An Unfortunate Lesson In How Not To Do Customer Service

spa time, how not to do customer serviceI went for a back massage today, in a very well known spa. I actually had a voucher so was using that, and thought I might relax and enjoy the facilities when I was there.

I thought. Unfortunately it clearly wasn’t policy to encourage guests to stick around. Whilst I had a really, really good massage, everything else about the experience was well below par, to put it politely. So I wouldn’t go back, or recommend it. How bad is that?

This was a perfect example of how not to do customer service. And perhaps a reminder that however wonderful your product or service, if you don’t look after your customers they still won’t come back.

So what went wrong?

Well firstly I couldn’t even find it. There was sign in the car park, but once I reached the appointed floor, no signs. Nothing to tell me where to go.. So I went through he only door that actually had anything and found the gym, still no signs. eventually I asked at gym reception to be sent through and to the back.

So reception etc was OK, the treatment was great, except the therapist had cold hands! Like icy cold, how will that help my muscles?

As soon as she had finished I got the up sell, with the recommended items being brought to reception and placed on the desk, despite the fact nobody had asked if I wanted them or told me the price.

I was offered a glass of water afterwards, but not the opportunity to sit down and drink it, that too was brought out to reception after the first sip.

So I was processed, payments rung up, thank you, off you go……

Hang on a minute. They missed a bit. At the time of booking I was told I could use the facilities, and that I would have free parking.

Did anyone even show me where the facilities were? Or give me towel or robe or anything? Did anyone sort out my car park ticket?

Er, no. To all. Not a mention

What a missed opportunity, honestly. We go to spas to be spoiled don’t we? To have a little pampering, and relax.

How easy it could have been to wow me, and have me telling my friends how great it was. Not only was no effort made to impress, simple things that happen at most spas weren’t done. Things like showing me the swimming pool, sauna etc, the changing rooms, giving me a towel. Showing me where I could relax after the treatment, bringing my water there. Letting me peruse the recommended product and packages, not assume I would take them without question.

I think there are things to learn for all of us. If you market yourself a 5* you certainly need to maintain regular decent standards, and at least meet industry norms. An excellent service or product can be cancelled out by not looking after the customer, not ensuring the small things are covered.

And the sad thing is, none of those “small things” cost anything, apart from a little time and attention.

I would hope that a smaller business would not make these mistakes, but if you have staff be sure that they are doing what you would do and treating customers as well as you do yourself. In this case it may be a staff training issue, however it is costing them customers and money.