The Real SPA Experience

It’s so important to offer the best client service in order to give the best possible client experience.
Anyone who knows me will know I have extremely high standards and think the client experience should be the best!

For many, beauty treatments are a luxury or a special treat. So when you book a treatment you expect it to be enjoyable, relaxing and worth the money.
Its been a while since I last visited a spa for treatments not only as a treat but to do some competitive intelligence research.

Sadly my findings were awful.

I had booked two regular body treatments with a local spa. The issues started the moment I dialled the number to book. I had to go through a very long waiting process of listening to pre-recorded messages. Eventually someone answered the phone and on my request informed me there were no appointments available but would transfer me to the spa anyway; it turned out there was availability.
On arrival at the spa I was greeted at the Spa reception by someone who looked like they had been out clubbing till the early hours and rolled straight into work still wearing last nights makeup.

A therapist showed me to my treatment room. I asked if both my treatments would be in the same room (I didn’t want to have a body scrub get dressed move to a different room for my back massage). The therapist then left me in the room while she went to find out. During which time I had been laying on the coach for so long I actually got back up to find my watch so I could check the time. My 30 minute treatment was due to start at 4.15pm, the therapist only returned at 4.25pm! She informed me that she would be carrying out both treatments in that very room.

I was laying on damp smelly towels that were so oily it was making my skin itch. I was so annoyed at the fact my treatment was running so late I couldn’t be bothered to request the towels be changed at the risk of then losing more time, finally the treatment began. As a tutor/assessor it was not how I would teach a student to scrub nor how I would carry out the treatment in such a way. Once the scrub was completed I was then guided to a dirty shower where I washed off the scrub. When I picked up the towel that was left for me I discovered it was in fact a couch cover, this was obvious as it came complete with a face hole.
I returned to the couch to lay on the same damp smelly towels having walked on the dirty floor picking up scrub salts on my clean feet.

My second treatment was worst than the first which going on the above must seem hard to believe.

Back, neck and shoulder massage that resembled a slab of meat having seasoning rubbed onto its surface. Every now and then an elbow would be used to drag up and down my spine. Massage should not be done directly on bone. As if that wasn’t enough every time she pushed her way down my back she crushed my head (she was practically laying on me from the top end of the bed), so hard it felt like my face was going to pushed through the face hole of the bed. I am hardly the tallest person; and if you struggle to massage a customer from the top end of a couch move to a different position.

My overall treatment time was 35 minutes albeit was meant to be 55 minutes!

So why am I bothering to share this awful experience with you?

Because as a highly qualified therapist and assessor who has also worked in a local spa feel its important that your expectations are not set too high.

As a tutor cross infection is taught as a subject, students are taught - clean towels, new couch roll and the importance of cleaning equipment.

I encountered a floor covered in massage oil and salt granules from my scrub and possibly another 10 peoples. I struggled to find a surface not greasy to place my clothes.

As I mentioned before towels were wet and greasy. With no couch roll leaving my naked body laying on damp oily towels that I guess several previous clients had done the same thing on the same towels.

Remember these facts next time you book a spa day/treament:
After each client towels on a couch are NOT changed, they are normally changed only when they are extremely oily or wet.

Body brushes are never cleaned properly and therefore contain several clients dead skin cells.
Always be the first client of the day, 99% likely to have fresh clean towels.
The number of clients treated in one day by one therapist are in the region of 24+ therefore they cannot keep up with demand of clean towels; hence one set will be used on an average of 3/4 clients.

Never have massage at the end of the day as a therapist has carried out so many massages they are physically exhausted and you won’t get the best treatment.

It is critical that you are questioned about medical conditions and allergies!

So next time you fancy treating yourself make sure you know that the person carrying out your treatments is qualified, insured and hygienic. Clean towels are a must, silence during a treatment includes the banging and frantic squeezing of products, products should be removed quietly. Clean tidy working environment with a good initial consultation are basics!