In our previous post, we introduced some of the sales activities that hotel spas can implement in order to improve their capture rate activities. This week, we are sharing additional ideas that can help these hotel spas to tap into the local market. The following five tips provide a guide on how to reach out to local clientele and the sales activities that can be done in order to seize local markets.
There is one common perception that has affected hotel spas for a very long time. Very often, indeed, people think the services provided by these spas are exclusively orientated towards the guests of the hotel. One of the best ways to tackle this perception is by offering membership sales to customers in the local market.
In a recent article entitled Strategies for Today’s 8 Key Challenges in Hotel Spas, Kate Mearns, Spa Director at The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg, stated that “creating and offering local residents spa service memberships has been a way to grow business during off-peak times.” According to Mearns, “membership programs build the local market while creating a strong database of spa visitors who are within a close distance to the spa.”
Preferential and dynamic pricing
Some of today’s most successful spas have flourished because of their ability to serve their local markets by providing less expensive services. Having a dynamic pricing policy in place will help the spa to improve its overall performance. Likewise, preferential pricing is best implemented when it targets loyal customers and first-time goers.
For instance, an article recently published on ResortSuite.com argues in favour of strategic promotions such as a ‘last minute club’ where local customers can be informed about special promotions resulting from cancellations and unexpected availability. Something like this can have a positive impact on loyalty and customer retention.
Similarly, Christi Cano, President & Founder of Innovative Spa Productions sees a great benefit in promotional pricing. Instead of cutting costs, hotel spas should create short-term promotional activities with the ultimate goal of bringing people to the door of your business.
Focus on profitability
In order to seize the local market effectively, the hotel spa needs to keep an eye on its profitability. Overall planning, for example, requires a solid understanding of labour costs and true profit margin for each treatment.
Likewise, implementing yield management techniques can help you to boost your performance. For instance, by reducing the number of high margin services during peak times, your hotel spa “push more bookings into non-peak times that would go otherwise unsold.”
Having a good degree of flexibility regarding the services you provide will also help you to improve your profitability. As stated by the ResortSuite article, “A well designed and structured spa services menu can provide the essential flexibility to book services.” Similarly, with a flexible approach you could easily upgrade your most popular services.
Furthermore, hotel spas need to create synergies and develop special agreements with associations, hospital, clinics and other businesses where the spa would be a benefit to the local business.
To be effective, hotel spas need to get better at selling the benefits of their different services. In particular, they need to stress the health-related benefits that their treatments are capable of providing. If they do that, they will forge solid partnerships with these players and persuade potential customers to take advantage of those benefits. Similarly, it would be positive for hotel spas to build and nurture relationships with key local people.
Building personal experiences
One of the best options to attract new clientele is by adding value to the experiences you sell to your clients. The busier your hotel spa gets, the more transactional and impersonal it becomes. However, it is crucial that the customer leaves the spa with a feeling of satisfaction.
Being able to personalise that transaction will further strengthen the ties that exist between the hotel spa and the local market. As stated by Kate Mearns, “spa directors need to ensure that the guest experience remains personal and that the staff really works to understand the guest’s needs and fulfill them.”
Along those lines, Christi Cano highlights the importance of encouraging staff to upsell services during the reservation, check-in or in the treatment room. “Don’t only be an order taker, guide customers through the reservation process,” suggests Cano.
To conclude, we believe hotel spas will significantly increase their chances to seize their local markets if they are able to implement some of the activities we have mentioned here. Membership sales for local market customers, preferential and dynamic pricing, focus on profitability and value added promotions instead of aggressive discounting, special agreements with local players, and building personal experiences could generate great benefits for hotel spas willing to capture their local markets.