By: Melissa Mueller, Vis-a-Vis Founder
In conjunction with our new incentives program (VIP Rewards), we have implemented new check-in stations (tablets) at the spa. I’d like to take a little time to discuss our thought process behind these, why we love them, and what inspired them.
For me to explain why we have our check-in system is going to require a deep dive into my thinking, but the abbreviated version is so we can have more meaningful interactions with each of our guests. This system is there for those who want to use it. If you prefer for us to check you in for your appointment, we are happy to do so.
Some of you may think that logic is absurd, “how is asking me to check-in on a tablet creating a more meaningful interaction?” I hear you, this decision took me a very long time to make, and I would like to explain the reasoning for those who would like to hear.
As Vis-a-Vis has grown over the years, our commitment to our guests’ happiness has never wavered. It has always been – and will continue to be – the most important element of our company.
In an average week, the concierge staff and I dedicate most our time to making sure that our guests are happy and enjoy their experiences with us. We spend hours going through feedback and seeing what we can do to make things the best they can possibly be when you visit.
One of the top concerns we have heard over the last couple of years is the amount of time check-ins and check-outs takes to perform. This has always been an annoying element for me, and being that we use a third-party provider for all our software, our options to resolve this have been very limited.
I was willing to accept some of these issues as inevitable, until last fall.
Last September when I attended ISPA, I heard Simon Sinek speak as the keynote. I had heard some of his Ted Talks but the impact of seeing him in person was HUGE! One of the main ideas he spoke about was finding your “why”. I knew that as the founder of Vis-a-Vis I needed to clearly define why Vis-a-Vis exists. After lots of soul searching I knew the answer: “To provide meaningful human experiences in a technology based world”.
With this new defined cause, I started to look at our systems, focusing on our primary operations: check-in and check-out. I was determined that we were going to use our technology to allow for meaningful interactions with our guests, not as a replacement for these interactions.
Our New System
Prior to introducing the tablets to check-in, the process of locating a guest’s name and checking them into the software took two to three minutes. While this may not sound like a long time, in our world it can make or break a guest’s experience. If you get stuck in traffic on the way to your appointment with us, the last thing you want to do is spend time standing around in the lobby while we locate your name on the appointment screen. I know, I have been on both sides of that scenario, I know the frustration it can cause. Our new system allows for guests to be able to check-in even if our concierge is working with someone else.
When I first looked at the idea of self-check-in on the tablets, I thought “NO WAY!” It’s too impersonal. But when I really analyzed the numbers, something different came out. In an average day, Vis-a-Vis sees around 75 guests. If a concierge member spends around 2 minutes per guest looking at a screen to check the guest in, they’ll spend almost 2.5 hours per day dedicated to looking at screen while our guests stand there waiting for us! I couldn’t ignore that this is not a productive use of time.
With our new system, the concierge is available to do things that technology cannot do. They can dedicate their time and efforts into really welcoming you to the spa: helping you get comfortable, taking your coat, getting you something to drink. They can also take time to thoughtfully help you schedule future appointments and work directly with you when you have a specific concern or special request.
This system is there for those that want to use it. If you prefer for us to check you in for your appointment, we are happy to do so. This technology gives us the ability to make check-in quick and easy so we can be there for those who like more interaction!
Thank you for being our guest!