Guest blog: how to communicate your spa or salon’s value with clarity
Clarity is a must-have communication skill. Matt Craven, owner of The Grange Spa in Lincolnshire, explains how clear, factual and well-structured marketing will make a big difference in how your spa is received.
Communication is key in what we do; how we choose to communicate sets the tone with our business, family and friends. Good communication is required for us to deliver and live up to expectation.
The main thing is that, as business owners, we choose to communicate. Spas need to highlight expectations and then deliver on them, and this communication is best done in detail.
As a business, you should highlight your mission statement to customers and staff, with your tag line and USP visible, so everyone is aware of the direction the business is going in and what you offer.
In my opinion, a proportion of the spa industry appears highly confused in their marketing communication. Let me give you an example. Now in my second year of judging for the Professional Beauty Awards, it seems there is an amount of misinformation with some businesses and the concern with this is how the consumer then views the industry.
In some situations, I’ve seen lovely venues telling the judges what they have as well as suggesting that when we turn up there will be more, but only when you look deeper do you realise the more does not exist.
I’ve seen smaller spas insinuate that they have more facilities on offer than they do – I guess to compete with larger rivals and hotel spas. In some circumstances, stock images from the likes of Shutterstock reinforce this.
For example, a stock image of someone relaxing in an area of the spa with a glass of bubbly, yet that area does not actually exist at that venue. It gives clients the impression that there’s more on offer than there actually is.
This can happen in the case of larger companies, where by there is a stock image of a flagship facility that they have used to advertise a different site. This can then make the customer think they are getting this lovely flagship-type venue but when they turn up the image doesn’t match.
These venues are beautiful and perfect just as they are. A spa is about stress-relief, pampering and wellness. It is a personal journey, not just about otherworldly heat experiences and big balance corporate bling, and it seems some have forgotten that.
The risks of miscommunication
This can lead to confusion with regards to what is being offered or what is going to be available to the customer when they step through your door. When the expectations for the consumer are not lived up to, this can then increase those expectations of the consumer beyond what is possible.
In other words, the consumer will assume the spa is trying to over promise and under deliver, which will then lead to the ever-increasing belief that other venues may fall short as well.
In summary, a lack of clarity leads to a disenfranchised customer who will leave your premises disappointed and underwhelmed – in the worst-case scenario they will believe that other spas will also be a disappointment.
Be true to your business
You have a fabulous facility, so provide clarity to both your guests and your team on who you are and what you do. Sell yourself and your awesome venue, but remember that it is always better to under promise and over deliver.
Living up to expectation is easy, you just need to make sure that you are detailed in your approach. This will keep people’s expectations at a level that will deliver an overwhelmed customer and a financial return. We have an industry to be proud of, so let’s make it clear!
Matt Craven runs The Grange Spa in Lincolnshire, which opened in 2008, with his wife Emma. He has more than 20 years’ experience in the leisure industry, is a Professional Beauty Awards judge and an amateur triathlete.