Spa Consumers in Pain?
A session at the 2010 Global Spa Summit that got very high ratings was the Coyle Hospitality Report on Spa Consumers. Coyle has been in business 15 years and is well known for its mystery shopping services, having 6,000 “evaluaters” all over the world. Not only did Stephanie Perrone Goldstein do a good job with the presentation but I think the information really resonated. After all, this was about the consumer!
Sometimes I think we (and I am probably more guilty than most) get so focused on our industry and the opinions and insights of fellow colleagues that we forget that the real key to our businesses, and indeed our future is the consumer. This report, titled “Priorities of Today’s Spa Consumer” was gathered in 2010; not only was the information of great interest to the industry, it was also timely.
While I think you will find the entire report of interest, these were the highlights (and one major surprise) from my point of view:
- The #1 reason (89%) people go to spas is for relaxation and stress management (no surprise here)
- 34% of spa goers were introduced to the spa by a gift (also, no surprise)
- Word of mouth is the #1way people communicate positive feedback about a spa, followed by email to friends
- The #1 way consumers find spas is through SpaFinder (44%) followed by all general search engines (43%). That was a nice number to see – hubby Peter (and SpaFinder CEO) was especially thrilled to see that all his marketing efforts are paying off, as verified by this independent report.
- The #1 reason people go to spa websites is to find deals (62%) followed by viewing spa menus (57%)
- When people were asked to describe their worst experience at a spa , the #1 complaint was ”in pain!” (40%)
And that was the surprise!
Since I have never experienced pain after a massage (and I do like deep massage work) it was a real eye-opener to see this finding. When I looked at this slide as a whole, seeing that allergic reactions, not feeling relaxed, ineffective treatment, etc. were also mentioned, I realized that there is a real opportunity here for our industry. These issues are all very fixable and would likely result in a much higher return rate for a spa in particular and the industry as a whole than we are currently seeing!
Here are some ideas:
1. Share these results with therapists
2. Going forward, avoid deep massage or anything painful during a massage for all first time spa guests at least
3. Follow up with the client later that day and/or the next day to see if there was any pain, allergic reaction, etc.
And just in case you weren’t feeling comfortable with the idea of following up, note that a whopping 88% of respondents said they would welcome follow up – just make sure to do it by email rather than phone, and ideally by the manager rather than the therapist. Hmmm, let’s do the math….if we all increased our return rate….
My twitter address: @susieellis
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