Each time I take a trip to a spa for a treatment, I promise myself it won't be so long again until my next visit. We spent this weekend at Brook Lodge in Co. Wicklow where I was reminded how good it feels to slow down and take a deep breath once in a while.
Over the years, I've been lucky enough to enjoy treatments in a whole range of locations (I lived in Asia for almost a decade, when a visit to the bath-house with friends for a soak and a scrub followed by a massage was a local habit I took up with great enthusiasm). As my therapist got to work on me yesterday, it struck me that despite the step-by-step routine that each usually follows, I've never had the same massage twice. And that each one seems better than the last.
I remarked this to the woman who was treating me and she confirmed that, once training is complete, each therapist likes to develop their own signature style and moves, based on what seems to work best with one body-type or another. I asked her whether these new moves were learned from text-books or from experience and she told me that they were usually learned at the hands of another therapist. She, for example, liked to fold my arm lightly behind my back in order to work my scapula a little harder as she found the knots of tension there resisted the more usual arms-by-the-side approach.
"Often," she said, "we pick up something new from one of the therapists who's been trained in a different country. Everyone seems to have their own take on what works best. And you learn to work with your client to know what's best for them."
As I slipped into a reverie, I wondered why we don't all practise customer-care in the same way.
Whilst most transactions will follow the same routine, our customers would probably appreciate the lighter touch that comes from listening to others and reading the signals.
For me, it meant that once again I got to experience my best massage ever.
Over To You: Where have you enjoyed a different take on great customer-service?