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L i s te n to T h e A B M P Po d c a s t a t a b m m /p o d c a s t s o r w h e reve r yo u a cce s s yo u r favo r i te p o d c a s t s 69 Clients must receive an amazing experience that meets their needs. The clinic's team and service providers are happy when clients are appreciative and fun to work with, show up for their appointments on time, and are eager to return. This triple win is created when clients are rescheduled only when the clinic knows they can truly serve them. 3 KEYS TO REPEAT BOOKINGS To successfully retain clients, a therapist must: 1. Believe 100 percent in the value they can deliver through their services 2. Evaluate clients to know their clinical goals and how to accomplish them 3. Design effective therapy plans or programs Let's look more closely at each. 1. Deliver Value for Clients Ethical rebookings are based on truth. It's important for a therapist to have complete confidence in their professional skills. To encourage clients to return for additional sessions, therapists must know they can serve clients by delivering results. If they're uncertain about if or how their services actually provide benefits to their clientele, it is difficult to honestly suggest return visits. (Improve your skills if you're not 100 percent confident in your clinical ability.) 2. Understand Client Goals The therapist must understand the reason the client came to see them in the first place. Many therapists are unaware that every person who seeks any type of therapeutic intervention has either a problem they want to relieve or a goal they want to achieve. It is critically important for the therapist to conduct a proper assessment to evaluate not only the client's orthopedic and neuromuscular presentation but also their emotional and psychological goals. For example, your pregnant client may have a goal to achieve preparedness for a healthy labor and delivery of their child. Your client who is a high school long- distance runner may want to relieve three months of shin splints, while continuing to train for their next event. It's often obvious what the client's clinical goals are if they have physical pain or limited movement. But even the client who comes in "just" to redeem a gift certificate will have some predetermined goal for their session. (No one will spend an hour or more of their time just for the heck of it. Stress relief or a mini escape from work or the kids is a solid clinical goal.) 3. Design Effective Treatment Plans The ability to create therapy plans based on clinical reasoning is often the most misunderstood concept in the massage profession. Other providers such as hairstylists, chiropractors, dentists, estheticians, and physical therapists are taught to create plans of care for clients. Massage and bodywork therapists need to do the same. For example, a dental practice commonly recommends a twice-a-year cleaning and exam for their general population to keep their teeth and gums healthy. If someone has a complicated dental situation, the recommended therapeutic plan of care will be more comprehensive. Hairstylists advise rebooking every 4–6 weeks to keep the shape, reduce split ends, and look good. RESPONSIBILITY Suggesting to a client when and how often they should return for more sessions is a tremendous responsibility. The provider is not only asking a person to spend money and time, but, often more importantly, they're asking the client to invest their hope that the therapist can indeed support them. I implore you to treat this leadership role as a serious matter—because it is. The most ethical rebooking suggestions only happen when they are formulated on all three keys. The provider must be 100 percent certain they can address the client's needs (based on their training and experience), they must know precisely what the client wants to achieve or relieve (both short, intermediate, and long-term), and they must be absolutely confident they can help them reach or exceed their goals. Anything else, in my opinion, is unethical.

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