Time is money, for both you and your clients. When you consider that a lunch hour can be booked in 15-minute increments, you can quickly see the potential of having a busy spa midday. That’s four clients instead of just one— more opportunities to gain a loyal customer, cross-promote other services, and sell retail. If your menu does not already include an express treatment section, now is the time to consider adding one.
Everybody wins when you have shorter treatments available. You want to maximize your time and fill your appointment book. Clients want convenience and most of them find it easier on a weekday to fit in a short spa service instead of a long one. Read on to learn how to build your express menu using the “six Ps” as your guide.
Step 1: Plan
Plan As with anything, you will need to come up with a strategy that works for you. The idea is to come up with something authentic, unique, and with substance. Express treatments are mini services that take 15 to 30 minutes max. They should not be substitutes for your full-length services, so they do not compete with what is on your main menu, but you can base your ideas on your full length services. Go through your menu and pick a few items that could be modified into an express version.
When making a full service into a mini service, the treatment must offer immediate results for it to sell well. For example, a deep cleansing facial can be turned into a mini cleansing facial by leaving out the steam, exfoliation, and extractions.
When it comes to facials, keep in mind that office workers who need to return to work after their express treatment may not want a service that will mess up their hair or leave them needing to reapply makeup.
Do not be afraid to get creative with your mini treatments. Some ideas for express services are shown on the right.
Step 2: Promote
When you’ve decided on your new express menu, print it and circulate it. Hand it to new clients who are browsing in your spa—maybe they have time for an express treatment right now! Local businesses and corporate offices are good places to leave your menu. Ask if you can place copies in the employee break room or on a notice board. Anywhere within walking distance is a good place to start. Business offices have women (and men) who need a quick brow tidy or spa pick-me-up during their lunch hour—11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on weekdays will cover most workers’ break times. However, avoid car windshield spamming and sidewalk solicitations. Instead, be more targeted with your campaign. Don’t forget to use your social media networks to get the word out, too.
Step 3: Perform
Shorter services mean your skills and expertise need to be top quality. You have less time to make an impression and offer results, so every minute counts.
The pace must be quick, but not jarring. Perform every service without compromising your quality or integrity as a professional. Remember, your service is not about the product you use; it is about the experience you provide. Does each service offer the “wow” factor that brings guests back for more? Details like adding a scalp massage or a paraffin hand dip during an express facial can make a big difference.
Always do your best. Remember, this client may turn into a regular who will bring friends, purchase products you recommend, and book lengthier services. During your treatment, offer a small preview of another service or product if you can. Flaunt your expertise. Take a few minutes to discuss the client’s needs and talk about ingredients, services, or products that would help.
Step 4: Prescribe
How will your lunchtime customer remember what you talked about during those 15 minutes? Writing down some recommendations before the client leaves only adds a few seconds to the sign-out process. Simply use your business card or a clear space on your brochure to mark the services you believe may be of interest for later. If you notice the client has tension in the neck, or is under stress, suggest a massage.
If you think the client would benefit from a good exfoliation to brighten the skin or a series of treatments to clear acne, say so, and circle the service and/or products you suggest. The key is that you have to personalize what you do.
Step 5: Package
You can package express treatments together in the same way you package your full-length services.
Throw in a brow, chin, or lip wax with a mini facial—waxing is by far the most satisfying results-producing service and can help boost the popularity of treatments that don’t have immediately visible results.
If a client only has time for one mini service, or if there’s a service on your express menu that doesn’t easily pair well with others, create a package consisting of the mini service and a retail product that supports it. In a spa where you work with hairstylists, nail technicians, or other professionals, you can create packages as a team effort. Make introductions to other staff members and be sure to ask the client if she is interested in any of the other services available. Figure out in advance with other team members how these partnerships will work—it can become problematic if you do not specify who is in charge of taking care of the client and moving her from one area to another. Never leave a client to her own devices and expect that she will just fl oat to the right place.
Another option for express treatments is to offer a time booking, where the client simply pays a dollar amount per five minutes, with a 20-minute minimum, and the services are determined on the spot to address whatever the client wants or needs. A word of warning: this is the most difficult option, because you never know what service will be required and cannot prepare in advance. When booking clients on a time basis, you must ask what concerns they want to focus on. This type of service is for more advanced practitioners who can easily switch hats and know the skin and body well.
Step 6: Purchase
Increasing the ease of payment frees up time to move clients through your facility faster. Take advantage of technology to allow clients who book online to pay in advance at the time of booking, and allow point-of-service payment with a credit card slider that can be attached to your smartphone or iPad. Both of these methods are easier for clients and also remove the need for you to ring them up at a reception desk after a service. When looking for a payment system, seek a prove that offers good support and test the system before you jump in with both feet. Keep in mind that the process should be easy and seamless for clients, and should add to the express feel of your spa.
Maximize Your Time and Profits
Making the most of short time slots is a great way to maximize your profits. Express treatments can help you fill in your books, sell more retail, and build a larger client base. As a mentor always said to me, time is precious—be sure to use it wisely.
10 Treatment Ideas
- Basic Mini Facial: Leave out the steam and extractions, and shorten the facial massage portion. If you’re using multiple products, leave out one that isn’t a crucial part of the facial.
- Express Vitamin C Facial: Combine the basic mini facial with a vitamin C mask. This can be offered as a booster for dull, discolored skin.
- 30-Minute Plumping Facial: Perform the basic mini facial with moisturizing products, and include one or more serums or boosters.
- Mini Custom Facial: Offer a variety of custom masks for the client to choose from, adding this step to the basic mini facial.
- Express Stone Facial: Combine the basic mini facial with warm or cool facial stone massage.
- Mini Mani and/or Pedi: Just a soak, followed by a brief hand/foot massage using moisturizer, then a nail color change.
- Stress Reliever: A short massage focusing on one area—shoulders, head, hands, feet/lower legs—that can be performed with the client clothed.
- Quick Pick-Me-Up: Cleanse the face and follow with a facial massage and makeup application.
- Face and Scalp Massage: Use aromatherapy, stones or a jade roller, and lymphatic drainage techniques for a quick and delightful massage.
- Express Hydra-Calm Acne Facial: This 30-minute facial can be used on the back or face. After basic cleansing, perform extractions and then apply calming ingredients and cold stones to reduce inflammation.