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Mastering Complaint Resolution And Service Recovery

WEBINAR: Mastering Complaint Resolution and Service Recovery

Registration has closed.  Below are the topics which were discussed. 
This training is Part 4 of the Spa Concierge Finishing School
and can be accessed on our Learning Academy page.

Join us  for this employee training session, co-presented by Lisa Starr and Peggy Wynne Borgman. We include time for your questions at the end of the presentation.

  • Are you confident in your employees’ ability to resolve guest complaints?
  • Do they know how to handle the inevitable issues that arise in a busy spa operation?
  • Are you certain that guests leave your spa satisfied?
  • When was the last time they received training in complaint resolution?

A great reputation has always been the best way to market a spa. But the internet has made superior customer service a crucial survival skill.

Web search is one of your top marketing modalities, and negative reviews can cost you thousands of dollars in lost revenue.

Our employee training webinar, “Moments of Truth: Mastering Complaint Resolution and Service Recovery” can give you a chance to economically and quickly get your team up to speed.

Don’t let another month pass without inoculating your front line team against mediocre customer service, and common errors.

“The road to success is paved with mistakes well handled,” said the founder of Neiman Marcus. This webinar is designed to enable your front desk team to manage the inevitable mistakes and mishaps of a busy spa operation, while strengthening customer relationships and improving customer service. The adrenaline-charged moment when an upset customer complains is a make-or-break event for your business. Make sure your team doesn’t hide their heads in the sand–ensure that they will ride to the rescue of your reputation!
Dowload for unlimited use within your business.

Agenda:
• Why your team must treat complaints as an opportunity
• 96% of your guests won’t complain; how to treat the 4% who do
• Using complaint resolution to improve relationships
• How online review sites have magnified the power of unhappy guests, and what to do about it
• Managing the “fight or flight” response when confronted by an upset customer
• The five steps to masterful complaint resolution
• Cultivating awareness: the ounce of preventation
• How to ask questions that get real answers from your guests
• Making it easy to complain
• How and when to apologize
• Helping the guest realize you’re “on their side”
• Avoiding the common mistakes of complaint resolution, including explaining, blame and scapegoating
• How to effectively manage a “venting” guest
• Techniques to improve your listening skills
• How to tell the difference between an upset and an abusive customer–and what to do about it
• Restoring a guest’s faith
• Making amends without giving away the store
• What most clients really want from “amends”
• The hidden danger in giving refunds too quickly
• What to do when your offer of amends is rejected by an upset guest
• How to prevent problems from recurring

Please check the Events and Learning Academy pages for our offered trainings.
Seven Steps To Abundant Sales And Stellar Customer Service

Spa Employees From Hell!

We posted this short, funny, customer service video on YouTube, showing common sales and service “horrors” that happen in spas and salons everywhere, ruining chances of retaining guests, rescheduling, and retailing. Each vignette illustrates a fatal flaw–some obvious, some more subtle–and all of them re-enactments of real spa employee behavior I’ve personally experienced. It’s a great clip to show at a spa staff meeting, and certain to get people talking.

When you’re ready for the horror to end, you’ll find each of these scenes, along with vignettes showing the proper way to “replay” each, available on DVD and mp4 format, titled Selvice: Seven Steps to Abundant Sales and Stellar Customer Service.

Please email us to receive a copy.

Thanks to BoomCycle Online Marketing for their stellar video editing on “Tales from the Spa.”

Mastering The Reservations Call

Front Desk Training: Mastering the Spa Reservations Call

Registration for this webinar has closed and below are the topics which were discussed. This training is available online as Part 2 of The Spa Concierge Finishing School. Please check the Events and Learning Academy pages for this and other trainings.

The first in our “Moments of Truth” series for your front desk team, this one-hour session is perfect for honing skills, building sales awareness and enhancing the service mindset.

Guests who are calling you for reservations are not just looking for appointments, they’re seeking a “preview of coming attractions.” Does your team handle your reservations calls like ho-hum, routine transactions, or do they strive to create a positive and memorable experience for every guest? This training session for front desk and reservations employees and their supervisors is an eye-opening journey into what it takes to provide five-star reservations service while growing sales.

Agenda:
• Are you “filling an order” or “creating an experience” for your guests?
• Moments of Truth and why they’re so important to guest satisfaction
• The Three Elements of every great service experience
• Getting the Greeting right
• Finding your voice: what your guest wants to hear
• Creating rapport with callers who have different “social styles”
• Making the best possible first impression
• Essentials of telephone etiquette
• The do’s and don’ts of the “hold”
• Using the guest’s name effectively
• How to answer those tough or tricky questions (like “who’s your best massage therapist?”)
• Shortcuts for creating rapport quickly
• Active listening techniques
• What your returning guests need from the reservations call
• What they’re really saying when they ask, “How much are your facials?”
• Spreading the love around: how to make sure all your guests get great care
• Offering alternatives when their selection isn’t available
• Upgrading gracefully
• The best way to discuss “gender preference” for massage appointments
• How to communicate your cancellation policy without ruining the mood
• Helping ensure a smooth first visit: pre-arrival orientation
• The Fond Farewell

 

spa client reception

Front Desk Training: Checkout that Maximizes Rescheduling & Retail

Registration for this webinar has closed.  Below are the topics which were discussed.  Please check the Events and Learning Academy pages for our offered 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

 

Online Spa Management Training

The Spa Director’s Management Intensive: August 22-25

Registration for this training has closed and below are the topics which were discussed.  Please check the Events and Learning Academy pages for our offered trainings.  Interested in trainings in your area? Please email us.

