Break these at your own Peril! Promises, Promises – Part 1

Recently I visited a well-known spa in Thailand to see what they offered. I also wanted to see how well it lived up to its promise and reputation as a top-class facility. It was my intention to find a base measurement for a new spa and detox centre here in Bali, and this spa was the perfect candidate. My review would be based on each of the various customer touch points—those areas whereas a customer I interacted with the company’s products, services, and processes.

These touch points are about Brand Delivery; how well the business meets its Brand Promise. The results were grim. Delivery was nowhere near the promises that enticed me there.


Problems Started from My Unanswered Website Enquiry and didn’t end there.


First: An incident occurred where I received inadequate advice about what to expect. Upon arrival at the spa, I found that my departure flight was too early for me to take advantage of a final half day that I had paid for. But no one told me about this additional half day—and so I missed it, much to my disappointment.


Second: The car that transported me from the airport to the facility had some good material to read on the detox program I had come for. However, a more recent material in my room indicated that what I had read in the car was out of date.


Third: While reception was warm and helpful in most instances, they didn’t accept US dollars. This meant extra transport costs for multiple trips to the bank. This not only made me cranky but also prevented the spa from making extra income from currency exchanges.


Fourth: The staff assigned to my detox treatment didn’t know I was coming and weren’t even aware of what treatment I had paid for. Three different people had three different ideas about when I should be educated on the detox process. When I finally confronted the spa director about this (who also wasn’t expecting me), he simply lambasted one of his staff on the phone right in front of me. Great.


Fifth: Detox treatments can make you a little emotional at the beginning, but by the third day I was nuts. Each of the 5 times a day I went to the restaurant I had to add my name and room number on the receipt. They already had this information on record and could have easily adjusted their system to accommodate me. No one told me I could have room service included in these detox treatments—another piece of information only given to me on the third day!


Overall, there were 16 touch points; 12 of which I rated as poor. The gulf between brand promise and brand delivery generated disappointment and anger. Here I had been duped into spending valuable money without having my needs met. Surprisingly, the spa had a guest questionnaire that was actually designed to measure most of these touch points. What a white elephant!


Brand delivery is as much about the customer’s emotional experience as it is about functionality. This place was pushing all the wrong buttons. I started out confused and uncertain, soon became annoyed, and ended up grossly disappointed. It’s no wonder the occupancy rate was running at less than 15 percent.


So where did this spa go wrong? Next time, we’ll look a bit deeper and analyze the dangers of not delivering on your brand promises.
Graeme Stevens
CEO and Co-Founder
neXtep easy

neXtep Business Builder Community Pte Ltd
Singapore ACRA Business Registration Number: 201424522Z
80 Kitchener Road #09-09/10 Singapore 208539

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