3 Secrets to Maximize Your Massage Services
By Eric Stephenson, LMT, NCTMB – Co-founder: imassage, Inc.
On average, 70% of spa revenue comes from massage.
Ensuring your massage therapists are delivering the highest levels of guest satisfaction is paramount to a spa’s success.
Since 2011, many spa properties continue to report difficulty in finding high quality massage therapists. There are some reasons behind this. According to 2014 ELAP research, “40-50% of massage school graduates exit the field within 24 months after graduation.” In addition, according to the ABMP, massage school enrollments have been on a steady decline- enrollments are down 18.8% since 2011, and down 50% since 2005.
So with 70% of overall guest spend coming from massage, let’s look at 3 ways you can positively affect your team of practitioners while also increasing your bottom line.
1. Invest in your team’s well-being. Therapists might be injuring themselves, resulting in call outs, high attrition rates, and workman’s compensation claims. One of the biggest reasons therapists leave the profession is unrealistic expectations about the physical nature of massage.
2. Focus on the soft-skills of guest interaction. Therapists might be delivering a great technical massage but are missing the finer touch points necessary to deliver a great experience. The 2016 spa consumer is not only expecting an excellent massage, but an excellent overall experience. A massage service can be severely compromised by lack of communication about applied pressure levels, haphazard draping and a therapist talking too much during a service.
3. Review and role play communication strategies. George Bernard Shaw once said: “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Therapists who aren’t truly communicating with guests cause a Spa’s biggest guest satisfaction complaint: “The therapist didn’t listen to me.” We have probably all had a massage (or several) where we asked the therapist to address specific areas/complaints, only to find them concentrating in another area and quickly addressing the requested area before the end of the massage- as we lay on the table annoyed. Or worse yet, they ignore the request altogether!
Understanding these pain points enables us to remedy them.
Eric Stephenson is Co-Founder of imassage, Inc. in Florida, an education and consulting company dedicated to extending the careers of massage therapists and spa practitioners through customized programs focusing on preventing injury and workers’ compensation claims. Eric has worked with some of the biggest names in the wellness industry including the Wynn/Encore Las Vegas, Kamalaya Thailand, Sandals Resorts and Spas, Grove Park Inn Asheville, Glen Ivy Hot Springs Spa and Starwood Hotels and Resorts. Contact Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org