After fifteen years in the spa and wellness industry, we consider our clients like family! This year we look forward to sharing this knowledge, experience and expertise within our community monthly, starting with Marci Howard-May, Director of Spa & Wellness at Red Mountain Resort.
1. What inspired you to follow a career in the wellness industry?
I have always been passionate about helping people. In my undergraduate studies for my Exercise Science degree, I did a research paper about massage therapy and its benefits. I was drawn to it immediately and ended up interrupting my college studies to go to massage school. I finished my degree and worked in Cardiac Rehabilitation for 7 years, along with working as a Nationally Certified Massage therapist. I have been a massage therapist for 20 years and love being fully immersed in the whole person approach of the wellness industry- body, mind and spirit- and do not plan return to the medical system. The Wellness industry is definitely where I belong.
2. How long have you been with Red Mountain Resort?
6 ½ yrs.
3. What is your favourite Red Mountain Resort memory?
Becoming Director of Spa & Wellness! I am so honored to be in this position and I am enjoying the challenges and learning so much.
4. Which recent trends in the spa and wellness industry are you most excited about?
Self-care and its importance along with so many ancient healing techniques coming back into the spotlight. I love that what so many of us in the industry have known to be effective, science can now “prove” the benefits of and how it works and guests are looking for more than a basic massage.
5. What is the most influential part of creating a great customer experience within the spa?
Training staff to provide amazing service from the moment the guest enters the spa, seamlessly continuing through every interaction with every staff member until the guest leaves. All team members that interact with the guest are equally important and influential to the guest experience and need to be empowered with the skills they need to accomplish this task.
6. Do you have any tips for fellow spa directors/owners to help improve their customer experience?
Train your team well and know your customer so you can appropriately meet their needs and exceed their expectations. Get input from your team. Listen to what they hear the guest complain about and their ideas to improve your systems or offerings.
7. What are your favourite products to use in your spa?
All of them! I do not put anything in my retail area unless I have used the product personally and had good results. This makes it easy for me to promote all of the things we have to sell our guests.
8. How did you become aware of Noel Asmar Uniforms?
6 ½ yrs ago when I started at Red Mountain. After experiencing other company’s products, I would never use any other brand than Noel Asmar. No one else can compare in my opinion.
9. Tell us about any benefits you’ve experienced from having your team wear uniforms?
We have a high standard of service for our team. Having staff in well-made and beautiful uniforms contributes to the professionalism I expect from my team. The uniforms also contribute to the continuity of experience we want the guest to have while they are with us. They know immediately who is an employee that can assist them with anything they need. A well uniformed staff member brings a sense of ease for the guest with just one look. And the staff remember when they put that uniform on, they are now representing our business, no matter where they are.
10. How do you find social media is affecting the spa industry as a whole, or your business more specifically?
We are a destination resort with a loyal local business following. We love utilizing social media to broadcast our special events to both of these demographics as they are very different. I think social media challenges us as spa owners/directors to find what makes us unique and pushes us to continue to be creative and innovative. It also allows us to peek into each other’s worlds a bit for sparks of inspiration.
11. Have you experienced any major social successes this year or roadblocks you’ve encountered?
I am working to build relationships in the spa industry to build my tribe. I have been blessed to make some really deep connections with several in this amazing spa industry in the past year and I look forward to making many more in 2018.
12. What do you find is most successful in drawing in new guests to your spa?
Word of mouth. We strive to create experiences that leave an impression and make our guests excited to share their experience.
13. How do you build client retention and return visits?
It all begins with superior service from start to finish. For our local clientele we have created really competitively priced packages and we keep modifying them to keep them interesting. We also reward our resort guests with discounts for returning to visit us and we create packages connected to their room stay that give them fun options in the spa.
14. 3 quick tips for running a successful spa business?
Invest in training all staff very well. Know your clientele and what they want. Continually look for ways to improve and adapt your business.
15. Tell us about your most successful business moment of 2017. What made it stand out?
I have been the Director of Spa and Wellness for just 3 years. 2017 was the spa’s most successful year since opening. I am proud to see the changes I have implemented are creating success for all of us at the spa.
16. Anything exciting coming up in 2018 that you can share with us?
It is Red Mountain Resort’s 20th anniversary this year!
We recently launched our new Self-Care retreat package and I am so excited about it. It includes 5 treatments over a 4 day stay. The treatments are intended to be done in order and are a Himalayan Salt Stone Massage, Vibrational Sound Therapy, Cranial Sacral, Table Thai Yoga Massage and our signature wet room body treatment the Red Mountain Revitalizer. We give the guest a gift of two Phytomer Oligomer Sea Bath sachets, a Himalayan massage stone and instructions on how and when to use these products to support their journey with these gentle, yet potent bodywork sessions.