Groupon Gets the Spa Treatment

by Joy Johnson on April 25, 2012

I was intrigued by an article posted by Guy Kawasaki on Facebook and one of his friend’s responses. The article talked about the steps a spa took to make sure the Groupon experience was a good one.  The adamant response on Facebook was that the article couldn’t possibly be true because, basically, everyone knows that spa owners don’t have good Groupon experiences.  It’s a prime example of getting out of life what you put into it.

As a Groupon spa consumer, I can tell you that some vendors treat you as though you are their very best customer and even refer to “next time” using a very gentle selling technique that ends up making you feel as though you’d like to be a long-term client. You just really want that treatment you just weren’t booked for today. People buy spa services for their “entertainment” value. It’s an escape from reality – that sense of being someone “rich and famous” for a few hours, of being pampered – and we call it a “necessity.” It’s the same principal Starbucks uses to sell liquid desserts at breakfast and call it “coffee.” I don’t know anyone who actually buys “coffee” at Starbucks, but I digress.

No matter how pampered you are, you want “more” and the best spas deliver. Others treat you as though you’re somehow substandard – a coupon shopper who is never coming back – someone who’s interfering with the employee’s ability to get “paying” work done.

Guess what? The results are exactly what they make them. Spas are the kind of business you’re loyal to for a time, but because so much of it is experience based, after awhile you start looking for a new experience. It’s nice to check out a new spa without getting stuck for the full price when you don’t know if you and the spa are a good match. So, for me, everything the guy in the article said has a ring of truth to it. From my perspective as a consumer, and a business consultant, that is exactly the way you make it work.

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