I’m preparing for a secret shopper job at a local Twin Cities spa owned by a fellow (or peer) spa owner. She hired me to come in as a pretend customer, get some services done, and evaluate the overall experience. I do this for some spa owners around the area that appreciate the blunt honesty I give them. Although I try to beat around the bush, they often tell me, “just tell me why my spa sucks so I can fix it”.
Spa owners seldom have time for long drawn-out meetings, so I cut to the chase. I give it to them like it is. Here’s a few examples of feedback.
Receptionist wasn’t at the front desk, didn’t appear to know what was happening or even who I might be.
Massage therapist was late for session.
Tea tasted old and burned, even papery.
Table wasn’t warmed up.
The music was too loud.
Asked for more pressure, didn’t deliver.
My intake wasn’t discussed.
Too much noise coming from the salon.
The receptionist asked me if I wanted change back from a $100 bill when the service was only $60.
I was not asked to rebook.
I let the therapist know what my chief complaints were with my body but nothing I mentioned was addressed.
The sheets smelled rancid.
The lighting could be dimmer.
These are all things that I’ve conveyed to spa owners over the past year to help them step out of their comfort zone of their own perception of their space and how their operations are going. It’s not easy accepting an audit or the results of an evaluation. Many spa owners cringe and just wait for the bandaid to get ripped off.
Really, this is a good thing. They’re accepting that their business might need some improvement. You can’t change or make something better if you’re not aware of it. I think we as massage therapists know this for a fact – especially when we ask for feedback during session and the client doesn’t give you any, only to find out they could have used more pressure.
Tell me why my spa sucks. So I can make it better. That’s an awesome attitude to have as a business owner. It shows you care and are open to feedback.
I’m headed out on another adventure to a spa soon. This one wants to focus on how well the staff listens to the client, among other things. I’m really looking forward to this visit and providing constructive, but honest, feedback.
Have you ever asked your clients for surveys or feedback on your business?