Service By Design

This past weekend I was ready to drop a good chunk of cash to purchase a brand of makeup I'm addicted to from a local spa. But I ended up leaving with all my money still in my purse.

How is this possible? I even knew what I wanted to buy...no one had to sell me on anything.

Upon happily arriving at the salon, there was only one service provider, who was busy with guests, and the receptionist to hold down the fort. But, to my great disappointment the attendant covering the phone couldn't offer me any information about the makeup line they carried…other than to show me where it was displayed.

My product purchase could have been a 10 minute, $200 sale for this spa. But it ended in zero dollars for the spa...and a disappointed new customer (me).

Please, don't ever think outstanding customer service is a friendly face and a polite manner. It's NOT enough to bring up your sales.

A successful spa business needs specific design, strategy and training for ALL staff to sell all services and product they provide, including non-technical staff. <- Click to Tweet

If we look closely at uber-successful companies like Disney, we see their approach to Service Design & Strategy is taken very seriously because they know it is fundamental to their bottom line.

Where did I learn the power of product knowledge? Funnily enough, it wasn't from the spa industry (shocker). During the 90's I put myself through esthetics school waitressing at Earls Restaurants. Before I was allowed to serve a table on my own, I was required to participate in Product Knowledge training and testing.

There was even a written test and if you didn’t pass, you couldn’t work there! All staff in the restaurant had to know exactly what ingredients were in each meal and how to describe it in mouth-watering detail to our guests or you weren't allowed to serve tables. I also noticed that those servers who were kick-ass at their PK had higher bills...and bigger gratuities. Hmmm...I knew Earl's was definitely on to something.

So why is it spa owners tend to throw their staff into the customer flow without thorough & consistent training? My guess is they aren’t aware how this lack of protocol is affecting their profits and literally is leaking money on a daily basis.

My experience this weekend could have been a totally random situation, but it was enough to spark this post because it’s certainly not the first time I’ve come across a spa that lost the sale because their esthetics or reception staff are under-trained in service or product knowledge.

Set your spa business up to succeed with a comprehensive staff education system. It's the only way to consistently exceed your guests’ expectations and improve your bottom line when you have a team.

And, once you have the system set up...it's easily repeatable.