As I see it! Training for delivery, commitment and integrity

I have been in the cosmetics and skincare products distribution business for over 30 years. Working in this segment has by default landed me in the spa and wellness industry, an industry about which I have become absolutely passionate. Especially now, at this crucial period as my dream of a destination retreat in Nepal will finally happen, launching in a week’s time.

I am not promoting my business here, but rather sharing with readers the path that has driven me towards co-creating this destination retreat. The retreat’s main investor put it perfectly when he said, “Donald, I am investing in this project because I see the passion in you.”

Yes folks, PASSION is what drives whatever we set out to do. Why am I so passionate about this industry? As a spa operator for over 20 years, I have had successes and failures, challenges and rewards. What I am passionate about is seeing my spas help both my therapists and their customers flourish. And how do I ensure this? Training.

Training brings repeat customers

One of the industry’s main challenges is training, training and training. My leading day spa in Kathmandu averages 30 customers a day, with 80% repeat customers, mostly locals, who are members or who have bought a series of treatments. So often I have been asked by our customers, “Who trains your therapists?”

Training ensures quality delivery

Delivery is the key. Seeing my therapists receive good tips – and these are repeat tips from repeat customers – brings a smile to my face. For my therapists it’s the monetary reward and for me a sign of satisfied customers.

Training results in good word of mouth

My experience tells me, word of mouth is the best advertising. Moreover it is advertising money cannot buy. This spa does not spend a cent in print media or social media advertising. However, if you have satisfied customers, they will go out of their way to patronize and praise your spa. And having satisfied customers, thanks to quality training and delivery, pays back to therapists. It’s a virtuous circle.

Training brings commitment and integrity

In addition, commitment and integrity are key to the success of the spa and the therapists. Say “Goodbye and thank you!” to staff who do not understand. When I say ‘commitment’ I mean continuously striving to improve oneself. When I talk about ‘integrity’ on their side, I also mean trust on mine, as I have no clue what the therapists are doing inside the treatment room, despite all the SOPs and controls.

Training is also good for the bottom line

Seeing my customers repeatedly coming in to the spa drives me to explore how I can serve them better. How could I further fulfill their need for better health, coping with stress, seeking wellbeing, enriching their life and, yes, shifting some Nepali rupees to Donald’s pocket?

Training, training, training!

That’s it for now folks. As a board member of APSWC, our motto is to support the industry in whatever is needed. I am ready to share, if any of you wish to discuss.

©Donald Cha

One reply on “As I see it! Training for delivery, commitment and integrity”

As a retail trainer, it’s been interesting to see how the industry as a whole has resisted therapist education. If it’s not free product knowledge, they’re not interested.
Perhaps years ago there was a lack of empirical data to justify investment in training but that is no longer true. As Mr. Cha stated, high performance generates repeat customers and increases take-home revenue. Everyone wins!

Within months after training, I have seen frequent revenue increases up to 600% from upsells and retail.
The spa industry struggles with recruitment, yet Millennials have told us for years that what attracts them to a job is skills training. Why aren’t we listening?

In today’s environment when the only thing keeping some spas afloat is their online retail, training is the first step in building skills toward a strong retail culture. You need to educate your guests on the value of home care and that is a learned skillset.
I personally believe that in a wellness environment when massage is the primary treatment, no guest should walk out without a soothing product to use at home. Essential oils, bath salts, aromatic candles, a pillow spray, are an organic fit. But how often are you allowing your therapist to perform treatments without a thought of home care? It’s time to train your staff.

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