I love massage in Thailand. After seating long hours before the computer screen to put everything in good hands before my holiday and several hours’ flight, I just cannot wait to book a spa package the very evening I arrive. Since I enjoy it so much, I never ask myself why I like it, question its authenticity; or even link it to my job.
The iconic Spa normally would be located in peaceful place with gentle music, nice young female masseuses wearing traditional Thai skirt. Price difference normally comes from location rather than skill of masseuses. We can use Traditional Thai Massage as baseline price in Chiang Mai.
In my trip to ChiangMai last month, we were thrilled to find one report located in fantastic mountain area charging only 400 THB for 2 hour traditional Thai massage. We managed to get the booking, even though the receptionist spoke little English.
The message turned out to give me some surprises.
- Pure massage. It’s 100% pure massage in an old-fashioned cottage room without music, dessert, and tea.
- Authentic Thai massage (or closer to authentic Thai massage). The masseuses actually treat our body very “serious”, using their whole body to do restorative yoga, which help me start to understand my previous Thai massage experience in decent Spa location is all “tourist-spa-with-a-little-bit-taste-for-what-is-traditional-Thai-Spa”.
- We got charged for the room half day; because the receptionist thought we would stay one night, which simply is a communication issue.
It’s not bad experience actually, but both my husband and I agreed that we would not come again, even it’s pure, authentic, cheap Thai Massages. I start to realize:
Good spa is not just about how good the massage itself is, but more about the holistic feeling the customers would have.
Compared to my job in consulting service or any other job in service industry which is about dealing with people and solving people’s problem, excellent service does not just come from knowledgeable and intelligent experts, those “soft” elements always play a very important part in delivering service – how to give customer the feeling that they are being served and how to help them feel great in the end?
Quality of the solution
- Thai Massage: profession skillsets of masseuses are important, but it’s not the only element to help customers relax from a spa; authenticity may not be acceptable by everyone。
- Consulting Service: a well-designed solution may not be fit-for-purpose; knowledgeable consultants cannot guarantee customer’s satisfaction.
Quality of the communication
- Thai Massage: understand what customers want and scope the package.
- Consulting Service: align the scope and service requirement at the very beginning.
Customer experience of being served
- Thai Massage: tea, desert, nice music and smell give the customers feeling of being served.
- Consulting Service: handle the emotional needs (e.g. urgency, anger, frustrated, worries) and manage the relationship with the customers.
Easiness to access the service:
- Thai Massage: close to hotel, resort or downtown; providing picking up service.
- Consulting Service: customers can easily get support when they need it.
It’s difficult to give black-and-white weight to different aspect to massages; somehow customers would still calculate unconsciously and make an easy choice, like me and my husband.
For consulting service, customers do not have such luxury to make an easy choice to decide which vendors to choose, but I believe everyone would have his or her own scale to rank the service and it would matter for long-term.
Hope it’s not too late it realize it just now.