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Zensation, a successful story of growth

In conversation with managing director Michel Goelen

Resengo - Zensation

If you had asked managing director Michel Goelen just over 14 years ago what he wanted to do, 'Something to do with wellness' might have been the answer. Now - so many years later - Zensation's private saunas can be called an absolute success. How did he get to this point? And how was Resengo able to support him in the process?

Enjoying a moment of undisturbed relaxation in a world of luxury, that was Michel Goelen's dream when he started Zensation's private saunas 14 years ago. Several renovations were again made to their complex at the beginning of this year. Yet in two weeks' time, Zensation's calendar will again be full of gaps: "We used to be fully booked 3 or 4 months in advance. Now we don't. But we are still doing as well as ever. And Resengo also plays a part in that."

Tell us first, how did you get started with Zensation?

"Zensation is actually a hobby that got out of hand. We stumbled upon the ideal place here in Heist-op-den-berg, and my wife and I had long had the idea of doing something with wellness. Even as a child I was a dreamer, and from childhood I thought about how my life could be better. And I want to build on that ambition here. We now have three private saunas: real luxury bathhouses. They are built with timeless and sustainable materials, and during the covid lockdown we completely renovated all kinds of things. We want to let people enjoy a moment in a world of luxury. Let them dream away at how beautiful life can be. That concept caught on. In a fairly short time, it turned out to be a very big success."

You soon wanted to expand, but rather by expanding your concept further, right?

"That's right. My wife and I, we believe that real beauty starts from within. When you have a healthy body, you radiate that outwards. So pretty soon we started House of Beauty: a medical-aesthetic institute where we offer various facial treatments, among other things. For those facial treatments, we use devices that penetrate deep into the skin, to really work from the inside out. We have now also complemented our activities with a fashion and lifestyle shop with a variety of products, from fashionable swimwear to atmospheric candles, that fit within our concept. Then, if you have had yourself made beautiful and you feel good, you also want to surround yourself with beautiful things."

It starts with having people book the private wellness. How do you approach that?

"For our reservations, we have been with Resengo for years. A big advantage of this is that our phone and mail traffic has greatly reduced. Especially the new reservation flow is really a big improvement for us. Now everything runs more smoothly and our visitors find their way to us even more easily. An awful lot of online reservations are made with us."

Through Resengo, we receive online reservations smoothly. So we reduce our telephone and e-mail traffic, while visitors can book more easily.

– Michel Goelen, Manager Zensation

What is the biggest advantage for you?

"It actually saves us the cost of a receptionist having to sit here all day waiting on the phone. The reservations via Resengo actually happen automatically. Once a week I prepare last minutes to post on Facebook, which are usually gone immediately."

What tools do you use to optimise occupancy?

We use our marketing to fill gaps, formerly people used banners and trucks and billboards, now Resengo linked to Facebook and Instagram. We also work with advance payments, to confirm the reservation and agree to the overall terms and conditions of our sauna. Then that's also immediately covered.

Is the last minute an important feature for you?

"Absolutely. In the past, my diary was often filled for 3 or 4 months. But in those 14 years, I have seen a huge change in behaviour. The younger generations don't even know what they are doing in 3 weeks. In the beginning, I wanted to deal with that by offering last minutes something extra: "If you book our last minute now, you get a free glass of cava" for example. But I abandoned that. Actually, you are rewarding people who only decide at the last minute, and punishing those who plan ahead. If we give something extra now, it's for a last-minute booking for today, for example. I also do 'early bird' promotions that actually reward booking long in advance. Now my calendar is still full of gaps in a fortnight, but those gaps will all fill up, it's always like that."

So how do you tackle that?

"We have a customer database via Resengo that includes about 20,000 active people. Of course, that's quite a lot for the resources and limited budgets we can spend on this. I have linked that database with Facebook and Instagram. So once a week, I collect the last minutes, and offer some inspiration on our Facebook and Instagram page. We support that with a small budget. Then when I see the calendar fill up, it's worth it."

Finally, if you could give your fellow competitors a tip, what would it be?

"If there is a ready-made product available like Resengo, you just have to do it. There is nothing more convenient than being all-in-one. With the new flow, you can't have anything more convenient right now. Resengo is a platform that does everything for us."

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