Best practises from the experts for running a successful spa

Running a successful spa takes work and insight. Here are some best practises from great minds in the industry.

A great leader in hospitality, spa, and wellness is always learning and working to improve their management and leadership skills.

There are so many tasks to juggle, KPIs to track, and team members to motivate. At any time of day you may be working on marketing, budgets, staff scheduling, inventory, or customer and stakeholder relationships. You need to get the best possible results out of your own efforts and your team’s efforts at all times.

In this post we’re sharing some best practises from four of Book4Time’s leaders to help you improve operations, increase revenue, and inspire your teams.

Take charge of your customer relationships 

Nadia Rehman
Sales Director at Book4Time

Building relationships with your customers is the foundation of a great guest experience. Your customer relationships are sacred, and are your competitive advantage in the marketplace. You can make the most of these relationships and take them to the next level with a great customer relationship management (CRM) solution.

This solution is like having a life insurance policy on your business; you think you don’t need it until you do. CRM can help with every aspect of your business and at every touchpoint in the guest journey.

In a nutshell, a CRM allows you to collect customer information, maintain customer profiles, and leverage this data to increase marketing conversions, streamline operations, elevate guest experience, and increase revenue.

These profiles can include details like name, contact information, a guest’s preferred drink, robe and slipper size, purchase history, and preferences around checking in or out. The information can be used to make guests feel comfortable and special.

A CRM can also be used to log bits of valuable information from conversations between guests and staff, so that they can pick up where they left off, and ask how that vacation went or how their partner’s knee surgery went. Take note of birthdays and other special dates, so you can mark them with a gift, special offer, or a card.

These details are what will set you apart from the competition.

Focus on ease of booking

Erica Martin,
Sales Director at Book4Time

It’s hard to choose just one best practice but one that is always top of mind is making your booking process as easy and accessible as possible. This is key to maximizing occupancy. Most spas now offer online booking, but there isn’t always a clear path for guests to get there. We often see websites where you need to search and scroll, sometimes through several pages, to find that tiny “Book Now” button. In these cases, guests are likely to lose interest or get frustrated and move on to one of your competitors. Keep your booking button front and center on your main web page, or on the spa page on your hotel website. This doesn’t mean it has to be right in the middle but somewhere visible and easy to access is key.

If you have your treatment menu on your site add a link to book specific services next to each description. Another option is to build the booking tool directly into your site, which allows you to customize even more of the booking experience and overall flow for your guests.

QR codes are another way to direct guests to view your menu and book an appointment. Hotel/resort or casino spas can place advertisements for the spa with QR code throughout the property.

Play with yield management

Amanda O’Shea 
Senior Customer Success Manager at Book4Time 

Yield management provides a great opportunity to maximize revenue during peak times and drive business on off-peak days. For a lot of city spas with local clients this typically looks like an increase in pricing Friday through Sunday. To ensure a successful yield management strategy it’s important to analyze your business first. What are your most popular services? When are you typically turning away business? Is there a trend in call offs of your service providers on certain days as a result of slower business levels? What treatments offer the highest profit margins per booked treatment room / hour? Pulling this data, collected by your software system, will allow you to start building a bigger picture of how you can structure your revenue management strategy in order to ensure it is a success.

Yield management does not mean you need to apply discounts. It could be a slight mark up on busier days, or the addition of a value-add service or product on slower days, to entice your customers to book those hard-to-fill time slots. Or, based on your business analysis results, you might decide that it’s not worth it to allow booking of waxing or express services on weekends as you can drive a much higher profit margin using that same treatment room for a massage service. There are so many great ways to maximize your revenue using the yield management model, it doesn’t have to be a daunting process and is something you can try and adjust as needed based on the feedback you receive. Clients are becoming more accustomed to this revenue management style as we see it in Hotel room and airline bookings all the time. Once it’s clearly communicated and linked to your online booking management I’ve never found it to be an issue with our guests. Service providers are happy as their columns are filling up on slower days, and even small yield strategies make a big difference to year over year results.

It doesn’t have to be complicated – give it a try!

Create a supportive team environment

By Sal Capizzi,
Solutions Specialist at Book4Time & Features Editor at Spa Executive

Reducing negativity and allowing positivity to flow decreases stress levels, and improves mental focus and overall wellbeing. Creating a positive work environment will have an immense impact on the performance of your team and the success of your business. When therapists enter their sessions in a state of calm, they are able to provide the best possible treatment and guest experience, and this results in repeat business and return clients.

When it comes to coaching our teams, I believe in a focus on the positive. Everyone responds differently to coaching, but eight times out of 10, embracing strengths will be more effective than fixating on shortcomings. This means more “I want to help you focus on this” and less  “You need to be better at this.”

Find the individual strengths of your team members and praise them. It has probably taken them many years of trial and error with their flow or massage techniques to become masters of their craft. Demonstrate that you recognize and respect this.

Pay attention and be an active listener during your check-ins. Actively ask about their future plans and determine areas of opportunity for employees to grow in their careers. This will show your team members that you have their best interests at heart. Maybe they too want to become spa directors one day, or maybe someone really wants to become a cupping expert. Take that into consideration and consider discussing potential continuing education courses and credits with your individual team members.

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