Relax Clients, Not Standards

Written by Susan Preston

A spa should be a relaxing place for all clients. Women and men enjoy being pampered and taking a break from stress. As life becomes more hectic, the role of the skin care professional is to provide a haven where people can slow down for a short period and be the center of attention.
To give clients the best experience, professionals should not become relaxed in their business practices. This is when trouble arises. If a client feels they are not getting service from a professional, they are more likely to feel “injured” and file a liability claim against the facility.
Many people offering services in spas are independent contractors. The independent contractor usually is not the one who is sued if there is poor service or a perceived injury. It is almost always the spa owner against whom the lawsuit is brought. Both the owner and the professional doing the services have an obligation to give clients their best efforts. This is one good reason the owner of the facility might consider making everyone employees, although there are other issues and costs associated with doing that.
When it comes to massage services, it is crucial to be entirely professional in how the client is treated. The most common claims made against massage facilities and spas fall into two general categories: sexual abuse and increased pain. Abuse situations are expensive and time consuming to resolve. Every massage facility should have a written policy as to the protocol in these cases. Increased pain or physical injury from a massage can be equally serious. It is important to have an intake form that asks the client about their issues and where they might be intolerant to pain. Query the client about how strong they like their massage, since some people might feel pain if the massage is too intense. A back or neck injury can be most expensive to settle in the event of a claim.
Every client who walks through the door of the facility should be treated with respect and professionalism. Have everyone complete the required medical and personal information forms and sign a consent for certain services, such as laser, permanent cosmetics, cellulite treatments, aggressive peels, and massage. So often, the one person who has not signed a consent form is the one to file a lawsuit. Never relax procedures for anyone, including family, friends, or business colleagues. Lowering the business requirements for anyone could lead to allegations that the work was below the standard of care. The client may feel cheated and be more likely to submit a liability claim against the facility.

Susan Preston 2019Susan Preston has been at the forefront of insurance program innovation since 1993 when she founded Professional Program Insurance Brokerage (PPIB) in Novato, California. Preston is also the co-founder of a nonprofit association setting standards for the permanent makeup industry, Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals (SPCP). With industry involvement, Preston and PPIB have been leaders in insurance programs for emerging markets and for the spa industry. Due to the national reputation of PPIB, in 2016 and 2017, Insurance Business America Magazine named Preston one of the 144 Elite Women in Insurance. ppibcorp.com

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