with Dana Neal
Spa Manager of Kneaded Relief
Day Spa & Wellness
How would you define the concept of your spa?
Kneaded Relief Day Spa & Wellness is a full service wellness spa devoted to creating a strong body, mind and spirit for each of our guests.
What are your most popular treatments?
We specialize in several massage therapies, facials, waxing and nail services, body treatments, hydrotherapy treatments and wellness classes.
How many treatment rooms and other amenities do you have?
We have four massage rooms, three esthetics rooms, one nail suite that includes three manicure tables and three pedicure thrones, one couple’s suite, a private steam shower, a private dual steam shower, an aromatherapy bath, personal training studio, wellness classes, locker room and relaxation retreat. Our relaxation retreat is where guests go before, in-between or after services.
What daily challenges do you face in your spa manager position?
Keeping everyone up to speed at all times is definitely a daily challenge. We are open seven days a week and with a staff of about 35 people, proper communication is certainly a task to maintain. I am constantly working to make sure any important news is relayed to the entire team.
How do you manage stress that works brings into your life?
I have a 45-minute commute back and forth and I use this time to unwind. I am not generally one to stress easily, but if I really need to relax, listening to music during my commute is a great tension reliever! Singing and dancing in my car is a great way to shake off the stress too!
What takes most of your time every day?
My time is monopolized primarily by two things: communication with my clients and staff and solving any problems that may occur.
How many employees do you have and what are their specialties?
We have a total of 35 employees. I am the spa manager and also one of the group fitness instructors. We have two owners (one who is also a personal trainer and one who is also a back up for esthetics). We have 11 guest service members, 11 massage therapists, five estheticians, five nail technicians and two personal trainers, (one who is also the owner and the other is also a massage therapist).
What is your hiring process?
The potential employee is first asked to fill out an application. They are then scheduled for a phone interview and, if we choose to pursue them, we will have them come in for a hands-on interview in their field of expertise. Lastly, the possible hire is scheduled for an inperson question and answer interview.
How do you evaluate employees?
After being hired, the staff member has one-month, three-month and sixmonth check-ins with myself and/or their department head. This consists of a one-on-one meeting where they discuss performance over the previous time period. Annually we have a wage review with the owners, which is based on how we scored the individual at their monthly performance reviews. Employees that stand out are the ones who embrace changes in the spa and those who are innovative and take initiative.
How do you train your staff?
Our training ends up being about a six-month process. The first two weeks involve an orientation followed by time scheduled with the employee’s department head as well as an owner. We then schedule ‘practice’ appointments on the new staff. Through the six months we train the employees on the advanced services that we provide so that they do not feel overwhelmed at the beginning of their hire.
How do you keep your employee happy?
We keep our employees happy by offering complimentary services and gift certificates. We also offer health, dental and vision insurance, an education benefit, room to grow within the company, a simple IRA and annual parties.
What are your retail goals?
We set a monthly retail goal for our staff. Usually it is anywhere between 11 and 14 percent of our service sales.
What incentives do you have for your staff to reach these goals?
Percentage of clients purchasing retail is an individual goal for each team member. This is a very, very small part of what can earn them a raise.
Where is the retail area located?
Our retail area is in the front of the facility when you first walk in and covers about one-sixth of the entire space. We make sure it is visible to everyone who enters our spa, which gives us the opportunity to make recommendations before the client leaves.
What can you tell us about your marketing techniques?
I write a number of blog articles, which are displayed on our website, to help our guests better understand Kneaded Relief and what we strive to do. A lot of our marketing is also focused on social media because we feel that is where our clients really are. We provide our guests the opportunity to give us reviews and feedback via Facebook and Instagram and also display some of our work on social media as well.
Exceptional Client Care
How do you keep clients loyal?
We always discuss with our clients future care and at-home care regimens. Because we encourage them to not only come visit us again but to also be sure to take care of themselves on their own, our guests understand and trust that our recommendations are from the heart and not from the wallet.
Do you offer any incentives to your clients to guarantee they come back again?
We offer Relief Points, which are given to clients for pre-booking an appointment, referring a guest and trying out a new service. One thousand points equals one dollar. When a guest is new and pre-books after they pay for their next service they receive 5,000 points on their account. If they are not new but they pre-book an appointment they receive 2,000 points. Clients receive 5,000 points for a referral and 2,000 points for trying a new service.
Tips For Spa Leaders
What advice would you give to someone who would like to manage a spa?
Do not take things personally. If you give 100 percent and do everything you can to make someone’s day and they are still not happy, you cannot hold onto it. Come up with a solution and let it go. Just because you work in a relaxing environment does not mean you will have a relaxing job. Remember to have patience, teach your employees properly and practice exceptional customer service.
We want to hear from YOU!
Share your insider tips on running a successful practice with us, and you may be featured in an upcoming edition of Les Nouvelles Esthétiques & Spa. Simply send an email to amanda@LNEonline.com (50 to 100 words). Together, let’s build a community one word at a time!