Industry • Best Practice

How to Bring AI Into Your Spa Without Starting the Robot Uprising

Specific applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning keep the focus on care while bringing the wellness world up to speed.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have already revolutionized many industries, and the spa industry is no different. The wellness world offers a wealth of opportunities to integrate technology, but keeping the focus on health, healing, and care will require specific applications of those tech developments. In this article, we’ll look at some of the ways artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing the wellness game, and dig into the enormous opportunity this tech represents for spas and wellness businesses.

Increase business efficiency

One of the key benefits of advanced technologies like AI and machine learning is their ability to increase efficiency. Manual processes can’t compare because AI is capable of processing so many more data points all at once. For example, while a human receptionist can match a client with an open slot in a requested staff member’s schedule, an AI can recommend the perfect massage therapist, say, based on a client’s availability, preferences, and past spa experiences. As that client provides more data points by returning to the spa, booking more services, and providing feedback, recommendations powered by machine learning will only improve over time.

AI can also alleviate some of the busywork that gets stuck on spa employees’ shoulders. Automating critical workflows and customer-facing processes lets your valuable staff focus on what they do best. Here are some ideas for how to use automation to increase efficiency:

Improve customer experiences

Any opportunity to improve the experience your spa provides is worth considering. One of the ways artificial intelligence can help is by unlocking more robust customer support capabilities without having to invest heavily in round-the-clock staff or a highly specialized human support team. For example, adding a chatbot to your spa website makes it easy for clients to find the answers they need, and also cuts down the time your front-of-house staff has to spend on the phone fielding questions about location, hours, services, and other easy to answer inquiries.

In addition to 24/7 virtual support, artificial intelligence is a good way to introduce a helpful layer of technology to the modern client experience. High-tech health sensors and scanners powered by machine learning technology can make in-depth recommendations about the spa treatments that would benefit clients most. And if clients need help imagining how they’ll look after undergoing a procedure or treatment, AI can automatically mock up before and after photos. Previewing a big change with their own eyes can help clients make tough decisions about which services to choose.

Boost sales capabilities

It’s important to understand that these features feed into each other, creating an endless loop of benefits that lead to increased revenue. More efficient spa businesses provide better client experiences, which leads customers to spend more in the long run. But artificial intelligence can also boost sales by offering customers personalized recommendations. Whether you’re selling in-store or online, an AI can crunch the data about everything your clients have purchased from your spa business in the past in order to make better suggestions in the future.

AIs can also take into account internal inputs, like promotions your spa is running, and external details, like seasonal and industry trends dominating the market on a given day. The ability to recommend products and services that speak to customers’ past preferences and their current needs at the same time is a powerful way to increase their inclination to purchase. Another way artificial intelligence and machine learning can boost sales is by increasing your profit margin; automatically optimizing your pricing strategy based on sales trends and revenue goals can help you clear more profit on every transaction you complete.

Decrease liability

Many spas collect medical histories from new clients in order to cover their compliance bases, but it’s unclear whether or not that information is ever really put to use. Spa therapists are licensed as experts in their respective fields, but most of them are not trained in medicine. When they start a consultation by looking down the list of the client’s medical history, whether or not they know how to customize treatment based on that history shouldn’t be up to chance.  

Machine learning can help with that since it enables AIs to be trained quickly and completely in any field. An AI might not be able to practice medicine on its own anytime soon, but it can turn data about clients’ medical conditions and complaints into actionable information for spa professionals. Are certain ingredients dangerous for patients that take a particular medication, for example? Or do recent injuries, surgeries, or illnesses mean a specific treatment won’t be the safest option for a client? Those kinds of recommendations can help spa owners decrease their liability and put the medical information they already collect to good use.

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