Spa Etiquette: How to be a great spa therapist

Are you a Spa Therapist?

Maybe new to the world of Spa?

Not quite sure how to conduct yourself or what to expect?

With the team at Oracle Beauty Recruitment providing spa therapists to the spa industry, they fully believe that professionalism and etiquette is everything…. Here’s a few pointers that may help you along your journey.

Obviously personal presentation is a must!! Your uniform, hair, face, nails and general hygiene should reflect what you do and your image needs to portray that you believe you can make clients look and feel like you.

However also as paramount is how you conduct yourself and your clients experience with you and overall brand experience.

Spa Etiquette begins with simple courtesy and good manners: making friendly eye contact, offering a warm (but not too friendly) greeting, listening attentively, and giving the client your undivided attention. It continues by keeping the client comfortable psychologically, emotionally, and physically. This is paramount.

Another key aspect of spa etiquette is anticipating any situation which may cause disruption in the overall experience and nipping these potential issues in the bud.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, etiquette really is about compassion. Only when we can imagine how another person feels, try to step into their skin, can we feel their pain, their joy, their anxiety. Compassion and empathy really are the basis of informed and effective service which builds loyalty to the brand and cements repeat business. The brand experience you create must be consistent.

Attitude is the area where inconsistency is immediately felt; it is not okay for a therapist to be anything other than professional and polite, even if you are a brilliant therapist in terms of treatments, your attitude must be positive. Consistency is key and every time a client visits the spa, he or she should receive the same service and care.

Set the bar high when welcoming new customers. The first time at a new spa can be an intimidating experience for clients and they can often feel nervous. Since repeat business is the bedrock of any spa, remember to give returning clients your absolute best, too.

Warm Welcome in Spa and on the Phone

Seems simple enough, right? It is astonishing, however, how many businesses do not even offer a simple hello. Additionally, remember that when someone calls your business on the telephone, that call is often their first point of contact with your brand.

Clear Explanations of Services and Policies

Less is never more when answering any client’s questions, no matter if it is in person or on the phone. Be fully present and always give the client 100 percent of your attention. This is not the time to multitask!

Set the Mood

The first team member that the client encounters sets the tone. The start of a service should always start with a friendly greeting. And friendly does not mean overly familiar, better to err slightly on the side of formality.

Learn the client’s name and use it respectfully.

Offer tea or water and pour it for the client. Every new client should fill out a detailed consultation card addressing skin concerns, allergies, medical history, and so on. This will help customise their treatment and make sure there are no contraindications regarding products that may be used during their treatment.

Take Adequate Time to Explain What the Client is to Do When inside the Room

Entering the treatment room can be a very intimidating process. It can make clients nervous. Use the client’s name, let him or her know how much clothing to remove, where to put their clothing, and where to put their belongings. You should step out of the room for literally three to four minutes and this is the only time the client is left alone until the service is complete and it is time for them to get dressed. After four minutes, tap gently on the door and re-join your client. Bring the consultation card with you. Review the card and ask questions before initiating the hands-on treatment

Ensure Comfort within the Treatment Room

Room temperature, music volume (versus complete silence), lighting, bed height, and level of manual pressure all need to be adjusted for the client’s comfort. Ask about each of these areas within the first few moments of the treatment. Another aspect of etiquette in the room is the level of chat. Some clients unload, either because they welcome the therapeutic relationship or they are nervous. Others become silent. Some fall asleep.

My advice is to keep talking to a minimum. Of course, the client is always welcome to ask questions but refrain from small-talk, even when the client is chatty. Check in occasionally by softly asking if they are comfortable. Before applying any product or device to the skin, briefly announce and explain before you do it.

Be There for Your Client

Stock the treatment room with everything you will need, from serums to spatulas, so that you do not have to go trotting off in mid-treatment. Clients are prone to fear abandonment – they are naked, vulnerable and in your care. Per our introductory comments about compassion, imagine yourself there and offer them a calming, consistent feeling of security and support by being well-stocked and well-prepared.

When the treatment is over, help them sit up, ask how they feel, and tell them exactly where you will be when they dress and come out. There is nothing worse than being left to find your way out of a spa, never seeing your therapist again, and be handed a list of products that you have never heard of scribbled on a paper handed to you by a stranger at the front desk. That is a great way to ruin a client’s experience and lose retail sales. Be there for the client at the front desk and smile as they approach. Prepare the recommendations and explain what the products do.

Do Not Hard-sell… Ever

A key point in spa etiquette is to never make your client feel forced to purchase retail. We have all been in the situation where we enter a spa and once the therapist gets us on our backs in the chair, the up-sell begins. Do not do this.

Do make recommendations about further treatment, but make it short and sweet. And do send the client home with new knowledge about their own skin, samples to try, and most of all the confidence that they made the right decision about their skin by choosing to entrust you and your team with its care.


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