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Use customer feedback to improve spa operations

Crown Spa Melbourne Male Aqua Retreat

What clients think of your customer service could make or break your business, according to an article published on worldspawellness.com.

In the article, Emma McGrady, director of hotel-based Crown Spas in Australia, explains how to measure customer feedback and implement change successfully.

Providing personalised and authentic customer service alongside an indulgent experience is what any hotel spa wants to be known for. However, a good experience is not only determined by the variety and quality of the facilities on offer, but also by the level of customer service provided.

At Crown's two hotel spas in Melbourne and Perth, Australia, we take guest feedback seriously and use it as a daily tool for monitoring service consistency. Guests are encouraged to provide truthful reviews about their spa experience via feedback forms, social media and websites such as TripAdvisor.

Each piece of feedback, both positive and negative, is investigated and responded to by the spa’s management team and then shared with staff. Positive feedback is celebrated to help motivate our therapists and boost morale, while negative comments are used as a training tool so we can adapt our service approach accordingly.

In the past, we received several complaints about guests using their mobiles while in the spa’s relaxation lounges. In response to this, we trained front-of-house staff and therapists to promote our lounges as quiet areas and since then we’ve been able to reduce smartphone use, dealing with the complaint successfully.

Learning curve

In order to exceed customer expectations, we use a fully integrated system that allows us to listen to the guest, analyse feedback and translate these insights into action. We use a tailored product which enhances how we operationalise customer experience management, enabling us to view key challenges and pre-empt upcoming trends that are of high importance to our guests.

By using key search words in our system, we noticed an increase in complaints from our in-house guests who, upon check-in, were advised that the spa was fully booked. Now, we send automated emails in the run up to a customer’s stay to encourage them to make spa appointments prior to arrival, which has helped to reduce this issue.

Staff also have the opportunity to provide feedback, which is regularly elevated to management, to help us streamline work processes and increase employee and guest satisfaction. For example, our consultation forms, which were previously paper-based, are now digital, enabling therapists to review guests’ history during consultation, making it an even more personalised experience. Details are automatically updated in the system, reducing our administration and associated printing costs.

It is easy when running a spa operation to be overwhelmed by feedback and become reactive as opposed to proactive, but it’s important to learn from the comments you receive and implement effective changes that will benefit the business, staff and your guests. Just remember that all feedback is important to ensure you continue to maintain an extraordinary service. However, when you receive multiple feedback pieces about different issues, try to focus on any treatment concerns first to ensure that your high level of customer service in the spa is restored.

Staff development and personalised service are key to maintaining customer satisfaction and elevating the overall guest experience, which is why I provide operating procedures to employees at orientation, as well as outlining the spa’s service expectations and brand standards to ensure they customise and perfect their delivery.

People power

All therapists undergo extensive on-site training to maintain the impeccable service

standards required, focusing on our key business pillars – nourishment and nutrition, and emotional, physical and mental wellbeing.

This education also provides therapists with the opportunity to enhance their skill levels through accredited training programmes, with many gaining a tangible qualification upon completion. This improves our therapists’ skills and morale, which shows in their customer service delivery and in our guests’ feedback.

Ongoing product training with our partners La Prairie and Subtle Energies is vital, with every new employee undergoing a three-day training session with a brand representative and half-day training with the introduction of any new treatment. In recent months, we’ve also introduced complimentary wellness classes for staff, whereby we run either yoga or Pilates sessions followed by guided meditation.

I’ve found that nurturing and caring for my staff has been reflected in the guest experience and made us a leading hotel spa. Remarkable facilities are nothing without first-class customer service because this pairing ensures your client’s stay is nothing short of extraordinary.

Emma McGrady is director of Crown Spas in Melbourne and Perth, Australia, and responsible for the strategic direction for the spas. She is also involved in the design and planning of the new Crown Spa Sydney, opening in 2021. These hotel spas sit under the Crown Hotels company umbrella.

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