The most important action you can take is to make sure your employees are on their “A” game in every way. This is essential to create a relaxing environment.
You would want the cameras to capture your spa at its best in every way, so that any viewer would easily see the appeal of being a guest at the spa.
While you may never get that call from the Travel Channel, there is certainly the possibility that—for better or worse—you may find your spa featured in a video that could be viewed by hundreds or even thousands of potential guests. Guests today have more tools than ever before to communicate their impressions about your spa and your staff. Make sure the impression they capture, whether mentally or on an actual camera, is one that is beneficial—not detrimental—to your business.
Keys to quality customer service
1 Hire slow, fire fast.All businesses that lead the way in customer service live by this rule. You must always have a great team in place, with individuals who can create the positive impressions that make customers want to rave about your spa and continue to do business with you over and over again. Positive people create positive experiences, which is particularly important in the spa industry. If you have one person on your staff that does not project this type of attitude, they must go. All it takes is one negative encounter to lose a customer, and this may cause them to write something unflattering about their experience with you—or worse, film it! Conversely, a positive encounter can make a guest your biggest advocate.
“I believe it is important to talk about company culture and hiring individuals who have the same values,” says David Brenner, spa director at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne in Miami, FL. “It is also important to know your company’s values and how to recognize those same values when hiring. Everything from recruiting practices to the questions asked in the interview process will determine who is a right fit for the company and team. Ask direct questions, to which candidates can articulate specific examples of actions and results. For example, describe your favorite customer service moment and what you did to make it special for the guest.”
2 Provide solid training.Proper training on a continuous basis is essential to a strong team. And there must always be a specific training protocol for new employees, even if it is brief.
This initial training period for staff must address how to be truly service focused. Make sure that your new hires can answer simple questions about your company and the surrounding area with courtesy and kindness. The words you use can make a lasting impression.
A philosophy of staff training at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne is that the way something is said is just as important as the words that are actually used. The company has created cheat sheets on how saying the same thing in different ways can create dialogue and better communication. This is especially important when it comes to communicating with clients who speak different languages.
3 Develop standards of service—and exceed them.People tend to rise to the level of expectations that are set for them. Work with your team to create a list of standards. Make sure that they have clear guidelines for providing exceptional service, and that they know how to handle any difficult situations that might arise.
In the hospitality industry, leading customer service organizations have a daily line-up. This routine is an opportunity for employees to be trained in meetings that last three to five minutes.
Apply a similar concept at your company to provide information and updates, and constantly review service standards and customer service principles. Many organizations in the hospitality industry use some version of the line-up. At the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, line-ups are an opportunity for team members to share stories of how their exceptional services have enriched the guest experience to reinforce why standards are important and that they work. Brenner says that when co-workers share their own experiences and ideas with one another, it can often foster better solutions. This helps engage them in the process and cement the principles in their own actions. Teaching a skill to someone else is a great way for an employee to strengthen that very skill in themselves.
4 Make guests say WOW!Figure out what your spa can do to create an experience to “wow” your guests. Think about how doing something unique within your spa can captivate and impress your guests, and make them share that impression with others. Your staff must make it a point to know your clients’ preferences to build relationships and customize their experiences with you. “If a therapist remembers that the client’s favorite scent is lavender and that they are allergic to nuts, it will wow their guest and raise the bar for everyone,” says Brenner. He also emphasizes that the importance of a name—both the guest’s name and the staff member’s name—is paramount. Using the guest’s name helps to build trust, and by making your own name known to them, they know who to ask for when they schedule the next visit. As Dale Carnegie—a pioneer in public speaking, self-improvement and interpersonal skills—said, “A person’s name is to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language.”
Arguably, the ideas presented in this article are simple. However, the reality is that it does not take much effort to distinguish your company and make it worthy of a visit from The Travel Channel (or someone who will put it on their own channel).