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Spa sector losing bookings through poor handling of customer enquiries - survey

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According to a new survey by Leisure-net Solutions, only six per cent of spas ask potential clients making a telephone enquiry what benefits they want from a treatment and only 13 per cent are asked if they would like to make a booking.

The Spa call-Focus™ survey, which assesses and scores all aspects of a spas' telephone enquiry services against industry standards, tested a sample of 15 UK day spas by calling them three times over a seven-day period in October 2013.

Although no one asked the researchers if they had visited the spa before, 65 per cent answered the phone within five rings or less, eight out of 10 used the name of the spa in the greeting and almost two thirds showed interest in the caller.

More than half scored under 60 and the average score was 52 per cent, based on specific spa service criteria.

Leisure-net managing director, Mike Hill said: "Learning what they're doing right and - just as importantly - what they're doing wrong with telephone customer service is a crucial element of the day spa industry's success.

"Despite the boom in digital communications it is still the humble phone that people usually reach for when making their first enquiry - typically more than 40 per cent of enquiries are made this way, so it pays to get it right."

Lesley Aitken, founder of sales and training consultancy, Nurturing Skills, which has a focus on spas, said: "Picking up the phone to call a spa is a big deal for prospects. Research shows that the vast majority of people only contact one or two spas before deciding which one to visit, so the impression staff make on the phone is vital.

"We checked the quality of UK day spas' call handling with Spa call-Focus and found there's still a lot of work to be done. Only six per cent focused on the callers' needs and wants, many showed a lack of interest and enthusiasm, directing callers to a brochure instead of communicating directly on the phone, and there was a general lack of encouragement to make a booking.

"Answering the phone is not difficult, but identifying customers' needs, asking the right questions, overcoming concerns, providing the right solutions, connecting and building rapport, and planning and closing the appointment is not so straightforward.

She added: "Thousands of sales are lost every year in our industry by poor handling of telephone and email enquiries and this need not be the case."

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According to a new survey by Leisure-net Solutions, only six per cent of spas ask potential clients making a telephone enquiry what benefits they want from a treatment and only 13 per cent are asked if they would like to make a booking.
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