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Management Practices

Fully Booked: Spa Services - Part 1

Stacey Soble | July 10, 2011 | 1:35 PM
Fully Booked: Spa Services - Part 1
Fully Booked: Spa Services - Part 2

Don’t you just love that color client whose life mission is to prevent her roots from growing past a quarter inch? What about that manicure addict who couldn’t face the weekend without a fresh coat? Don’t forget about those clients whose names appear on the books like clockwork because they pre-book six months in advance. These predictable regulars are your business’ bread and butter. They allow you to accurately forecast future profitability, staff accordingly and comfortably ride through these belt-tightening times.

While the salon side maintains a strong percentage of predictability, the spa side is typically a little more unpredicatable. But when you can design unique, intriguing spa services that truly deliver the promised benefits and pump them with just the right marketing and promotional power, you can absolutely convince those spa clients that they need these services—they really need them. SALON TODAY invited lending day spas across the country to profile their top services for generating repeat business:

Prenatal Massage
 

Spa: Elixir Mind Body Massage in Denver, Colorado
What’s needed: Mama Mio relaxing eye compress, facial and pulse point oil, massage oil, stretch mark cream and balm
Product cost: $1.41
Who performs: massage therapist
Rebook: once a month, unless stress or back pain suggest a higher frequency
Price: $75 for 60 minutes; $112 for 90 minutes
Description: “Designed specifically for the mother-to-be, this massage is similar to the Swedish massage with a focus on relieving specific discomforts, such as backaches, swelling, bloating and leg cramps. This nurturing massage helps reduce fatigue by increasing circulation and drainage. For these treatments, we’ve carefully selected the Mama Mio line of products for mothers.”
How they market it: Owner Sandy Stroehmann provides extra brochures to expecting clients so they may take them and share them in their Lamaze classes.
Expert tip: “We sell a few spa packages for expecting mothers. For example, the Haute Mama includes the prenatal massage, a belly mask and a lower leg and foot massage and exfoliation,” says Stroehmann. “Although these packages make a great gift from husbands or from friends at showers, they also introduce the expecting clients to the benefits of massage. Many choose to continue the prenatal massage throughout their pregnancies.”

Laser Photo Facial

Spa: About Face Spa in Waterdown, Ontario
What’s needed: photo laser, gel, Dermalogica Daylight Defense products
Product cost: minimal
Who performs: esthetician trained with the laser
Rebook: every four to six weeks
Price: During the free consultation, estheticians quote a price for the service—from $48 to $200—depending on client need and desired results.
Description: “Non-invasion lift and firm with the most technically advanced facial without surgery. Our laser photo facial aids in improving the appearance of fine lines, skin texture and minor scarring.”
How they market it: “The service has a wide reach since it’s good for clients wanting to reduce acne and those who want to minimize fine lines and wrinkles,” says Shernette Teforo, spa director. The spa frequently features promotions that encourage clients to purchase a series of facials. For example, right now, they offer either 50 percent off their first facial or a discount when clients purchase six up front.
Expert tip: “We not only follow the facial with sun protection products, but we also strongly encourage photo facial clients to purchase them for home use,” says Allison Demontmorency, esthetician.

Signature Water Journey with Massage
 
Spa: Maximus Salon and Spa in Westbury, New York
What’s needed: aromatherapy oils, body scrub, massage oil or cream, hydrotherapy tub, Vichy shower, custom waterfall room.
Product cost: $3
Who performs: massage therapist
Rebook: every four to six weeks
Price: $150
Description: “The Water Journey includes a relaxing soak in our state-of-the-art hydrotherapy tub, boasting 150 water and air jets, rendering a full-body water massage. A salt scrub is gently rinsed by overhead soothing ‘rain’ bonnets. Your final destination, under our exclusive deluge of water, will leave you totally invigorated and refreshed. All this, plus a Swedish Massage, puts you in a total state of relaxation. Maximus’ best bet and most unique service.”
How they market it: The uniqueness of the service is Maximus’ best marketing tool, says Richard Calcasola, owner. “We created a service that clients can’t get anywhere else.”
Expert tip: “We all know spa equipment is expensive, yet few clients come in for just a hydrotherapy or a Vichy service. By putting all the equipment in one large tiled room, we were able to create this service that offered clients a taste—or 12-15 minutes of each of the three water services, as well as an hour-long massage,” say Calcasola. “For our luxury-driven clients, the biggest luxury is time. They love the service because they get so many experiences in one service, we love it because it utilizes our equipment.”

