Industry • Best Practice
The Best Medical Spas: 8 Business Lessons From World Spa Award Nominees
Jan.14,2022By Boulevard Staff
Every spa should take notice of the medical spa services offered by these nominees
If a day spa is about temporary indulgence, a medical spa is about long-term care and wellness. The nominees (and winner) of the World Spa Awards for 2021 embodied this mantra incredibly well. Spanning the globe, the many nominees offered various kinds of MedSpa services — each with their own unique spin or cultural traditions.
But one thing remained constant: the best medical spas commit to quality and to the client. As such, aspiring spa owners and even established medical spas can take a cue or two from these nominees. Even if you can’t offer the exact same treatment, use these examples as inspiration for how to exceed your clients’ expectations in the coming year.
The best medical spas get these things right
1. Incorporate sustainable materials
Spas and salons are notorious creators of waste. Eco-friendly measures are becoming greater differentiators in the highly competitive marketplace. By pivoting to more sustainable materials, the best medical spas show their dedication to their clients and the environment. The winner of the World Spa Awards for 2021, Lanserhof Tegernsee in Germany, opts for sustainable medical cosmetics with no pollutants. Products free from dyes, fragrance, silicones, and petroleum products further prove a company’s commitment to their sustainable mission. More and more, clients care about this aspect, so who’s to say that catering to that isn’t a service in itself?
2. Introduce nutrition & health elements
Now more than ever, everyone knows the importance of balancing exercise, work, and healthy eating habits. The trouble is that most of us are unable to achieve all three – especially if people find themselves in a situation that does not foster healthy habits. SHA Wellness Clinic in Spain has a unique approach to addressing this issue with their “Optimal Weight” program.
The length can be 7, 14, or 21 days, but all of the iterations include two key things: training with a nutritional and medical supervisor and the support to maintain those habits after the program is over. Educating clients about how to practice the wellness behaviors they learn is the key to helping them achieve their goals. That could be weight loss, muscle tone, or just overall healthiness. Regardless, more people are looking to medical spa services for aid in their physical wellness efforts.
3. Up the luxury factor with value-adds
By the same token of focusing on physical health and nutrition, offering refreshments and other luxe-feeling additions is critical. Nominee Palazzo Fiuggi employs a 3-star Michelin chef to prepare meals! While it’s not possible to do this for every medical spa, you can extract the principle and apply it to your own business all the same.
Develop “value-add” inclusions like glasses of Prosecco, fresh fruit, or even takeaway goodie bags with sample products. The key is to provide clients with something that makes them feel tended to and thought after.
4. Get on the cryo bandwagon
Cryotherapy has increased in popularity steadily for the last several years. Though popular for the management of fatty tissue, it also has applications in pain management and sports recovery. Many popular MedSpas consider it a useful treatment for those who live with chronic pain. Lanserhof Tegernsee cold therapy uses short-term exposures to temperatures of -110°C/-166°F to block pain conductivity and promote anti-inflammatory effects.
That means that people with Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, and other inflammation-based illnesses may see some improvement with this treatment. Lanserhof clients reported improvement after 14 days with some noticing a difference after the first treatment. For medical spa services geared towards pain management, cold therapy should definitely be on your short list.
5. Emphasize detoxification
And we don’t just mean only the digital kind either. It’s obviously critical to “disconnect” from screens and electronics if you are trying to relax or recharge (no pun intended). But Vivamayr in Austria incorporates every tool in the box from metabolic analysis and other medical testing to osteopathy and craniosacral therapy. Clients can choose from 1–2 week plans that are completely tailored to their needs as guided by the on-site doctor.
Whether it was reconnecting with nature by feeling the grass in your toes or indulging in a wrap, massage, and bath to release stored negative energy, it’s worth considering how you can offer a similar experience for your clients. Of course, not all spas can offer the breathtaking vistas of a mountainside resort. But that’s where our next service offering comes into play.
6. Consider both mental and physical wellness
There is an element of self-care in MedSpa services — one that urges the mind toward homeostasis with the body. One might call this “embodiment” or “therapeutic movement” and that concept stems from many therapy types, dance, and art exercises. It entails whatever a person wants or needs to reconnect with their body or rejoin their mind with a sense of groundedness. This could mean performing a sun salutation every morning, shredding an epic air guitar solo, or having a good belly laugh at a cute dog video on Instagram.
Traditional medical spa services offered don’t really incorporate these kinds of activities. Instead, you might partner up with another local business like a yoga or pilates studio, kickboxing gym, or even a drama therapist. Buchinger Wilhelmi in Germany offers Psychotherapy, coaching, art therapy, guided exercise, and physical therapy services for this exact reason. The additional layer of attention given to the often-overlooked relationship between the mind and body could make all the difference for your clients.
P.S.: It helps to take care of yourself this way, too!
7. Start a membership program
This might not qualify as a service in the traditional sense, but it still serves the clients all the same. Healing Waters in Kansas, one of the nominees, offers several membership types to keep clients coming back for various services. However, their most affordable option known as the “Wave & Sun Membership” doesn’t include any actual services.
It merely includes a welcome gift, early access to special offers and promotions, quarterly gifts, and a 5% discount on all services. Someone may not be able to commit to a membership that has specific services, but this type of membership allows clients to take advantage of a discount while still having the freedom of choice.
8. No online booking? Time to upgrade
We couldn’t select a single great example of online booking from among the nominees…because they all use it. Shifting once in-person or over-the-phone interaction to online-only is the new norm in our not-quite-post pandemic world. But not every business has made the move to digital yet when it comes to things like booking, payments, or client management. Not only do these top spas around the world all feature robust websites and online booking functions — but they’re also usually in multiple languages, as well.
It’s okay if you’re not multilingual; you can still offer a stellar booking experience. Tools like Boulevard’s new reporting feature make it easy to track services, times, client visits, and more from an easy-to-use UI. In fact, this shift toward tech-oriented tools for MedSpas made our top 2022 industry trends list. If there’s one thing on this list you add to your medical spa services, it should be seamless online booking.
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