If you own, manage, or plan to invest in a spa, this program is a must!

Co-taught by Peggy Wynne Borgman and Lisa M. Starr of Wynne Business Spa Consulting

Read more

The Transforming Power Of Hospitality In Business

World Class? Not so fast.

In an increasingly virtual world, the “high touch” spas are one place consumers go for good old fashioned, live, hands on (literally) customer care. When our clients finally tear themselves away from their keyboards, PDAs and iPads, they’re ready to have their socks knocked off–by your employees.

Are they up to the challenge?

As we all know by now, the new generation of spa goer is the quintessential “tough room.” Millennials currently have a hair-trigger sensitivity about perceptions of slight and a penchant for ignoring their (grandmother’s) admonition, “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say it at all.” Actually, they don’t say it. They go online.

Of course, all these dark thoughts used to stay trapped in a “thinks” bubble over the heads of your clients. Now their concerns, quirks and criticisms are out there, for all the world to see. And as you’ve heard me argue before, that’s good. We can learn from our mistakes faster, albeit in a public forum.

Embarrassing, yes? Efficient? You betcha. (Did you ever do the dumb thing again after the teacher called you to the front of the room?)

So, Ms. Spa Director, you’ve made some lofty promises about your team. And you’ve done some training. (“We had that training,” is one of my favorite phrases. Alas, training doesn’t work like a measles vaccine.)

Here’s one of the first challenges…have your staff members ever patronized a spa like yours (or better yet, yours)? How can you expect an employee who hasn’t actually been a guest of a five-star resort to know what they’re supposed to be creating? How can a receptionist in a renowned medical spa know what your patients are expecting? Would you trust a pastry chef to bake a fabulous chocolate torte if they’d never tasted chocolate? Begin your training program for any employee by having them start as a guest. (The prospective employees that research your spa by visiting as a guest first move to the front of the selection process!)

One of the core values of world class service is empathy, a trait common to people attracted to the spa industry. Individuals who are highly endowed with this trait will have an enormous leg up in creating a great service experience for your guests. Yet the road to lousy service is paved with good intentions. World class service requires, not just a good heart, but a lot of structure. A good head.

The best kind of structure is like training wheels: initially, you ask that a new employee follow protocols to a T. You ask that they get a manager’s approval for anything remotely “out of the box.” Then, as you watch them in action, observe their instincts, their judgement, you can gradually give them more latitude. Some people flunk out at this point. If an employee lacks horse sense, all the niceness in the world will not compensate.

Five-star, world class service is not nearly as regimented as you might think. Several years ago, Ritz Carlton hit a ceiling of service with their heavy reliance on scripting. The evolving “world class service consumer” doesn’t want a rigid formula. They want an artistic service experience. The CEO of Auberge Resorts believes that “at the five star level, guests don’t want scripting.”

At a certain point, after your employees have reproduced excellent service standards with consistency, it’s time to let them improvise. At that level, service truly becomes art.

The recipe for world class service is simple, but it’s not easy (thanks to Holly Stiel for that distinction.)

1. Hire people with outstanding core values, including empathy, mutual respect, personal integrity and healthy self esteem
2. Train them: formally, informally, by example, repeatedly, and by having them train others
3. Give them the opportunity to express their individuality and elevate their performance to art

Let’s look at #2: Training. We all agree it’s important. But in the “tyranny of the immediate” that rules busy spa operations, there’s often more lip service than action. Pulling everyone together for a group training (still the most effective way to train) can be next to impossible. But letting a staff member attend a webinar during “downtime” is something any spa can pull off, and sooner rather than later.

Ambitious initiatives can be expensive and have a short half-life. This leads to the very wrong conclusion that training doesn’t deliver adequate ROI. “World class” status can actually be achieved more easily by taking consistent, small and common-sense training steps. The key is measuring. “What gets measured, gets done,” as the saying goes. If you know that a front-line employee needs to complete three specific training sessions before he or she completes the New Employee Period, that’s simple. Enabling them to determine when and where those sessions take place, within a time period, makes it more likely that they’ll succeed.

The spa industry, following the lead of retail stores, is bifurcating into luxury and economy sectors. The middle has already begun to atrophy. Neither path is easy; one is a red ocean of endless discounting, the other a challenging world of ever-higher expectations. World class service, to paraphrase, is not a destination, but a journey.

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.

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