What Spa Clients Are Thinking But Not Always Willing to Say


Have you ever gotten the feeling that your client had a "just OK" experience instead of a "wow" experience at your spa? Was there something on their mind that they left without saying? Was an interaction between esthetician and client quite awkward or abrupt?

Read my expert insights today to find out what your clients may be leaving without saying so you can make it right.

They weren't sure if they were supposed to tip

For clients in spas and medical spas especially, it's often not clear if they should tip. Some spas make it obvious that tipping is allowed by providing information on their website or little signs that show a suggested tip amount. While others make it clear that their policy is to automatically include a gratuity in the final price of all of their treatments.

If your spa doesn't spell it out quite so well, then be sure to leave hints like a tip line on the credit card slip or small envelopes in the treatment rooms. If your spa leaves it up to the clients' discretion without offering any clues, don't be surprised if they ask about tipping upon checking out for their services.

In lieu of an awkward pause or rude exchange, your best bet is to politely reply: "Tips are never expected but they are always appreciated." This seems to do the trick, every time.

They buy your skin care products elsewhere

If you often have clients who neglect to buy their skin care products off your retail shelves, then you should stop to wonder if they are getting them elsewhere. It's not that they aren't fond of your offering of serums, setting sprays and SPFs, it's just that they have a lot of options these days and will exercise those choices.

Clients are looking to get the most bang for their buck, so to speak. So if they are able to find cheaper prices online or a store that offers a gift with purchase or promotion, then they will choose that option.

In today's online shopping world, free shipping has become the norm, so be sure you offer that as well. Don't let valuable clients walk out the door without their verified, authentic, professional products in hand. As we know, buying skin care products directly from your spa is a safer and more ethical option for your clients.

They wish they could schedule their appointments online

In a world where most everything centers around convenience, we can't blame clients for wanting to be able to make spa appointments quickly and easily online. Clients know they can order a taxi cab with an app or reserve a table in a restaurant with the click of a button, so why not be able to book their facial or massage in a similar manner?

While online booking may not be appropriate for every service your spa offers (i.e. injectables, laser procedures or intense chemical peels) it may be OK for your massages, basic facials and waxing procedures. Offering online booking will make clients feel happy and hassle-free while freeing up your front-desk staff from busy phone lines.

Some members of your staff leave them feeling cold

It's never easy to admit that someone just rubs you the wrong way, but it can happen whether we speak up about it or not. There may be a member of your staff who regularly turns your clients off with their poor attitude or lackluster demeanor.

Make sure to hire people who are agreeable and quick to smile. If not, clients will feel that bad energy but may be unwilling to report it to management. Sadly, even when clients receive exemplary services like facials, massages and waxing treatments, they may not return if the front desk staff leaves them feeling uninspired, unwelcome or *gasp* like a nuisance.

On the other hand, your spa reception staff could be amazingly warm and welcoming, but perhaps one of your estheticians or technicians leaves much to be desired in terms of customer care. Be aware that clients can pick up on these negative vibes.

When clients feel like they receive anything less than the royal treatment, they are unlikely to rebook appointments and return to your spa. What's worse, they may be letting their friends and family know about their chilly reception as well.

They don't appreciate the hard sell

They may not let you know that they are annoyed, but clients can sense when you are pushing them a bit too hard. Oftentimes, when clients are feeling pressured to buy expensive product regimens or commit to lengthy packages of services, they will shut down and leave instead of making a smaller purchase.

When you start to notice many clients saying things like, "not this time," "I'll have to ask my spouse," and "I am all set for today," be sure to monitor your sales dialogues and techniques. Nowadays, clients are savvy about pricing, package options and alternatives before they even step foot into your spa or medspa, so they will be unappreciative of a hard sell.

Let your incredible services and customer engagement skills do all of the selling for you, and they will be happy to invest in services at your spa.

They aren't totally satisfied with your spa menu

Most clients and consumers are acutely aware of what the latest and greatest beauty and spa treatments are, thanks to the internet. They are curious. They are privy to what most celebrities and influencers are doing to improve and preserve their looks.

If your spa menu lacks some of the newest innovations and trends, then you may have disappointed clients on your hands. Clients will show they are unhappy with your spa offerings by continually (and unenthusiastically) asking, "Are you guys doing anything new?" If you are getting constant inquiries about newness at your spa and you aren't delivering, then be sure to evaluate your spa menu.

I am not an advocate of following the every whim of your clients and doing all kinds of extreme and unproven treatments. But be sure to stay on top of the latest trends and equipment so you can answer your clients' questions about them and/or offer some of them little by little. As we all know, the beauty industry is constantly improving and evolving, so we must be doing the same, as business owners and managers.

If you own or manage a spa, salon or medical spa, be sure to read between the lines when it comes to making your clients happy. Clients don't always come right out and say what's on their mind. It's your job to make your spa policies crystal clear and train your staff to execute them properly.

Pay attention to the interactions your staff have with clients because it can give you important clues about what kind of customer care is being given at your spa. Before you lose valuable clients, take some time to evaluate how you could meet their needs better, day after day. Anticipating your clients' needs is just one of the ways we can create happy and loyal experiences for years to come.