Operating a spa is a marathon flurried in kindness, thoughtfulness and precision. While managing both the client and the employee, timing, knowledge, calm and sensibility are a must. I suppose this could be called management on the edge. Everything–all day long could be absolutely perfect, and then if just one thing isn’t perfect, the client’s perception of their experience is flawed. Like composing the perfect wedding, an hour or a day at the spa must go without a hitch.
Operations also have a lot to do with product management: allowing just enough product for each treatment. Further, making sure that the client’s experience is always in flow. There should never be someone in the waiting room. Quiet rooms should be enclaves of personal peace even when shared with other spa-goers. Treatments should be consistent with franchise flare, yet customized to suit the the client down to the detail.
Likewise, employees should be treated as the assets they are with expected breaks. Employees touch the client and touch is the essence of the experience. It is the element that most service companies never manage. That transference of energy from the employee to the client is a part of the formula of creating a spa experience that is unforgettable. Consequently, operations involves a minute by minute management of creating both joy and calm throughout each working day. It is a pace that should be left only to those with mastery.
This leads us to education. While product knowledge is crucial and treatment protocol knowledge is essential, management of the experience is a different form of knowledge. For the operations manager this is a matter of continually honing their craft and then disseminating this ease to their staff. Running a spa is not for the weak stomached.