The Twin Wells
Image by National Library of Ireland on The Commons
A group taking the waters at the Twin Wells on the banks of the River Aille at Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare.
Lisdoonvarna is Ireland’s only Spa town, and the healthy benefits of the water were noted as early as 1740.
Date: Circa 1900
NLI Ref.: L_CAB_06206
Technology is all around us, it’s what makes life happen. Some may say that we are overloaded with gadgets, however the majority would agree that certain technologies make our lives easier to manage. There is no denying that businesses are more efficient with technology and there are so many ways to make use of them. The following roundtable discussion with our panel of three spa industry experts sheds some light on how technology plays a role in their lives and spa businesses.
Q & A
Q. What technologies have made your life easier?
Jillian: I have used online booking since I opened the spa. I couldn’t live without it. I switched from Elite software, which didn’t have online booking at the time to Booker.com. Booker.com keeps EVERYTHING organized for me. It makes my life very easy.
Paul: Cell phones, email, document sharing, online collaboration tools.
Julie: As a business owner, I have learned to rely on my mobile devices over my computer. I am able to do 85% of my work on my mobile device. This is huge. It means I can work anytime, anywhere. I can do almost anything and everything from my mobile devices. Now, this is good and bad. I believe that along with technology advancements must come a balance.
Q. What apps can’t you live without?
Jillian: I love EWG.org’s Skin Deep app so I can research ingredients on the fly. Book also has an app, which I use frequently
Paul: Don’t really use or depend on apps in this context. In the office world, calendar management tools, Excel, PowerPoint, Skype, GoToMeeting, and X-Mind are must haves used every day.
Julie: I have many. These are a few that I love:
Chronos. They have developed an app that helps you live your life more intentionally. See where you have spent your time and focus on where you wish to spend your time. This is a good step towards creating a good work/life balance.
Invoice2go. I can invoice my clients and track my revenue with my mobile device, so simple.
Google Drive. I cannot live without my Google Apps for business. My Google Drive is with me wherever I go and I have access to all of my files. I can view, edit, collaborate with my team or clients and email all of my documents.
CamScanner. I can scan a document anywhere! Gone are the big bulky scanners.
SeatGuru. Never get the worst seat on the plane again and get the inside scoop on really good seats that don’t cost extra money.
Q. What advancements in technology have made spa operations easier?
Jillian: I love Booker and they are partners with PayPal, which is great, but I don’t use it because I don’t know how. I wish I did. It’s not as popular as Square or Klover, which I think are more advanced. So I guess I would like better point of sale equipment. Other than that, Booker.com is all I use.
In the treatment room, I love my LED light mag lamps, my Solitone LED light panel for facials and I just bought the new Oxygeneo Machine from Pollegan, which is revolutionizing the oxygen facial. It’s amazing.
Paul: Can’t say it’s made operations ‘easier’ but the evolution of spa scheduling software has made sophisticated data available that lets a spa operator be smarter about menu planning, pricing, revenue management and guest service.
Julie: Please don’t use an appointment book for your spa or salon; a really good spa software is not expensive and will streamline your operations. You will operate a more profitable business once you are aware of your missed opportunities; these metrics can be measured using a spa software.
Marketing has been forever changed with technology. Are you using social media to your advantage? Is it driving in business directly to your door? It should be! Advancements in technology make it easier to reach more people, drive them in the doors and keep them coming back.
Q. What technology has improved a guest’s overall spa experience?
Jillian: Ultimately, clients want to be pampered, warm and cared for, they also want results. The technician is fully responsible for their experience in the treatment room. So, no matter what technology is available for us to use, the clients want the human touch and there is nothing that will ever takes its place.
Paul: Facility-wide audio systems for integrated relaxation sound experience. Treatment room efficiencies and automation like well placed towel cabbies and stone heaters, electric-lift tables, pre-set lighting controls, tablet-based intake forms. Online booking systems that work (i.e. no need for a separate phone call).
Julie: Communication methods have drastically improved. The clients’ experience can begin before they even walk through the door, setting them up for an amazing experience. Following up spa visits with thank you campaigns and satisfaction surveys shows the client how they are appreciated and you can use the feedback you receive to improve your operation. Technology has made interacting with our guests easy, making them feel extra special and valued. The end goal is a group of people willingly singing your praises to everyone they know.
Q. Have you incorporated technology into your spa and how?
Jillian: We offer micro, microcurrent, ultrasound, LED light, Oxygeneo, high frequency and online booking. That’s enough for my clients. If something comes along and adds value to my spa and to my client’s experience, I’ll take a look at it!
Paul: We set up informal photo-op stations around the spa in places conducive to quality selfies or group pictures for people to capture and share their spa experience more easily via social media.
Julie: I am going to shift in types of technology here and say that the use of devices along with the use of amazing healthy products has proven to produce the immediate results our customers desire. I am speaking so much further in advancement than microdermabrasion; I am referring to using natural, healthy, often organic products and enhancing their results with technology like simple micro current or ultrasonic therapy.
One thing is certain, technology has its place in the spa business. How and what you choose to incorporate into your business is up to you. The question to ask yourself is this “How does the technology I use improve my business and the experience of my guests?” Don’t just jump on the next best thing, unless it has a real purpose and benefit to your treatments, employees, and guests. There is always going to be something better, faster and more efficient, however there may not be a place for it in your service/treatment program. Always keep your pulse on what is new and think about if the cost and benefit is worth the implementation. Change is never easy, but often yields a great outcome.
Well & Being Spa at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess offers a variety of health conscious, heart smart and nutritious food offerings that are available daily from our spa cuisine menu. Dine poolside or in our enclosed atrium before or after treatments and fitness classes, or opt to enjoy our spa fare in the privacy of your guestroom or suite. Nutritional information is available for all spa meals, and we are happy to cater to any dietary restrictions necessary, such as gluten free, low sugar, vegan or vegetarian. Experience wellness techniques known all over the world.
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