A great guest experience at your spa spans more than the time your guest is physically in your spa. Everything makes up a guest experience, from your website to the ease at which they can leave a review of their treatments as a happy, relaxed client.

We wrote about some of the ways that you can ensure that your website is treating your guests well, but that is simply part of the pre-treatment process.

In this second part in our series on How to Ensure a Great Guest Experience, written in collaboration with Jim Croghan of Identity Hospitality, we dig into the attributes that make up a great guest experience while your guests are in your spa. Jim adds a unique point of view, looking at things from the spa’s perspective.

Jim Croghan from Identity Hospitality collaborated with us on this post about ensuring a great guest experience from the insider, spa perspective.

The guest experience encompasses all parts of your spa

Research suggests that around 60% of organizations consider customer service as the top priority for their business. That’s especially true for spas. Stepping foot in a luxury spa should result in an exceptional experience with no detail overlooked.

Luxury spas wow their guests with extraordinary design and facilities and uncompromising service. Expert staff caters to every whim with the most advanced treatments and skin care lines available. These spas often offer exclusive treatments and may emphasize local elements.

That isn’t to say that any spa shouldn’t strive for an exceptional guest experience. You absolutely should. Happy guests mean regular guests.

How behind-the-scenes operations are imperative to the guest experience

The role of a spa operator is not an easy task. In an industry of wellness and peace, we know the back end of the spa can be a zoo. As Jim says, the spa industry “is an industry built on wellness, compassion, beauty, and relationships – and successful leaders in the industry have a passion for all of these things.”

To ensure your spa has the greatest guest experience, many things have to be taken care of before she ever sets foot in your facility. Without having rock-solid financials, marketing, leadership, team building, and customer service, your peppy, upbeat attitude will only get you so far.

Jim Croghan from Identity Hospitality collaborated with us on this post about ensuring a great guest experience from the insider, spa perspective.

And that isn’t even considering more stressful parts of your job like facility management, security, purchasing, vendor relations and even janitorial duties.

From the guest’s perspective, they can’t know about all of these things happening in the background. They should only see the front-of-house operation with everything lovingly presented, soothing music and all.

That said, it is important to make sure the behind-the-scenes operations are running smoothly so you can focus on giving your guests an amazing time at your spa.

Nothing ruins a tranquil moment like two employees yelling at each other from the break room.

What you can do to ensure a great guest experience in your spa

Jim has identified a few areas to be mindful of to ensure the guest experience blows your clients away. When they’re impressed, they return. Simple as that!

Defining Your Values

Jim Croghan: Identifying and defining core values should be the foundation of your company culture.

Chix Creative: We talked about defining your values, or your “why,” in our post, Spa Branding Mistakes You’re Making…And How to Fix Them – Part 1. Having strong values will guide every decision you make, from hiring technicians to deciding which tea to serve post-massage.

Committing to Your Values

JC: Identifying and defining core values is only step one in creating a great culture. If they become no more than a list you give new hires in orientation, they will never authentically shape your culture. Implement your values into the day-to-day work and business decisions and actions of your company, thereby solidifying your commitment to your values.

CC: Your values will inform every decision you make and translate to guests as either stellar or….well, not. Sometimes, values and the ways you present them can change over time. Make sure you’re regularly meeting with your key decision-makers to review them. Then, talk to your staff to get their perspective. They spend the most time with your guests, after all!

Hiring for Culture Fit

JC: Technical skills are important, but we believe hiring for culture fit is paramount to creating and scaling a great culture.

CC: We think it goes without saying that you should hire those who are a good match for your spa environment. It’s like dating. Picking someone because you don’t want to be alone is going to be disastrous (though you’ll probably want a massage to treat yourself for getting rid of that loser.) Likewise, hiring someone just because you need that third esthetician on Saturdays will result in you needing more guests because the ones you had heard that the new therapist is awkward with clients and doesn’t fit in. In other words, the people you hire are a huge part of the guest experience, so make sure they’re a good fit.

Jim Croghan from Identity Hospitality collaborated with us on this post about ensuring a great guest experience from the insider, spa perspective.

Training New Hires

JC: Onboarding your employees isn’t just about skills training. Companies need to immerse new hires into your culture and create connections.

CC: Hiring someone isn’t always about filling in a blank space. Similarly, training them is about making sure they get the flow of your spa and feel comfortable. Empowering them to act on their own as a trusted member of the team goes a long way.

Amazing Customer Service

JC: Customer service should be the pillar of your culture. Whether it’s serving your customers or fellow employees, pride yourselves on going above and beyond.

CC: The importance of customer service can’t be overstated. Everyone now has credentials to be a critic in the palm of their hand. Treat your people well, treat your guests well. Support and serve your potential guests with great marketing. Just like on your website, every choice you make is all part of the guest experience.

Engaging Employees

JC: Create a program to get your employees to engage in your culture. Having engaged employees can increase your bottom line.

CC: Your employees can be your best marketing asset. When your employees feel like they have a stake in the game, they will be more likely to sing your praises, encourage their friends and family to visit, and cast a wider net via social media. This is all in service of your spa, and therefore your bottom line. Furthermore, happy employees make for happy guests, and a great experience for those guests.

Like Jim notes, be sure to “unite your spa team, creating and developing tangible, personal success plans with them, which ultimately engender a true sense of loyalty and belonging to your team and brand. The power of creating a strong company culture can improve employee engagement, increase productivity, promote brand loyalty, and enhance financial performance.”

Happy guests means happy profits

The guest experience is directly tied to your bottom line. These are things you can do as a spa director to empower your team and enhance your spa.

Jim says, “As operators, we must always evaluate the people, product and process to appraise where future progress and improvements could be made to ensure your spa maintains its meticulous standards.”

Ultimately, the guests don’t see all this behind-the-scenes work you put in, but they’ll feel it. When you put all the guest experience pieces together both online and in-person, your facility will stand out. It’ll be known for exceptional standards.


About Identity Hospitality: In the past decade, the spa market has grown exponentially due to burgeoning consumer demand, and concurrently the spa guest experience and business model has become highly sophisticated. Highly qualified, professional spa consultants, such as Identity Hospitality, provide expert guidance and advice on successfully managing spa operations, maximizing profits, and planning new spa development.


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