Mandy and Anja from TalkWellness discuss Spa Trends for 2015: We want to see more time in Spas!
Sure, every now and again new so called trends pop up in the Spa & Wellness market.
‘Ayurveda’ for example was the recent big thing, and suddenly everyone needed a Shirodara stand in their spa, even in the smallest Austrian valley…
Is it lack of innovation?
I wonder how much sense spa operators see in jumping on trend-waves, not giving much thought to their own core competencies and their core spa guest’s needs. Or, is it rather desperation and lacking innovation that drives those operators in their decision making?
Often in spas resources are being wasted on short-lived fads with no return on investment, instead of focussing efforts on sustainable offers, which create long-lasting memories of experiences that offer value to the then delighted customer.
I am no fortune teller, hence I am not able to predict future trends that may arise – and may die again in no time at all… but I know something for sure: Wellness and wellbeing will always be accompanied with a certain type of luxury. And I am not talking about luxury as in jewellery and champagne, but the clean, simple, modest, valuable luxury of time.
Time is the one thing we never seem to have: “I have no time” – how often do we actually use this nonsense phrase? We humans are the only species in the world that are highly affected by time, our entire purpose of life seems to revolve around time measurements.
Still we cannot own time, we cannot touch time. We cannot produce time.
But we can manage time and make time for the things we love and that serve us well:
- time for self
- time to relax
- time to spend with the people we love
- time to do those activities that make us feel great
I am happy to see spa goers maturing and evolving. People are no longer fooled by useless “fluffy” massages and whale song music in the ambience of wanna-be ancient Greek or Roman ‘bathhouses’, surrounded by cheap plaster Bhudda statues. Wasting valuable time.
Spa users know their therapies and understand the differences in quality. Spa users are looking for more specialisation, customisation and scientific evidence showing the outcome of therapies. Spa goers can differentiate between a meaningful use of time in a spa or a complete waste of time.
So what better is there to offer in a Spa but time?
I am thrilled every time I can book a ‘slot’ and do not have to decide at the time of booking what I will be wanting or needing the day of the treatment. How the words “your therapist will be happy to discuss the selection of your treatment and preferences with you on the day” are music to my ears!
“What? Are you thinking of my costs, Anja?” may some of you spa managers cry out on reading my words. Of course there are numerous operational challenges that come along with such offers
- further staff training
- re-calculation of costs
- re-design of guest flow
- re-design of processes
- more flexible work flow set ups etc
It is important, to keep a close eye on the following Spa Key Performance Indicators
- Average Treatment Time
- RevPATH (Revenue per available treatment hour)
- Occupancy Rates
as any drastic changes in average treatment time can have a negative impact on RevPATH and occupancy rates.
Yet I strongly believe that these kind of offers are sustainably enhancing customer experience, brand loyalty, and job satisfaction.
Spa Trend 2015
My concluding advise for 2015 to Spas: offer more time in authenticity, care and dedication in passion, not solely standard treatments!
I am seeing more and more Spas offering “time packages” as opposed to the traditional treatment menu of “one-hour classic facial” or “90-minute massage”, etc. One Spa in New Zealand offers what they have labelled “SOS” time (that is, utilising the International call for “need of help”), and each half-hour is offered at a certain price and clients build their own Spa treatment plan when they arrive at the Spa. You might decide on a 15-minute eyebrow shape, a 45-minute facial and a 60-minute massage, and you would pay for a “2-hour SOS Spa time”.
Another exclusive Spa that is associated with a golf club offers their version of this time package, and call it “Me Time”, which again allows the client to utilise the time they purchase for whatever Spa treatment they choose on the day.
In both of these Spas the therapists are trained in all Spa treatments on offer, and every Spa room is equipped with everything needed for every treatment protocol, from a facial to a manicure to a leg wax. This means that however the client has chosen to utilise their time, the therapist is all set up and organised for whatever therapy is requested.
I believe this is the way forward for savvy spa-goers wanting to book much needed time in the Spa, but not having the pressure of having to decide at the time of booking what treatment they require. With many more Spas offering loyalty programs, this offering only further encourages brand loyalty and enhanced customer satisfaction – something every Spa is aiming for in this highly competitive industry!
I am Australian-born, raised between Australia, America and New Zealand, and now happily reside in Queenstown, New Zealand. This is partly due to marrying a “Kiwi” (New Zealander), and partly due to my passion for the southern alps of a country so beautiful it literally takes my breath away every day.
My background is varied (who’s isn’t these days?), from originally studying Fine Arts at University with the hope of becoming an Art Curator, to being gainfully employed in a publishing house, an advertising agency and an international airline (all of which allowed me to learn invaluable ‘transferable’ skills), to finally finding my “true calling” in the wellness industry as a holistic Nutritionist (following a further 6 years of study).
My dream is to operate a Wellness Retreat, one where body, mind and soul are nurtured, and that ever-elusive inner peace is found.