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Lisa Starr: high-performing spas have five components for success
POSTED 20 May 2016 . BY Jane Kitchen
“We are staging experiences, not processing transactions,” said Starr
Lisa Starr, senior consultant for Wynne Business, spoke at Beautyworld Middle East’s Business in Beauty Summit earlier this week on “Success strategies of high-performing spas.”

There are five components for success said Starr: concept and vision; financial and operational structure; building the right team; targeted marketing and sales; and quality management and leadership.

When thinking about concept and vision, spa leaders should ask themselves, ‘why should clients patronise you?’ said Starr. Often, we fall prey to the cliche of ‘If we build it, they will come,’ she explained, but a successful spa needs more than that.

Creating a brand means having a personal vision, creating a story and connecting the dots – how do you make your vision meet the needs of the marketplace? Brand differentiators should be unique and compelling, said Starr, including your brand style, which could include a distinctive logo or identity, a tagline or motto, branded visuals and branded design in terms of decor, signage, uniforms or colour scheme.

When it comes to the finance and operations structure, effective financial management is key, said Starr. That includes keeping a detailed chart of accounts, income statements, technical and support payroll, isolation of treatment costs, ratios and benchmarks, and cash flow.

It’s also important to look at performance metrics, including things such as average spend per client, retail to service or total sales ratio, utilisation rates, client retention rates, capture rates and hotel ADR.

Evaluating your sales flow can help find gaps in the process; is there a consultation process to book clients into optimum services? Who’s responsible for closing sales? Is the retail area experiential or transactional – are there reasons to linger, such as a hands-on environment or the availability of refreshments? Is there a rebooking programme?

When it comes to building the right team, it’s important to start with the right attitude.

“A customer is anyone who has an exchange of value with our company,” said Starr. “External customers are our guests, but internal customers are your co-workers. External customers reflect the happiness of the internal customers.”

Keeping staff’s purpose in mind is also key. Spa therapists are often motivated by relationships and a desire to heal and help, for instance, while support staff need an understanding of your treatments and products as well as experience in treatments. And all staff need a solid foundation in hospitality.

“Successful service providers create a positive connection with every guest,” said Starr. They also honour individual needs and preferences, analyse and problem-solve, educate and inform and offer solutions – all strengths you should look for in the hiring process.

When creating marketing solutions, focus on your ideal client in terms of economic factors, demographics, psychographics, frequency cycle and purpose, suggests Starr. Remember that different benefits create different levels of motivation; a client who is looking for improved wellbeing to feel better has a more urgent need for therapy than one who is looking for escape and indulgence.

Starr suggests creating compelling solutions, such as home care recommendation tools, retreats and rituals, referral rewards or loyalty or membership programmes.

It’s also important to remember your guests’ expectations, said Starr. They expect that they’re entering a perfect world, where they will experience a total escape from the stress of reality, everyone they encounter will be experts and they will emerge transformed, glowing, renewed and relaxed.

“We are staging experiences, not processing transactions,” said Starr. “We are not filling orders, or getting clients in and out as fast as possible, and we are not becoming their best friends.”

And finally, Starr said it’s important to remember that consistency is vital.

“Going above and beyond only matters if you’ve mastered consistency in your customer service,” she explained. “A consistent competitor with lower service levels may have happier clients than you do if you’re only world-class part of the time.”
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NEWS
Lisa Starr: high-performing spas have five components for success
POSTED 20 May 2016 . BY Jane Kitchen
“We are staging experiences, not processing transactions,” said Starr
Lisa Starr, senior consultant for Wynne Business, spoke at Beautyworld Middle East’s Business in Beauty Summit earlier this week on “Success strategies of high-performing spas.”

There are five components for success said Starr: concept and vision; financial and operational structure; building the right team; targeted marketing and sales; and quality management and leadership.

When thinking about concept and vision, spa leaders should ask themselves, ‘why should clients patronise you?’ said Starr. Often, we fall prey to the cliche of ‘If we build it, they will come,’ she explained, but a successful spa needs more than that.

Creating a brand means having a personal vision, creating a story and connecting the dots – how do you make your vision meet the needs of the marketplace? Brand differentiators should be unique and compelling, said Starr, including your brand style, which could include a distinctive logo or identity, a tagline or motto, branded visuals and branded design in terms of decor, signage, uniforms or colour scheme.

When it comes to the finance and operations structure, effective financial management is key, said Starr. That includes keeping a detailed chart of accounts, income statements, technical and support payroll, isolation of treatment costs, ratios and benchmarks, and cash flow.

It’s also important to look at performance metrics, including things such as average spend per client, retail to service or total sales ratio, utilisation rates, client retention rates, capture rates and hotel ADR.

Evaluating your sales flow can help find gaps in the process; is there a consultation process to book clients into optimum services? Who’s responsible for closing sales? Is the retail area experiential or transactional – are there reasons to linger, such as a hands-on environment or the availability of refreshments? Is there a rebooking programme?

When it comes to building the right team, it’s important to start with the right attitude.

“A customer is anyone who has an exchange of value with our company,” said Starr. “External customers are our guests, but internal customers are your co-workers. External customers reflect the happiness of the internal customers.”

Keeping staff’s purpose in mind is also key. Spa therapists are often motivated by relationships and a desire to heal and help, for instance, while support staff need an understanding of your treatments and products as well as experience in treatments. And all staff need a solid foundation in hospitality.

“Successful service providers create a positive connection with every guest,” said Starr. They also honour individual needs and preferences, analyse and problem-solve, educate and inform and offer solutions – all strengths you should look for in the hiring process.

When creating marketing solutions, focus on your ideal client in terms of economic factors, demographics, psychographics, frequency cycle and purpose, suggests Starr. Remember that different benefits create different levels of motivation; a client who is looking for improved wellbeing to feel better has a more urgent need for therapy than one who is looking for escape and indulgence.

Starr suggests creating compelling solutions, such as home care recommendation tools, retreats and rituals, referral rewards or loyalty or membership programmes.

It’s also important to remember your guests’ expectations, said Starr. They expect that they’re entering a perfect world, where they will experience a total escape from the stress of reality, everyone they encounter will be experts and they will emerge transformed, glowing, renewed and relaxed.

“We are staging experiences, not processing transactions,” said Starr. “We are not filling orders, or getting clients in and out as fast as possible, and we are not becoming their best friends.”

And finally, Starr said it’s important to remember that consistency is vital.

“Going above and beyond only matters if you’ve mastered consistency in your customer service,” she explained. “A consistent competitor with lower service levels may have happier clients than you do if you’re only world-class part of the time.”
RELATED STORIES
FEATURE: News report: SWAA conference


Lisa Starr highlights takeaway points from Africa’s first spa conference
FEATURE: Survey: Pay Day


Disparities in therapist pay globally are highlighted in a unique survey organised by Lisa Starr for the Spa Business Handbook
FEATURE: Safari Spa: Animal instinct


Safari spas are the staple for Amani, one of South Africa's largest spa chains. Lisa Starr talks to MD Ronleigh Gordon
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Sommerhuber GmbH - Ceramic heated LOUNGER ONE PLUS - ultimate relaxation
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Eden Roc, Cap Cana and Melia Punta Cana Beach, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
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ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2022

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS