelds make it possible for the “point of sale” to be anywhere the client is–another way to encourage more natural interaction with staff, better customer care, more spontaneity, and oh yes, larger purchases.

As we look for new ways to draw the ellusive Millenials into our spas, rethinking the front desk may be a very good place to start.

Customer Experience Experts Wanted

People Problems

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone in a class or seminar say, “You know, we don’t really have that many issues in our spa–we just have people problems.”

According to a study of 1350 spa guests from Coyle Hospitality Group, “people problems” are the predominant issue in every spa. Coyle, the leading mystery shopping firm in the hospitality industry, undertook a survey to determine the most common spoilers of spa experiences.

The summary notes that, “62% of the respondents mentioned ‘People’ as a significant contributor to the bad experience…Nearly two out of every three people that have a bad experience at a spa are talking about staff behavior. This is most interesting because most spa owners feel that the quality of their staff is their most significant competitive advantage.”

This is a bad news/good news situation. As the Coyle report points out, behavioral problems, unlike issues with your plumbing, are usually inexpensive to fix. However, unlike a one-time fix, correcting people problems–and keeping them corrected–requires focus, discipline, and follow-through. It sometimes requires a cultural shift. It sometimes requires more supervision. It always requires training.

Hearing what guests actually experience is an eye-opener. The top complaint in the Coyle study? Over 100 of the respondents indicated that the “staff was not listening, responsive about special needs, or accommodating,” and 100 more felt there was “too much conversation.” 64 guests experienced “unfriendly, impersonal, robotic staff.” Others noted that they were “ignored by staff during treatment; not checked on,” and a significant number encountered, amazingly enough, “offensive, demeaning” staff. (We took pains to include some of these issues in our customer service training, including role play examples of the wrong and right way to handle various conversations.)

If like many spas you’ve been focusing on promotions to get new guests in the door, there’s encouraging news–and perhaps a cautionary tale–in one statistic. “Only a total of 35 out of 1,350 respondents spoke about value…the price paid is not at the heart of the problem” for most dissatisfied guests. This rogues’ gallery of poor communication skills, in short, has more to do with a lack of repeat business than economic conditions.

This is counterintuitive during a major recession, when discretionary spending has shriveled. The new generation of social-networking discount promotion sites, like Groupon, may seem tempting to a spa with lots of empty space on its books. But focusing on quantity over quality will quickly erode any perceived value that remains for your customers. Taking the high road–staying focused on delivering a stellar guest experience–is a healthier strategy for a spa that wants to be in business in for a long time.

Spa Management Consulting

Moments of Truth: Guest Checkout that Maximizes Retail and Retention

Registration for this webinar has closed and below are the topics which were discussed. This training is available online as Part 3 of The Spa Concierge Finishing School. Please check the Events and Learning Academy pages for this and other trainings.

Your biggest moment of truth in a spa or salon takes place, not in a treatment room or at an employee’s station, but when a client is checking out. This is the moment you must ascertain whether a guest is satisfied, when your guest is invited to reschedule, and when they are invited to make home care purchases. Your challenge? To do all this while checking out guests as quickly and as accurately as possible.

Because your reschedule/retention rate is the most critical metric in business success, this “moment” must consistently ensure the best possible outcome. Being friendly and efficient is important, but it’s only the beginning.

Join us for this webinar, the third in our series for front desk employees and their managers. Presenters Lisa M. Starr and Peggy Wynne Borgman of Wynne business, veteran spa consultants and educators, pack the hour of instruction full of use-it-tomorrow, down to earth content. Jessica Zike of Coyle Hospitality Group, the premier mystery shopping company for the hospitality industry, will kick off the session by providing eye opening real-world performance data from their Mystery Shoppers, as well as anecdotes about front-desk experiences that missed the mark.

Participants will learn:

– The importance of the front desk team in building the business
– The hidden opportunities of checkout
– Who is supposed to do what? Understanding roles and responsibilities in this transitional zone
– Recognizing the guest at checkout; what to do when you don’t know their name
– Creating a smooth “handoff” from a service provider to the front desk
– Creating a smooth transition from the locker room to the front desk
– How to effectively gauge guest satisfaction at checkout
– The most inspiring home care recommendation strategies
– What to do when you’re asked a question you can’t answer!
– How to respond to “objections” such as “I already have something like this at home”
– Building the sale with “bumps”
– The recipe for persuasive invitations to return
– What to say when the guest says, “I need to check my calendar”
– The most neglected step in the checkout process