Customization is King in Today’s Spa Marketplace, by Jean Shea, MASSAGE Magazine Business TipCustomization is king in today’s highly competitive consumer marketplace, and that trend is not lost on spas.

Increasingly, clients are rejecting the one-size-fits-all treatment for a spa experience that is unique to their particular healing and relaxation needs. Spas are responding by offering a customized massage with add-on treatments to personalize the experience. Whether full-body exfoliation or body wraps—many of which can be further enhanced with customizing complexes or essential oils—pedi treatments or facials, spa goers more and more want to “have it their way.”

Customization may even go beyond treatment. Some spas personalize the experience by enabling clients to book blocks of time instead of just specific services. During this time, clients can create their own unique treatment—from the music and products to the room temperature.

The key to providing a customized experience is to clearly understand a client’s needs. Ask lots questions when clients make their appointment in order to determine the most suitable services, the upgrades that will be beneficial and enjoyable, and the best therapist to fit those needs.

Customization may require spas to make some change in the way they run their business. Since customizing services may involve more costs, correct pricing and managing product usage is more critical than ever. Having more treatments also means spas need to carry a greater variety of products, not to mention the need to continually train staff. Satisfied customers not withstanding, customized services also increase the opportunity for crossover retail sales.

On the balance, whatever changes may be needed to provide customized services, successful spas recognize that clients are not created equal, which means their treatments shouldn’t be either.

Jean Shea is the founder and CEO of BIOTONE, a leading manufacturer of superior quality professional massage oils, cremes, lotions, gels as well as spa-body and facial-treatment products. Shea founded the company in 1980 and today continues to help create and manufacture all of the company’s formulas.