Personalized guest experience: the difference between award winning spas and everyone else

Personalized guest experience

Personalized guest experience is one of the biggest factors that sets the best spas apart from the rest. Here’s why personalization matters so much.

A personalized guest experience is one of the best ways to grow customer loyalty and turn new customers into returning ones.

People have come to want and expect personalized experiences all across sectors and from all kinds of businesses. Research has found that:

  • 75% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a company that knows their name and purchase history and recommends products based on their preferences.
  • 33% of consumers who ended their relationship with a company in 2018 did so because the experience wasn’t personalized enough.
  • 72% of customers expect companies to know their purchase history regardless of what method of communication they used.
  • More than two in five (42%) consumers say that if a company doesn’t offer a personalized experience, they’re likely to switch brands.
  • Even if a product or service disappoints, 72% of consumers say they’ll give the company a second chance if it provides a “hyper-personal” customer experience.
  • More than half (63%) of consumers expect personalization as a standard of service.
  • 49% of buyers have made impulse purchases after a more personalized experience.

Personalization is especially important in spa and hospitality, where the guest is truly expecting to feel that they are heard and that their needs are being taken seriously. It’s nice when someone at a retail shoe store remembers you. It’s downright insulting when a spa service provider doesn’t.

What is a personalized guest experience?

A personalized guest experience is exactly what it sounds like: applying personalization to the customer experience.  

Personalization is providing products and services to meet customer’s  individual requirements. It’s often thought of as a marketing tactic that involves retargeting customers with items related to those they have already purchased or into which they have shown interest, but that is a dated and unsophisticated idea of personalization. McKinsey states:

“Personalization, once limited mainly to targeted offers, now extends to the entire customer experience. This means that customers want personalization throughout their interactions with a retailer – with multiple, personalized touchpoints that enable them to allocate their time and money according to their preferences. In the best personalized experiences, retailers make the customer part of the dialogue and leverage data to create one-to-one personalization. Customers receive offers that are targeted not just at customers like them, with brands targeting at the segment level with broad-based offers, but at them as individuals, with products, offers, and communications that are uniquely relevant to them.”

The reality is that anyone who says they don’t want a personalized customer experience might not know what we’re talking about. A lot of people still think it just means spamming inboxes and bombarding us with ads for items we’ve already purchased or aren’t interested in (we’re looking at you Google). When properly applied to the customer experience, however, personalization makes people feel recognized, remembered, and valued. And everyone ­wants to feel those things.

How do you do that? It begins with collecting data from your customers and storing it, followed by finding ways to leverage that data in ways that are exciting and impactful, and that make your customers say “Wow. These people really get me.”

It’s what separates a five-star spa from the others. In an interview with Spa Executive about how spas can achieve a five-star rating, Amanda Frasier, Forbes Travel Guide’s Senior VP of Ratings, said, “We look to see what each spa is doing to not only set itself apart from the competition, but how they create unique, personalized service moments for each guest based on their specific needs or guest profile.”

Centrally managed notes, guest profiling, a comprehensive reporting dashboard, and automatic alerts are among the keys to building customer profiles that make this process easy. As soon as an appointment is made, a spa should be using existing information to prepare the ultimate, personalized, guest experience. And this should continue throughout the entire customer journey. It’s not just about purchase history, but about past conversations and individual customer preferences.

Every customer is unique. Showing genuine interest in your guests is what will really impress them.


Is finding and retaining talent a challenge at your spa? Get insights from industry leaders, including Nigel Franklyn, Lynne McNees, Verena Lasvigne-Fox, and Daisy Tepper when you download our report: What will it take to fix the spa industry’s staffing shortage? .


Spa Executive is published by Book4Time, the leader in guest management, revenue and mobile solutions for the most exclusive spas, hotels, and resorts around the globe. Learn more at

One comment

  1. This is so true! A personalized guest experience makes the difference. What is important to understand is that this involves ALL team members. Often the role of attendants is underestimated but has such a power to make all the difference with having guests become loyal and spin the marketing wheels for a Spa.

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