Spa Industry Survival Guide

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Ivy Loung, MD, Vantage BDIMG_6445-1024x682Creating and upholding the ultimate customer service experience requires diligence no matter how long you have worked in the salon and spa industry. It can be challenging for professionals to deliver the same high quality service time after time to clients who become regulars, and once regulars, friends. (Trust us, we know!)

Consider these survival guide dos and don’ts as you build your pedicure business. You’ll be surprised how little tweaks in your attitude or service regime can make a lasting difference in client retention and satisfaction.

Do: Recommend products and services that help your guests look and feel their best. To one-up competitors, find out what they offer, then incorporate similar but superior services and retail items in your business.

Don’t: Shy away from selling retail items. A lot of salon professionals feel like they are being pushy, especially when they are just starting out. Remember, if you are recommending products that clients truly need, you are helping them. In the salon world, selling is the same as passing your professional knowledge along to clients. Salons can make a respectable profit from retail purchases, and if clients don’t buy from you, they will from someone else!

Do: Offer rewards for customer loyalty and friend referrals, such as discounts on a new service, gift card or free retail item. This kind of bonus ensures loyalty and expands your customer base, while introducing some of your retail products. We recommend doing this around the holidays when people are cashing in services they received as gifts.

Don’t: Take standing appointment clients for granted. When I started in the industry in 1982, it felt natural to treat standing appointments like friends. But remember, just because a client becomes your friend—which is great—he or she is still paying you for a service. Don’t skimp on that foot massage or just assume they’ll want the same nail color as before. Remember to relax your clients, not your standards.

Do: Make sure your manicure and pedicure area is clean and disinfected. Clients notice! Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and your state board regulations for cleaning and disinfecting your spas, table and implements.

Don’t: Neglect the maintenance of your pedicure chairs. Maintenance will help maximize your return on investment while ensuring proper functionality and sanitation. Neglect can also void a manufacturer’s warranty. Take care of the wood, clean the jets and upholstery and put lubrication in the massage system as needed. Maintenance communicates professionalism to customers and will also improve your finances, as you won’t have to replace equipment as often.

Do: Purchase the best pedicure spa you can afford. Research the manufacturer’s warranty, their customer service, experience and reputation in the industry. Ask the manufacturer to help you select the perfect spa for your needs, once you decide what features are important to your business. Also ask them to recommend a distributor who will be helpful before, during and after the sale.

Don’t: Be hasty. Take your time and ask questions. Consider if your manufacturer builds its spas or only assembles and boxes them up for sale? Are the parts cheap imports or made in the United States? Manufacturers should be friendly, knowledgeable and willing to help you get the spa that suits your décor and budget. Ask a Continuum customer service representatives how our line of premiere pedicure thrones can work for your business. As a family-owned and operated manufacturer, we promise a personalized work experience at all levels of your journey.

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