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Why your spa clients aren’t coming back and what you can do about it

Returning customers are an imperative part of your spa business. We all know it costs significantly more to obtain a new customer than it does to retain an existing one.

But that doesn’t mean retention is effortless. You have to do some work. Start by analyzing your business and your customer behaviours. Ask yourself: Are your returning client numbers as high as they should be? Do people come back to your spa again and again because they love it? Or do guests come once or twice, and then mysteriously disappear, never to be heard from again?

If your guests aren’t coming back, here are three reasons why:

They had a bad experience

Obvious, right? Maybe they didn’t like the therapist, or they were kept waiting, or someone was rude to them.

But – here’s the thing – the majority of the time, a dissatisfied customer isn’t going to tell anyone they’re unhappy – they just won’t come back. In fact, depending on who you ask, the percent of customers who won’t complain ranges between 50% – 90%. That’s huge. Anywhere from half to most of your unhappy customers aren’t telling you they’re unhappy. And how are you supposed to fix a problem you don’t know exists?

But wait. It gets worse.

Even though they’re not complaining to you, they are complaining to their friends and networks, all of whom are going to write off your spa as well.

Frequently, the only way to know whether a guest had an unfortunate experience in your spa is to ask. The easiest way to do this is face to face. But follow up surveys sent immediately after the treatment may elicit more honest and in-depth answers, as people may not feel comfortable complaining in person.

Only by getting the right feedback can you provide the best guest experience.

The booking process was a pain

Here’s what might have happened: They had to call and talk to a live person – a less and less popular way to do things these days, particularly for the younger generation. Maybe they had to wait on hold, or, even worse, leave a message and wait for someone to call them back. Then they didn’t answer the phone because they didn’t recognize the number, and they never got the voicemail because who checks voicemail anymore?

Or maybe they decided at 11 pm that they wanted to book a massage for the following morning and you didn’t have online booking.

So, in all these situations, the guest did the obvious thing – they went somewhere else.

Even if they loved the last massage or facial they got at your spa, that doesn’t mean they’re going to immediately become forever loyal. Loyalty takes a lot more than just good service. And one thing that facilitates loyalty is convenience.

You didn’t stay in touch

I’m sure your spa is memorable and wonderful, but people are busy, and we forget stuff and are easily distracted by new offers and opportunities. So, even if someone plans to come back every two weeks or once a month for a treatment, the reality is that they’re going to forget and then, six months later, wind up just booking something at wherever is convenient.

Following up with reminders and offers – without being pushy – can remind your guests what they like so much about you and why they need to come back the see you again.

Think of your guests as friends with whom you want to build and maintain a relationship. Friends stay in touch with each other.

In order to keep guests coming back, you have to ask questions, provide convenience, and build a relationship. When clients feel that you care about them and that their needs are being met, then they will come back to you.

Does your spa management software help you build relationships with your clients? Book4Time, the world’s most innovative cloud-based spa management software, offers guest surveys, online booking, and more, to help you keep your guests happy and coming back. Learn more at

For more about how online booking can help, click here.

(Image: Copyright: rilueda / 123RF Stock Photo)

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