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Bright Lights, Soothing Cities

By: Bryan Durocher
Posted: June 11, 2008, from the October 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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One major difference with our Asian counterparts is a dedication to following service protocols precisely. The mind-set gives priority to following and adhering to these structured steps. The Japanese clientele, in particular, enjoys it when a treatment is explained and will follow through with at-home instructions. Prebooking and retail recommendation also are integrated into the therapist’s service. Thus, spas enjoy rapid success with little employee turnover.

Learn a lesson

What can the United States learn from Asia? Asian spas offer first-class treatment in every aspect—from the initial greeting to departure with endless smiles from team members. The practice of adding a gratuity to a service also is not customary in Asian cultures, making customer service even more crucial. In addition, it instills a sense of pride to provide hospitality and service, which is an integral part of social etiquette and manners.

For some insight on specific trends that are being incorporated at these spas, see Regional Treatment Trends. The success of these Asian spas strongly indicates how holistic approaches and exemplary customer service can create a thriving spa concept. From Zen-based decor to a combination of Eastern and Western modalities, the spa industry’s Eastern counterparts are raising the bar when it comes to quality standards.