From 1995 to now, I’ve massaged a lot of people. I’ve also coached a lot of massage therapists how to get more clients coming to them on a regular basis. One of the main things in a successful massage business is not only your ability massage the client well, but to really give them excellent customer service.
Your clients, whether they say so or not, will have high expectations of you, just as though you were any business. Whether you are a self employed Massage Therapist or a massage therapist who works for other people, you’ll still find that you are responsible for how often that client comes back to you.
And in this day and age getting clients to come back to us is more than being “good at massaging.” Its part of it, but it isn’t the complete picture. So sit back and relax because right now I’m going to impart some pretty important stuff to you. And, all for free. Sometimes a client will say how much they loved the massage and feel so good afterwards but they you don’t hear from them again. You are confused. “Why didn’t they call again?” You might call them for a follow up appointment and they abruptly say they are too busy…or perhaps they just don’t call back after you leave a message.
Confusing yes. When this happens it’s a really good opportunity to have a look at the way you are servicing your clients. Customer service is what massage therapy is all about and if you aren’t creating and implementing systems within your own massage practice to keep them coming back through effective and a loyal display of warmth then you’ll have to change…or go back to that depressing office job you had before you did massage.
There are some fantastic ways to improve your customer service focus and make sure your client is feeling valued every single micro step of the way. From seeing your business card or brochure, to leaving your massage clinic and looking forward to the next time they see you.
Each step of the way that the client experiences your massage service, it must be easy for them. To start with, make it imperative that all potential clients calls are returned that very same day. If a client calls you and leaves a message on your answering service, then make it part of your massage business policy that the person gets their calls returned at the end of the day.
You can also say this in your message as well. Rather than leaving a voice message on your machine stating that they will be called as soon as you are free, why not state that your call will be returned before the end of the day. And stick to it. “As soon as possible” doesn’t mean anything. It can mean that you will be able to call them within five days… they are not to know. So it’s imperative that your response be that very day. It makes them feel as if they are important enough in your eyes to call back and talk to them. After all how do you know they are not going to be the best client you ever had? How do you know they don’t have a troupe of family members all waiting to see if you do a good job, and if you do, then they will all become your clients? Every single call that a potential client leaves, must be cared for and attended to in the fastest response time you can deliver. And make sure that time has a real time.
Another way you can make sure you are giving the best customer service to your massage clients is to give them an education when they come. It’s not enough for people to only hear from you when they want a massage. What about hearing from you on their birthday, Christmas holiday, Easter, New Year, etc? You make it a policy of your massage clinic again to create follow-up calls or letters each time this occasion rolls around. Or, even better, you can monitor how often someone comes to you for massage treatment. When you haven’t seen them for a certain amount of time, such as 6 weeks you can send them a card or short letter saying hi, you haven’t seen them in a while and hoping their muscles and joints are feeling okay and haven’t got sore and tight again from not having massage in 6 week… you get the idea. You don’t have to use my wording of course, I’m just putting the words together now to give you an example.
My point is to keep that personal contact with your clients each step of the way. From calling to make the first appointment to leaving your clinic, make it so darn easy for them to come again and refer you more clients. Always keep the personal touch. When you send out a card or a letter, either hand write it, or sign it personally. Don’t send a “With Compliments” slip and leave it blank, making it void of all human contact and warmth. You want them to feel highly valued all the time.
Think about the times they have contact with you and make it set-in-concrete that you will provide certain levels of customer excellence. You’ll find that this increases your massage clients solidly and fruitfully over a shorter period of time than you would ever imagine.
Make sure you set standards for these new principles of customer excellence. Write these standards in a training manual for your contractors if you have other massage therapists helping you in your business. Make sure all your contractors go through a training program for customer service excellence. Don’t make this something that’s “nice to do” for your clients, make it a must. Do constant checks on your massage contractors that they are implementing what is taught and practiced.
If you are a sole person in your own massage business you will have no one to answer for but yourself. But the best thing to motivate you is the pain of going back to your old job…you know that miserable thing you did 9 to 5 while you trained to become a massage therapist. And the fear of not making your massage business work will be pain enough. So implement an “Excellence in customer service” policy, procedure and practice in your massage business.
The potential to build your massage business through client relationships is enormous, and is there for all to use. Clients want you to make them feel safe in dealing with you. This means courtesy, kindness and response at all times. In return you will experience their loyalty and referrals.
Amy Roberts is a Massage Therapist and International Business Consultant for Massage Therapists. Amy has helped over 5000 people world wide grow their massage businesses, and is also an international speaker on many issues that therapists face in their businesses. Amy has a regular column with the AMTA. Amy has 6 eBooks that she sells online and coaches therapists in person, in groups and is aiming to turn her information into registered courses. Amy’s websites are http://www.massagetherapysuccess.com and http://www.massagetherapymarketingsuccess.com and she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org