Mastering the art of conversation & customer information gathering

Mastering the art of conversation

When it comes to building connections with your spa and hotel guests, effective conversations play a pivotal role.

When it comes to building connections with your spa and hotel guests, effective conversations play a pivotal role. We’re not referring to merely sending surveys or gathering feedback — although that’s undoubtedly valuable — rather, we’re emphasizing genuine conversations, or talking about talking. This entails posing thoughtful questions, actively listening, and engaging in meaningful dialogues. These interactions provide invaluable insights into your customers, empowering you to forge strong relationships and customize experiences which, in turn, fosters repeat visits and cultivates customer loyalty.

As a service provider, it’s your job and your team’s job to drive those conversations. This involves skillfully asking questions, allowing moments of silence for reflection, and reciprocating with insights of your own. These things have to happen in tandem with each other for a conversation to work. Think about it:

• Too many questions can feel like an interrogation.
• Prolonged silence leads to awkwardness.
• Dominating the conversation becomes a monologue.

In a spa setting, longer quiet intervals are more appropriate compared to other contexts. Many people prefer not to converse continually while enjoying a massage or facial. Finding the right balance between companionable silence and communication is an art.

Some things you want to learn about your customer include the obvious: gender and pronouns, occupation, age, and the reason they are visiting your spa. Also, discovering how people spend their days equips you with the means to tailor experiences. And their connections are important too. A customer’s work colleagues, friends, and household members could be your potential customers.

Mastering the art of conversation & information gathering

Numerous probing questions labeled as “conversation starters” circulate online, like, “What’s been the highlight of your day so far?” or “If you could jet off anywhere tomorrow, where would it be?” However, these aren’t necessarily effective icebreakers. Such questions can make the other person feel put on the spot or uncomfortable if they can’t formulate a satisfactory response. Not every day carries a standout moment, and not everyone has a specific travel destination in mind. While some might enjoy these questions, others won’t. Your goal is to ensure guests feel at ease, not pressured.

Here are some strategies for getting to know your guests through natural conversations—suitable for team members, service providers, or anyone in a customer-facing role:

1. Embrace small talk: Though many claim to dislike small talk, it serves as a stepping stone to more substantial conversations. Start with a warm “hello” and address them by name (which you should already know from the schedule). Inquire about their well-being and exchange pleasantries about the weather. This is obvious.

2. Share something yourself: Rather than launching into direct questions, begin by sharing a bit about yourself. Mention the pace of your day or why you’re in a good mood, which encourages reciprocation.

3. Transition to related questions: Build on your shared information to pose relevant questions. For instance, if you mention an online aromatherapy course you’re taking, follow up with inquiries like:

• “Have you tried online courses?”
• “I’m quite into aromatherapy. Does it intrigue you?”
• “Aromatherapy helped with my sleep troubles. Are you a good sleeper?”

Use this strategy throughout the conversation and not just at the beginning. It can feel more natural to say you’re looking for something to read and ask for recommendations that to just randomly ask “So, have you read any good books lately?” or “What’s your favorite book?”

Striking a balance between speaking about yourself and inquiring about the guest leads to a comfortable and engaging exchange.

Conversations about their travel, spa, or hotel experience & customer lifestyle

Understanding your guests’ motivations and preferences is integral to creating a tailored experience. Engage in conversations that uncover the reasons behind their visit to the spa or hotel, whether it’s a special occasion, a desire to address specific concerns, or simply a love for spa experiences. Addressing their needs enhances their visit, and taking note of milestones like birthdays or anniversaries can foster ongoing connections. One of the many details worth focusing on is distinguishing between local guests and hotel guests, who may have different needs. Locals, for example, might have the potential to become regulars, and hotel guests might be inclined to indulge in unique vacation experiences.

Initiate the dialogue with questions that naturally delve into their motives and expectations. These inquiries facilitate understanding their reasons for visiting, their frequency of spa or hotel experiences, and opportunities for enhancing their stay. As a spa service provider or team member, it’s crucial to inquire about their goals for the experience, thereby building rapport and ensuring their objectives are met.

Understanding customer lifestyle beyond the spa or hotel

Comprehending your customer’s lifestyle extends beyond their spa or hotel experience, providing insights into their preferences and interests. Details about their work, residence, values, priorities, and leisure activities enable you to tailor their experience effectively. You can also align your marketing efforts, add-on services, and upselling initiatives based on their disposable income level and wellness inclinations. Understanding what brings them joy and excitement is key. And look for things you have in common. Discovering common ground, be it shared hobbies or life stages, helps forge stronger connections. Think about the connections you’ve made with new friends by bonding over a shared love of baking, yoga, or wine, or the ages of your children and the difficulties of balancing work and family. Seeking out these “me too” moments cultivates relationships, not just with customers, but with everyone you encounter.

By blending insights into their travel and spa experiences with a grasp of their lifestyle, you cultivate deeper connections, resulting in lasting relationships and memorable experiences.

Here are some conversation ideas and suggested questions to facilitate understanding your guests:

Questions to facilitate conversations about their hotel & spa visit

  • What brings you to town?
  • What made you book this appointment?
  • Do you have any concerns you’d like to address?
  • Are you celebrating a special occasion?
  • Is your trip for business or pleasure?
  • Do you travel frequently? What’s next on your travel agenda
  • What have you seen or done since you’ve been here?
  • Any highlights so far?
  • What do you like to do on your trips?
  • When you travel for vacations, do you prefer beach destinations, cities, or the countryside?

Questions to facilitate conversations about customer preferences & wellness lifestyle

  • Do you typically frequent spas? Any favorites?
  • Is there a scent you particularly enjoy?
  • What genre of music relaxes you?
  • How do you unwind after a long day?
  • How do you stay active?
  • Have you been dealing with any stress lately?
  • What’s your usual morning routine?

Questions for conversations about the customer’s lifestyle beyond the spa/hotel

  • Could you tell me about your occupation? Do you enjoy it?
  • Do you have children?
  • How old are your kids? What are their names?
  • Are pets a part of your life?
  • What did you do this summer/holiday season?
  • What are your plans for Thanksgiving/Christmas/Hanukkah/Eid?
  • I’m going to see Harry Styles in concert. Have you been to any live events recently?
  • I’m excited to go camping/skiing this weekend. Do you like camping/skiing?
  • How do you typically spend your weekends in the spring/summer/winter/fall?
  • Are you into sports?
    Are you interested in the World Cup/Stanley Cup/Super Bowl?
  • I’m looking for something to read. What’s the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?
  • I recently took up macrame. Do you have any hobbies?
  • What’s your favorite season? Mine’s fall.
  • I’m going to dinner at (restaurant name) tonight. Have you been there?
  • Do you have a favorite restaurant in town?

Log the information into your spa and ancillary revenue management software system

These questions can serve as starting points from which the conversation can flow naturally. If that guest becomes a repeat customer at your business and frequents the same practitioner or a different one, you will be able to help enhance future visits by having their information on hand and as a new starting point for the future.

To ensure you retain the gathered insights, input the information you gather into your spa and ancillary revenue management software’s note taking function. This can then be shared with your team when the guest returns and they can use it to personalize the experience. It can also be used to tailor your marketing and promotions. Moreover, this information can be shared across multiple locations, allowing for a seamless experience and bespoke journeys across your properties.

There will be times when the customer prefers silence and does not want to talk during their treatment, which must be respected. If your guest doesn’t seem to engage past sharing the bare essentials, that’s a sign that they want to be quiet. However, savor the moments of connection whenever possible. Who knows? Your customers might evolve into real friends.


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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.