Next Generation Antioxidant Facial

Spa: The Spa at Hammock Bay in Palm Coast, Florida
What’s needed: glycolic cleanser, glycolic peel, post-peel balm, vitamin C, vitamin A, eye and neck fortifier and sunscreen moisturizer
Product cost: minimal
Who performs: esthetician
Rebook: once a month
Price: $120
Description: “Accelerates exfoliation, stimulates cellular growth, promotes collagen production and restores moisture and nutrients. This facial includes Next Generation Resurfacing for face, neck and décolleté plus skin-specific conditioning agents; antioxidant rejuvenating mask; glycolic hand treatment; and patented antioxidant vitamins A and C.”
How they market it: Whenever the spa is introducing a new service, it offers complimentary trials to club members who are property owners at the Ginn Hammock resort.
Expert tip: “Because this facial involves a peel, it’s important to discuss the service with the client in advance and let them know what to expect,” says Kadie Mitchell, esthetician. “Although the peel is only three minutes, it can get uncomfortable, so we offer clients a fan and talk them through that time.”

Smooth Operator
Fully Booked: Spa Services - Part 1
Spa: Phyto Universe in New York, New York
What’s needed: pre-care balm, straightening cream, inductor, neutralizing and cleansing emulsion, milky reconstructer and desired styling products.
Product cost: $60
Who performs: stylist
Rebook: every six to eight weeks
Price: For a full head of virgin hair, from $230-$320 depending on length of hair; touch-ups are $210-280 depending on length of hair
Description: “Our guaranteed, chemical-free Phyto relaxer is a revolutionary multi-purpose product that can relax, straighten and/or texturize even the most resistant hair. This all-botanical formula protects locks from dehydration and scalp irritation. Hair will be silky, strong and radiant.”
How they market it: A virtual hair spa, Phyto Universe is a hair and skin treatment center that doesn’t cut and color. As if they were visiting a hair doctor, clients receive complimentary analysis with the Phyto hair scope which magnifies hair and scalp 200 times. Licensed hair care experts identify hair challenges and prescribe appropriate treatments and products. As clients relax in private treatment cabins, their hair and scalp is indulged with the reparative treatment, an invigorating scalp massage, wash and style.
Expert tip: “Before the service, we bathe the scalp completely with a cream that has a shea butter base,” says director Nicolas Cornuot. “That not only protects the scalp but hydrates and conditions before the relaxing service.”

The 20/20
Fully Booked: Spa Services - Part 1
Spa: Yelo, Inc. in New York, New York
What’s needed: essential oils, massage cream, and private yellow cab cabin
Product cost: $2
Who performs: massage technician certified in reflexology
Rebook: twice a week
Price: $65
Description: “20 minutes of shoulder or foot massage followed by 20 minutes of YeloNap. This 40-minute treat is the best of both worlds and our best value!  Don’t you wish they did this at your kindergarten?”
How they market it: The novelty of incorporating a nap into a massage service generates its own buzz. “We’ve gotten quite a bit of press space and many local TV stations have covered us,” says Nicolas Ronco, owner. “But we also advertise this service in the spa by offering it as a series purchase—buy five get one free.”Yelo also rewards client frequency by selecting the top five customers each month either by dollar volume or frequency and giving them a valuable gift, such as a 60-minute massage with three therapists.
Expert tip: “When you are creating your spa or designing your services, remain loyal to your vision,” says Ronco. “Everyone is too eager to jump on the latest fad, but you have to test it. Before we add a new service or product, we introduce it to the staff, they all try it and then they vote. It has to receive a majority vote before we’ll consider incorporating it.”

Eyelash Extension
Fully Booked: Spa Services - Part 1
Spa: The Lash Company in Houston, Texas
What’s needed: straight and curved tweezers; under eye gel patches; different lengths, sizes and widths of extensions; Novalash platinum bond; air machine; and magnifying lamp
Product cost: $2
Who Performs: certified eyelash extensionist
Rebook: once a month
Price: Full Set: $250; touch-up: $75
Description:  “Eyelash extensions are sweeping the nation as the hottest new beauty trend. They can be worn while swimming, sleeping and enjoying all normal activities. Monthly touch-ups fill in any of these individual semipermanent hairs that gradually shed as the natural lashes complete their growth cycle. Because there are no strips or knots, the look is completely natural. Each individual hair is attached to one natural eyelash at a time.”
How they market it: “We’ve only been open about a year, so we run ads occasionally to get our name out there,” says Sophia Navarro, owner. “Most of our business comes through word of mouth. We do a promotion occasionally where we offer our full set for $250, but we’ve extended our hours twice and are pretty much operating at full capacity.”
Expert tip: Clients are committed to this service, sometimes to the extreme.  “Our clients get a little crazy,” says Navarro. “ I’ve seen them fight with each other over an appointment time, and once we had a blackout and had one client insist we still do her touch-up. I set the bed up in the parking lot and did them there.”The frenzy is worth it though, stresses Navarro. “It’s a profitable service for the salon. Technicians get quite fast when they do eyelash extensions day in and day out. And the tips are incredible, so you have very little turnover.”

Fully Booked: Spa Services - Part 1
Fully Booked: Spa Services - Part 2


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