The post-holiday period is a crucial time to set yourself up for spa business success during the rest of the year. Here’s why.
The holidays are traditionally a wildly profitable time for spas. People are pampering themselves, travelling, buying gift cards, and just generally spending all their money.
The period after the holidays is, of course, another story. Merry revellers have retired to behind closed doors to cry over credit card statements and balance budgets, and spas and salons are often dead zones for the first quarter of the year.
But that doesn’t mean the first months of the new year aren’t an important time. They’re crucial, in fact, and what you do during that time can set you up for spa business success or failure in the rest of the year.
Hopefully you were working hard in the last quarter to sell as many gift cards and do as much pre booking as possible with the clients who were coming into your spa, and have some promotions in place to fill downtime. All this is great. Now let’s remind ourselves why the first quarter is so important, and go over a few things you can focus on to increase your business success in the other three quarters.
There are new customers coming through your doors
If you did your due diligence selling holiday packages and gift cards, you’re going to start seeing some new faces around this time. This is the formative period of long-term guest relationships. People will be experiencing your spa for the first time, and deciding whether or not to come back. The first impression, and what you do afterwards, is everything.
If the new guest received a gift card, that means someone else helped you by giving a friend or loved one the gift of a first-time experience at your spa. A new customer has been acquired for you. Now, it’s your job to show your appreciation by going beyond expectations and providing the ultimate customer experience in order to turn that new customer into a returning one. Not only will this make your new guest happy, it will please the gift giver. Because everyone likes to know their gift was a hit.
Focus on your guest experience. Remember, you only get one chance to get it right. Take a good critical look at every aspect of your process and fine tune it until it is exquisite and impeccable.
The first quarter enthusiasm for wellness
Most New Year’s resolutions are about trying to be healthier in some way, and people are super enthusiastic about wellness at the beginning of the year. Gym memberships soar and yoga and fitness classes are full to overflowing. This frenzy, however, starts to drop off after the few weeks, and by February or March, things are pretty much back to normal. This is why, if your spa has a wellness component, you should be working to harness that initial enthusiasm before the inevitable drop off.
If you offer fitness or yoga classes and other wellness experiences, now is the time to really leverage those and to do your best to maintain that new customer base. Many of these new people might have received a class or series of classes as a gift for the holidays, and it’s up to you keep them around.
Pay special attention to each new individual. Making people feel like an appreciated new family member can go a long way towards motivating them to come back. A feeling of support and community often helps people stick to their resolutions.
People are looking for joy, warmth, and connection
In January and February (particularly in areas where it’s winter during those months), people often suffer from a feeling of disconnection and post holiday blues, or even from a full blown season-specific depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Spas and wellness businesses are well positioned to provide the comforting and welcoming experience people are looking for during that time.
Host an event. Holding an event during this period is a great way to get to know your new guests and to show off your friendly and fun atmosphere. It’s often welcome in January and early February because there’s frequently little else going on, and the investment of making customers feel appreciated will pay off down the road.
The new year is the time to focus your energy on connecting with each and every new guest on a personal level, and building the foundation for each ongoing relationship. It’s also the best time to take a good look at your customer experience, and to focus on your communication strategy and loyalty programs. Those programs should be personalized, and this means constantly collecting customer feedback and data.
Leverage all the tools available to you. Don’t let the opportunities of the new year slip through your fingers.
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