Spa Quality in the News
The Importance of Document Control for Spasby
Managing Director, Operations
I planned my spa visit via the spas
web site a 50-minute Invigorating Full Body Salt Scrub for $65. I called
the spa and made the appointment, although I could have made it online. When I
arrived at the hotel the day of scheduled scrub, I decided I would like to have
another treatment the following day. I grabbed the spas brochure from the
information binder in my hotel room. I decided on the 50-minute Summer Hydrating
Skin Renewal Facial. Since I would be at the spa within the hour, decided I would
make the reservation in person. I scanned the rest of the brochure and noticed
the Invigorating Full Body Salt Scrub was $75. Hmmm. I could have sworn it was
$65 on the web site
I checked in at the spa reception
desk and asked about the price of the scrub. Sorry, the $75 price applied. A little
annoyed, I thought to myself, They really should update their web site.
and If I had made the appointment online, would I have only been charged
$65? and Is this a bait and switch?
the scrub and, at checkout, remembered I wanted to schedule a facial. I asked
if the spa had any slots open for facials the following day. Fortunately, they
did. When I asked for the Summer Hydrating Skin Renewal Facial, I was told it
was no longer on the menu and was given a copy of the brochure to select another
facial. I scheduled a Fabulous Fall Moisturizing Facial (which was probably the
same thing as the Summer Hydrating Skin Renewal Facial) for the following day.
I mentioned that the brochure in my room had the Summer Hydrating Skin Renewal
Facial. I was told, Yeah, thats old.
The brochures looked identical from the cover, yet contained different information.
The spa should have made sure the information displayed on the web site and brochure
was the same and that all old brochures in the hotel rooms were the latest version.
I found it frustrating to not get the treatment I initially had chosen and annoying
to pay more than the spa had advertised on the Internet. Do I remember the Invigorating
Full Body Salt Scrub and Fabulous Fall Moisturizing Facial? Sort of. Do I remember
the mess with the different spa menus? You bet! Every last detail.
how exactly does a spa ensure the experience I had doesnt happen (or fix
it if it has)? With a process called Document Control.
Control encompasses the creation and control of all spa documents spa
menus, web site, printed newsletters, electronic newsletters, press releases,
treatment protocols, cleaning procedures, purchasing procedures, purchase orders,
records, signs, reports, customer feedback forms, and so on. Documents can be
in the form of written pages, electronic pages, flow charts, diagrams, pictures,
photos, signs, brochures, etc.
Document Control is one
of the processes that SpaQuality
LLC recommends a spa define early in its journey for SpaExcellenceSM
Certification. Even if a spa is not interested in certification, it is a process
that EVERY spa needs.
The following are the Basic Steps
to Creating a Document Control Process:
all of the spas documents (existing and planned).
who can create new documents.
who can change existing documents.
who can authorize documents.
how documents will be identified (title, number, etc.)
on how revisions will be identified (date, number, letter, etc.)
Identify the distribution locations for documents that have
to be tracked and controlled (spa brochures in the hotel rooms, for example) and
how the current version is ensured (process for recall and replacement).
Create a master list with all documents and
their latest revision as well as locations.
Spas may find it useful to define their process
in a flowchart similar to the one below.
the system is created, it only works if it is followed and maintained. That, of
course, takes discipline. However, its worth the work. Remember, when processes
and systems fail, it is usually your client thats the first to notice.
the way, when I mentioned to the spa the differences between the web site and
brochures and the fact that two versions of the brochure were in circulation,
the spa receptionist should have made note so the appropriate person could fix
the problem. Better yet, the spa would have periodically sampled the brochures
in the hotel rooms and checked that the web site and brochures matched. They would
have discovered the problem themselves, found out why the brochure wasnt
the current version, fixed it and prevented the problem from presenting itself
to the customer. That is called a Continual Improvement Process and it
will be covered in future articles. Without a Continual Improvement Process, the
spa is doomed to repeat the same problems over and over and over again.
LLC (www.spaquality.com) is dedicated to advancing the Spa industry through
Quality Management Standards, Education, Assessment and Certification. It's all
about helping Spas become excellent. The
International Standards of SpaExcellenceSM apply to the smallest
day Spas to the largest resort and destination Spas and from the newest Spas to
the pillars of the spa industry. The International Standards of SpaExcellenceSM
provide a road map to quality management practices such as Document Control as
well as other sound business practices that translate into consistently excellent
Spa experiences for the Spa Guest and a profitable business for the Spa owner.
For more information about SpaQuality LLC and the SpaExcellenceSM
Certification Program, contact:
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