Spa Partners Blog

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Archive for July, 2010

Managing Your Spa’s Online Reputation

They’re Talking About You—But You Can Shape and Benefit From the ‘Conversations’


As little as seven years ago, managing the reputation of your business could be covered using the same techniques that have been used since the invention of the printing press. Communication between a business and consumers was a one-way street: businesses marketed to, and talked at, consumers, who were, by nature, the passive recipients of those messages.

But in the last couple years we’ve seen one of the most radical disruptions in the ways consumers use the Internet in the medium’s history. Whether you call it ‘Web 2.0’ or the user-generated revolution, it’s an overwhelming fact that Internet consumers are no longer solely the recipients of controlled, top-down information, they’re now the creators and ultimate ‘evaluators’ of that information. Online customer reviews are exploding, and they’re having an increasingly powerful impact on how consumers select spas to visit.

Just consider the facts:

* 70% of Americans now consult online consumer reviews before making a product or service purchase. (Business Week, 2009) 

* Reading online customer reviews is one of the top 3 reasons spa consumers visit websites (trailing only finding spa deals and viewing spa menus).  48% cite that online reviews are now a primary online destination.  (Coyle Hospitality Research, 2010 ) 

* 72% of wealthy consumers report that when they’re shopping online for luxury goods/services, they search online to read customer reviews. (Luxury Institute, 2010) 

* 48% of spa-goers report they’re now likely/very likely to write an online review to share their spa experiences. (Coyle Hospitality Research, 2010) 

Today a simple Google search for your spa’s name surrounded by quotes can prove an eye opener. Practically every business located in an even smallish city has been reviewed somewhere online – and many owners don’t even realize it. Sites like Yelp.com, Citysearch.com, and, of course, SpaFinder.com allow your customers to easily post ratings and reviews about your spa. 

It’s understandable that businesses might be terrified of all these anonymous consumers posting uncontrolled messages, in these ever-spawning, uncontrolled environments. But of course it’s precisely the raw, unpolished, uncontrolled nature of this content (that makes it so scary to businesses) that makes it so powerfully credible and valuable for consumers. And not only will sticking your head in the sand not make it go away–not forging a Web 2.0 strategy for your spa means you can’t manage as well as profit from these reviews and consumer conversations.

So what to do? While there’s no single, bullet-proof Web 2.0 strategy, there are a few tips your business can take:

  1. Use these services to your benefit – With online communities, the more reviews about your spa, the more trusted your business becomes. And here’s evidence to quell some anxieties: research shows that 80% of all posted consumer reviews are actually positive. Give a printed card to each customer when they’re checking out that asks them to leave a review of your business on their site of preference.
  2. Monitor Popular Sites – Make sure to regularly visit SpaFinder.com, Yelp.com, CitySearch and other local forum/review sites where your business is likely to be discussed. 
  3. Respond to negative reviews – Make sure that you and your staff are hyper-responsive and human when addressing complaints or questions. Most sites allow business owners to respond to reviews, and if a site doesn’t, just post a response comment. In most cases, sites will not post particularly slanderous comments or reviews, but if one does slip through, you can usually request its removal.
  4. Provide Great Customer Service – It sounds like common sense, but it’s amazing how often it’s forgotten. After all, online ratings and reviews are ‘word of mouth’ virtually personified. What was once intangible and hard to measure, is now only one search away. The surefire way to make certain your spa is receiving glowing reviews is by providing terrific service.


While community review sites have undoubtedly created new challenges for business owners everywhere, the upside is that there are now many more places around the Web for potential customers not only to find, but to promote, your business. The user-generated revolution, and consumer ratings and reviews are here to stay, and if managed properly, they represent a tremendously powerful tool to help your spa thrive and grow.

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Global Spa Summit Update

The  comprehensive “Spas and the Global Wellness Market” study presented at the recent Global Spa Summit has numerous findings that will impact your spa’s business.  Here is one that stuck in my mind, as it suggests how spas can successfully tap into the $1.9 trillion global wellness market.

When consumers were asked what activities they are most likely to pursue to enhance wellness, the top three answers were exercise, eat better, and visit a spa. This means you should consider tying your spas marketing messages to wellness – and if you offer exercise and healthy eating programs, be sure they are at the top of your activities’ list. Read the full study here.

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Important News: Free Barcode Scanners for Even Simpler Redemption

Dear SpaFinder Partner,

SpaFinder has committed to providing our deeply valued partners with new barcode scanners to make your online gift certificate/card redemption process far more easy and efficient.

These scanners are not only super easy to install and use, but they will:

  • Improve the speed/ease of redemption – no more manually entering 19-digit codes
  • Reduce the time to receive your payments with SpaFinder Online Redemption
  • Eliminate the need to call and verify instant online gift certificates – preventing potential fraud


To ensure that we can send you this FREE new technology (and that it ships to the right location), it’s extremely important that you take this very brief survey http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/barcode ( I promise it will take less than 5 minutes!)

We value your time – and thank you so much.

Warm regards,


Sallie Fraenkel
COO SpaFinder, Inc.

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Tell Us What’s Cooking at Your Spa

recipeThe new “Spa Recipes” section of SpaFinder.com is launching this summer! This is a unique opportunity for our spa partners to showcase original spa cuisine and the impressive chefs who are behind these healthy dishes. If your spa does not provide food for spa guests, we still want your story pitches. Perhaps you have a do it yourself spa treatment recipe. Either way, we’ll have a taste. Email your recipes and photos at response@spafinder.com.

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Incomparable Exposure! The SpaFinder Guide to Global Spa, Wellness & Beauty

SpaFinder New Beauty Logo

Don’t miss the opportunity to be included in largest and most respected spa guide in the world. The Guide will be published in November with increased global circulation and exciting new features.  

We understand that it is important for you to reach the most affluent spa-goers, so the The SpaFinder Guide to Global Spa, Wellness & Beauty will also be sent directly to 30,000 of American Express’ highest spending members in the spa/hotel categories, 25,000 high-end travel agents, and will be distributed in 150 exclusive, private airports.

Worldwide circulation will increase by 20%! 

• Exposure to 2.25 million NewBeauty readers
• Distributed to high-end travel agents and at private airports
• Distributed at 150 private airports with exclusive newsstands
• Global distribution to leading day spas, hotels, resorts and destination spas
• Unique advertorial content
• Integrated online promotion on SpaFinder.com, NewBeauty.com and DailyBeauty.com

To reserve your space, contact Holly Block, Account Executive, at 212-716-1219 or email holly.block@spafinder.com

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