One of the greatest responsibilities spa professionals take upon themselves is to create a safe and welcoming environment for clients. Although a primary client expectation is that an intended result is delivered within a clearly-defined scope of practice, it is just as essential to have positive energy generating and a comfortable setting for clients when they visit. There are different approaches to creating an ambiance that encourages a stress-free experience, especially one that will help even the most anxious clients relax. Factors to consider include: the setup of the space, lighting, décor, sound, aroma, and, of course, the garb and manner itself in which staff and the practitioners present themselves.
The first step to paving the way to great client experiences is to ensure that the receptionist is friendly and patient during the process of booking an appointment. A basic tip for the staff is to always smile when speaking with clients. Frankly, the impact of a smile is an easy way to assure that the voice will carry across as warm and clients will feel more comfortable. Synchrony is another effective technique to build rapport with clients. By subtly mimicking clients’ manner, such us their body language or tone of voice, they will subconsciously let their guard down.
Engaging as many senses as possible will, certainly, support the way clients feel. Having natural or warm lighting in the spa allows for an organically serene mood. In addition, a warmly lit room is forgiving when looking in a mirror, meaning it does not bring attention to skin or even body imperfections that, otherwise, would dramatically be noticeable under halogen or bright lights, for example. It is critical to make sure that clients do not feel self-conscious in any way.
Regarding décor, be careful with the placement of mirrors around the spa. Overall, there really is no need to have a mirror hanging on the wall in the treatment room. It is better to avoid any potential awkward moments that can cause clients to be uncomfortable or feel as though they are being watched or exposed in any way.
Clients should be able to indulge in soothing botanical aromas throughout the spa. Having fragrant candles certainly is great for the senses, but if it is a hazard, essential oil diffusers provide a safe alternative. Some essential oils that are calming and promote relaxation include lavender, vanilla, rose, jasmine, frankincense, and chamomile. Consider, also, adding a drop of de-stressing essential oils to hot towels. For clients who are still anxious, even after they are already in the treatment room, place an aroma-infused hot towel against their neck and forehead for a few minutes, before beginning the service. This trick triggers a deep breathing effect, which encourages the release of stress. Rest the palms gently, but firmly, on clients’ shoulders to let them feel secure and reassured that they are in good hands.
A rewarding aspect of this profession is being able to make a difference. A top priority and goal for any professional is making sure that clients leave the spa in a better state than how they entered. Ultimately, that is what gives the industry greater meaning, respect, and value.