Some of the major changes in the spa industry have had to do with ownership structure, investor attractiveness, and spa mergers and consolidations. All three are indicators of a maturing industry. Spas are facing many of the challenges that more traditional businesses face while still keeping their focus on the mission that makes spas unique.
Spa professionals are focusing more and more on activities extending well beyond the walls of their spa and the typical business goals. There is a continued return to the roots of spa, the roots where people see the spa as serving social purposes and improving the quality of life. This stems partly from more stringent government and legal requirements and partly from a feeling of social responsibility.
Part of survival—whether personal, spiritual, or business—is planning for what comes next and ensuring that one’s actions today are providing for the future. Today’s spas are flourishing and successful and in a perfect position to prepare for even greater things ahead. This is true both on the aggregate level of the spa world and the individual spa.
Service is so integral to what a spa does that many menus list treatments as services. A spa delivering poor service risks not staying in business for long.
Service is generally defined as “work done for others.” However, most people in the industry would impose a quality factor into that definition. There is an expectation that the service is done well and appropriately and even beyond that, quality service means exceeding the guests’ expectations.
Management experts long ago learned that there are fundamental differences between the way that service businesses manage and market their services and the way that manufacturing businesses manage and market their products.
While spas are a service business by classic definition, consumers today want more than just services. Now, consumers are looking for an experience that is memorable and lasting.
In Experience Economy by B. Joseph Pine and James H. Gilmore, the authors explain that an experience can engage guests in a number of dimensions.
The bottom line for spas is delivering on the promise that a spa makes to its owners, employees, and guests.
Every spa will offer its own unique experience to its guests just as every guest will participate in a unique experience at every visit.