5 tips for client retention during the summer months at your spa

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If you've been in the spa industry for a while, you may have noticed that your schedule can get a bit quiet during the summer months. Clients take long vacations and are busy entertaining their children who are off from school.

One of the biggest obstacles, however, is that clients may also get sun exposure, which can prevent them from getting some treatments altogether. All in all, the summer can be a tricky time for keeping your books as filled as other parts of the year.

If you are having trouble keeping your clients coming into your spa for treatments during the summer months then read my expert tips below.

Communicate your policies about mixing sun exposure with certain procedures.

Your clients should be clear on which procedures are affected by suntans or sunburns at your spa. Obviously, as skin care professionals, we are proponents of daily SPF usage and avoiding the harmful UV rays of the sun on the whole, but clients are not always on the same page.

Don't let clients find out the day of their appointment that they will have to reschedule because they've had sun exposure: make your safety standards clear and conspicuous. Offer an FAQ page on your website that discusses how sun exposure will affect the outcomes of certain laser and skin care treatments.

When booking appointments, screen clients over the phone and be sure to ask them if they have had recent sun exposure before finalizing their appointments. Furthermore, client intake paperwork should explicitly express guidelines and timelines for clients who have been exposed to the sun and come in tan or burned.

Explain why sun safety is so important.

When clients know and understand the reasoning and rationale behind your rules, they will more likely be sympathetic to them.

As we know, sun exposure on the skin creates heat and erythema, for starters. This state does not mix well with services like laser resurfacing, chemical peels, microneedling and waxing. Possible negative outcomes include blistering, scabbing, skin lifting, scarring and hyperpigmentation.

We need to let our clients know that we are trying to promote and preserve the integrity of their skin and their health overall. Moreover, clients who are looking for brightening procedures like intense pulsed light (IPL) or topical skin care products containing alpha hydroxy acids, retinoids or tyrosinase inhibitors run the risk of injuring their skin or scarring it permanently if they mix them with a suntan or burn.

In many cases, if a client is not compliant with UV protection during the summer months, it's best to have them delay certain treatments until the fall or winter. Your staff should be able to clearly communicate these sun safety objectives and policies in person and over the phone.

Not to mention, members of your staff should not be tan or sunburned at the spa: it will definitely send mixed signals to clients!

Offer products that support your sun-safety cause.

Practice what you preach and offer an array of sunscreen formulations on your shelves that contain zinc and titanium. As long as clients can find an SPF that they feel comfortable with, they will be more apt to use it every day.

For those clients that want a bronze glow this summer, consider offering spray tanning services if you don't already. If that's not an option, then offer spa-quality self-tanners and cosmetic bronzers.

You can even spruce up your summer retail displays with SPF clothing options with your spa logo, hats and other sun protection accessories like lip balms and mineral face powders. Also, be sure to feature retail product choices that are beneficial to summer skin: hydrating serums, spray toners and mists and refreshing gel masks will all please your clients' skin during the hot and sunny months.

Show your clients that you and your spa are there to give them year round skin care support so that they can have amazing outcomes any season of the year.

Entice clients with summer specials.

Keep your spa traffic booming this summer with new and revitalizing treatments to beat the heat. Rejuvenating and cooling facials with gentle enzymes, jade stones and seaweed masks will certainly quench and fortify the skin.

Body treatments are also in demand during the summer, so promote your cellulite and back treatments during the warm months. Foot soaks and detox body wraps are also a big hit.

If your spa has more clinical procedures on offer, then reward faithful laser hair removal clients with seasonal summer discounts and great deals on injectables. Invite clients to try a hydrating facial in lieu of an intense chemical peel.

Be sure to email your clients monthly or weekly with your promotions, events and openings so that they will call in to inquire and book with you.

Enforce your cancellation policy.

Summer is also the time to make sure that your client scheduling and confirmation procedures are running smoothly. Because it is common to get "no shows" on those beautiful, sunny beach days, be sure to confirm all appointments and stick to your cancellation policies.

If your spa has a policy of charging clients who cancel with less than 24 hours’ notice, then certainly follow through. It is not fair to spa staff to be left with an empty schedule because clients decide that they'd rather go to the pool then come for their facial.

Clients should know that your estheticians, massage therapists and other technicians' time is valuable and if they are not going to commit to the time that they have reserved then other clients should be given the opportunity to come in instead.

Summer doesn't have to be a slow season at your spa or medical spa! Show your clients that you are their source for sun safety and summer specific treatments to enhance and protect their skin. Follow these expert tips and enjoy a busy and lucrative sunny season.