Industry • Best Practice

3 Things I Wish I Knew When Managing a Spa with Boulevard's Jozlyn Miller


By Jozlyn Miller

Jozlyn shares tips on how to understand the full scope of the client experience, dig into reports, and optimize your marketing

At Boulevard, we’re all about sharing the secrets to success. And with so much beauty business experience collected on our team, we’re lucky enough to have a wealth of knowledge to give back to the community.

Take Senior Education Manager Jozlyn Miller, for instance. Jozlyn spent years working as a spa operations manager. She learned a lot doing that job, but she’s learned even more since then. From perfecting every step of the client experience — and we do mean every step — to dialing in marketing efforts, these are the three things she wishes she’d known as a spa operations manager.

How to perfect the full client experience

Every spa manager knows that nothing has a bigger impact on whether or not a client returns than the client experience. What they may not know — and what Jozlyn has realized — is that the client experience includes way more than just what happens in the spa.


In fact, nailing the client experience begins as early as booking. The easier it is for a client to make an appointment, the more likely they’ll be to do it again (and again). For the ultimate in booking convenience, Jozlyn recommends a self-booking system. That gives clients maximum flexibility and insight into all your spa offers. If they try to book at 2 a.m. on a Sunday (no judgment), they don’t need to wait until the spa opens on Monday. Plus, 60% of millennials and Gen Z hate talking on the phone. Self-booking lets them skip that step.

Client profiles

When you offer clients self-booking, you can easily send them any relevant forms or questions before they arrive for their appointment. This info can then automatically populate to their client profiles, which gives providers a sense of who they are long before they arrive at the spa.

When she was a manager, Jozlyn mandated that every appointment have a note attached to it. To best serve a client, their provider needs to know as much as possible about them before they arrive. That starts with practical considerations. Do they have any allergies? What about injuries? These simple questions can help avoid disaster, and they save providers from needing to perform a consultation during the appointment. That means more time to focus on enhancement opportunities and the client experience.

Speaking of: Pre-appointment questions are a great way to get personal with clients. Do they prefer chatting it up or relaxing in silence? What kind of music will they want to hear? Are they coming in ahead of a big event, or as a treat for themselves? Soliciting these answers during the booking process or in forms empowers your providers to personalize the client’s experience. It also gives them a leg up when building rapport. These two factors can mean the difference between a one-and-done appointment and a newfound regular.

Once a client wraps up their appointment, they’ll want to check out as smoothly as possible. If you asked for their payment info during booking (a good policy if you want to cut down on no-shows) you’ll be able to offer a streamlined checkout experience. You can set their favorite products up at the front desk, ready and waiting to be purchased. Then, you can show them an itemized bill, give them a chance to privately select a gratuity, rebook them for their next service, and send them on their way before the post-spa glow wears off.

But the truth is that the client journey continues even after a client heads out the door. And that leads to Jozlyn’s next revelation…

How to market like a pro

Everything you do to help a client decide to book plays a part in the client experience. That includes your marketing materials, which can both bring in new clients and nurture old ones. Every spa owner knows social media is important, but there are other levers that are just as important to pull.


It may seem old-fashioned, but there’s a reason marketers still rely on email marketing despite its age. Dollar for dollar, there’s nothing out there that matches email’s return on investment. In fact, research shows that a single email subscriber will bring you the same value as 1,000 social media followers.

Why is email so effective? Let’s count the ways:

  • Directness: Email messages go straight to the client you’re targeting. That makes them more likely to get client attention and allows you to personalize the contents of the email. Address the recipient by name, suggest services based on their history, you name it.

  • Versatility: Email marketing works as well for one-time promotional blasts as it does for nurturing a client over the course of several messages.

  • Automation: Set-and-forget email campaigns let you feed clients the right email at the right time, every time. Just pick the audience and your platform can do the rest, giving you time back to focus on your clients.

  • Measurability: Email campaigns can give you instant feedback and actionable data so you can figure out what works best with your clients.

Online presence

When a potential client goes looking for a spa in their area, what’s the first thing they’re going to do? Turn to the big G: Google. It’s critical your spa appears in the results, so how do you ensure it does?

By far the easiest first step is to make a Google Business account. When you do, you’ll be able to claim your business in Google search results and Google Maps. That helps you control what pops up when clients find you in search results. If you want to add or adjust the address Google shows for your business, add a phone number, or correct the website link, now you can.

A Google Business account also lets you add your own photos of your business, respond to reviews clients have left, and even answer direct messages.

Social media

Google is great for capitalizing on clients who already know what they want. But if you want to reach clients who aren’t already looking for your services, you’ll need a killer social media presence.

The first step toward a thriving social media game is to drill down on your brand identity. Every color in every photo, every word in every post should reflect and reinforce your brand identity. The deeper you dig into that identity, the more deeply your clients can connect to it.

Next, you'll need great content. That will vary according to your business and brand; you'll want to tailor it to your specific audience. Consider displaying transformative before-and-after photos from one of your facial treatments, or share client testimonies on services and products.

Finally, you'll need to focus on building a community. Buying ads on social media will get potential clients in the virtual door, but it won't always keep them around. Engage with clients who comment on your posts. Answer questions, fave replies, and build human connections. This can instill loyalty in your clients, keeping them coming back for more.

How to leverage reporting tools

To Jozlyn, the key to a great spa business is a commitment to constant improvement. At the same time, it can be hard to know which part of the business needs your focus first. To avoid that ambiguity, Jozlyn recommends digging deep into your reporting

Big picture

It’s easy to get lost in the minute-to-minute details of managing a spa. Who’s underbooked this week? What supplies are running low? How are we going to fit in the client that just showed up 20 minutes late? If you’re not careful, you’ll spend all your time putting out fires instead of growing your business.

Tapping into daily, weekly, or monthly summary reports can help you carve out time to figure out what’s going on and how you can improve. That can start with a snapshot of the spa’s finances: revenue trends, number of bookings, and number of no-shows, for example. It can also highlight the performance of individual products and services. If there are services to double down on (or remove from your menu), these reports will help you find them. That can lead to a leaner, more streamlined business.

Employee performance

From there, you can zoom in on individual employees. How do you know if your providers are doing a good job? Well, there’s always anecdotal data. It’s definitely a good sign when clients are constantly praising the same massage therapist. But if you want to measure performance, you’ll need some definitive data.

Client loyalty is a top KPI and a good sign of efficient work. To get a sense of how clients are responding to that work, you can look at staff ratings and referral stats. For a more long-term understanding of performance, keep an eye on average ticket increases year over year. This can show you how well a provider is upselling clients. And if the same clients keep coming back to the same providers? They’ve found a star provider, and they’re showing it with their loyalty.

Reporting can highlight these stats and break them down across all your providers. That empowers you to reward your high performers, which incentivizes the rest of your staff to level up their game. It can also help you find providers who need a little more support, whether that be in the form of mentorship, training, or a little vacation that helps fight burnout.

To Jozlyn, managing a spa means considering your business from every angle. The more holistic your approach, the better-equipped you are to succeed. With these hard-won tips in mind, you’ll be one step closer to running your spa like a pro.

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