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Profitability--Proven Steps to Ensuring a Healthy Bottom Line

By: Melinda Minton
Posted: March 26, 2009, from the April 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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For instance, if January is your skin care month, try going with a smaller ad that runs several times per week and displays the same message, “Hydration Facial Special.” While you and your staff may grow tired of the ad, the general public will be indoctrinated to your message and be much more likely to respond.

Publicity goes hand in hand with advertising. When you decide to invest in a publication and show your support by becoming an advertiser, it isn’t unreasonable to ask for some editorial coverage. This does not imply that you are entitled to an advertorial or unlimited space. However, if you can generate a compelling storyline or feature angle readers would enjoy, the editorial staff is much more likely to feature your spa in some capacity in the future. Becoming loyal to a couple of publications is a good idea for this reason, as well as for the purpose of becoming loyal to their readers. As a regular advertiser, your spa is much more likely to get noticed by the publication’s demographic of readers.

Keeping up retention

Do you have any idea how much each new lead or client that is drawn to your spa costs in cold, hard cash? Suffice it to say it’s a small fortune. Why, then, do spas shun walk-ins, put clients on hold when they call in for appointments, and generally forget to prebook subsequent appointments after a spa visit? These practices seem beyond masochistic.

Retention is the core of any sound spa business. Retaining a client is at the heart of establishing an ongoing, living relationship with a spa’s key 20% of clientele that keep rooms booked, retail sales humming and allow for a steady stream of referred customers who resemble the demographic of the core group. Retaining a client is in many ways a simple act that entails performing tasks that should be occurring with every client on every visit anyway.

All of the key elements of outstanding customer service must be in place: prebooking, thank-you note follow-ups, VIP invitations to events, sampling, complimentary add-on treatments and incredible services. If you wrap up this type of service with simply asking the client for referrals, you typically will have a happy client who will return on a regular basis for products and spa services and will mention your spa to her friends.