Today, almost every industry has begun to feel the effects of the economic downturn in one way or another. The spa and hospitality industry is no exception. During the past few months, this market has seen a dramatic shift in consumer behavior. Most spa professionals have seen a decrease in new clients as well as less in frequency from regular customers.
While today’s economic outlook may be bleak, there are things an individual or company can do to rise above the recession. While most spa professionals’ first inclination is to offer discounts, this can actually hurt their bottom line. I believe there are other, better strategies that can help those within the spa industry succeed in this time of uncertainty. The number one rule of thumb is to differentiate yourself or your business from the competition. The following are just a few steps to take in order to set your enterprise apart and come out on top:
Comprehensive Value: Hardworking professionals are therefore stressed and in need of therapeutic treatments, but they are scrutinizing value. Spas should promote any services or facilities that are offered “for free” by the spa or salon. For example, most spas have a sauna, steam rooms, and/or relaxation rooms that can be utilized pre-or post-massage. Or they offer complimentary herbal teas and snack items. Make sure clients are aware of spas offerings so they feel they will get the most for their money.
Creative Packaging: Reviewing and understanding your clientele will help you understand how to “seal the deal.” For example, if you know that a large majority of your customers come in during their lunch break and your spa offers food, create a spa treatment and lunch package. The customer will still pay for the treatment and meal, but will enjoy the luxury of having it packaged for them.
Share Services: For those professionals who are self-employed, it is helpful to partner with other local spa and hospitality professionals. By doing so, you can share customers and potentially gain new clients. Search your local community and create deals with hair salons, nail salons, and health clubs. By selecting businesses with similar clientele, both companies will tap into a new audience that may not be reached otherwise.
Something for Nothing: Another great way to make clients feel like they are getting more, without spending money is to offer a leave behind flyer with post-treatment care. Share a short list of tips on what to expect and what to do after the treatment. While this may not seem like very much, clients will appreciate the time you took to make their experience last a little bit longer.
Community Involvement: An additional idea is to get involved within your local community. For example, if there is a community athletic event or health fare, offer treatments to participants. This will get your name out and potentially attract new clients, for only a few hours of your time.
Hopefully the tips above can help spa professionals survive the storm.