Personalization: the key to customer experience

Custom-mixed Ayurvedic oils based on doshas. Personalized tea blends designed to elevate mood. Thermal wraps and scalp massages specially tailored to the weary, jet-lagged traveller – depending on how many hours “off” they feel. While these treatments sound diverse, they do have one thing in common: they’re all part of a larger movement towards highly personalized spa services and experiences, and they’re increasingly in demand.

Of course, the right mix of ambiance, well-trained staff and excellent quality and variety of services are still crucial for customer retention, but for the current wave of wellness-seeking clients, there’s enormous value added in a personalized spa program that addresses individual tastes and needs.

At the San Diego-area Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa, services include an individualized “neuroplasty” program combining yoga, meditation and exercise designed to enhance brain function, as well as an innovative somatotype program that incorporates aromatic oils tailored to an individual’s constitution. At AO Andaz Spa Toranomon Hills Tokyo, the responses on a guest’s questionnaire, filled out upon arrival, dictate not only the hand-mixed contents of their foot scrub but the type of music played in the treatment room. At Spa My Blend by Clarins at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Toronto, the popular signature My Blend facial includes a detailed, personal consultation beforehand, resulting in the creation of a bespoke blend formulated to address traditional elements such as the guest’s skin type and age as well as their evolving individual needs.

“This in-depth, results-driven treatment leaves our guests completely regenerated,” says Maggee Byrd, Spa My Blend by Clarins’ Director of Spa. “This is absolutely a movement that is here to stay.”

Perhaps it’s no surprise that Byrd believes the trend toward highly personalized spa services and experiences isn’t going anywhere. As online retailers like Amazon, iTunes and Netflix increasingly utilize big data to refine and target their offerings and retailers offer countless options for customized products from sneakers to pop cans, buyers increasingly expect personalization options that reflect their individual tastes and preferences.

In the spa sector, of course, providing personalized services and experiences is a tad more complex than simply utilizing an algorithm or monogramming service. “Personalization isn’t just about the ‘wow’ factor, but about making a difference in someone’s life,” says Anne Bramham, founder of the Florida-based Advanced Spa Therapy Education Certification Council.

As Bramham sees it, the key to transitioning a spa successfully to a more personalized, client-focused program is education. “By understanding the constitutional tendencies of a guest, the practitioner gains insight into what treatments will not only serve their needs, but will serve their preference. The trick is making sure you do both,” Bramham says. What’s more, “[training] is an investment that builds a clientele and retains serious-minded associates.”

And regardless of an individual spa’s programs, demographics, size and staffing needs, personalized services can have a profoundly positive effect on business. “Our guests come for unique and memorable experiences,” affirms Byrd. “The personalized and customized care our staff provides sets us apart from other hotels and spas, and brings our guests back again and again.”

(Image: Copyright: poznyakov / 123RF Stock Photo)

One comment

  1. The rise in personalization of treatments should also generate a dramatic uptick in retail sales. If it does not, it could be that your therapist training is not personalized enough. Most therapists are introverts and could likely use assistance in building engagement skills. High retail sales and retention are always generated through strong customer interaction.

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