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best practices BUSINESS SIDE Straight Talk from Your Peers Therapists' Insights on Day-to-Day Life in the Field By Les Sweeney, BCTMB, and Kristin Coverly, LMT Each issue, we dispense some wisdom about ways to help you—the massage and bodywork professional—be more successful in this career you've chosen. We rely on our own experiences and training, along with some helpful input from readers and members, coworkers, and colleagues. For this issue (and perhaps a few more down the road), we've decided to go straight to the source—your peers. We wanted to hear from a cross-section of today's practitioners about what life is like for them in the trenches—cultivating a practice and a career on a daily basis. A big thank-you to these awesome members for sharing their insights! WHAT WAS THE BEST THING YOU'VE DONE TO MARKET AND GROW YOUR PRACTICE? Catherine Gregory: When I first moved my practice to a new town, I wrote a letter to all of the local health practitioners who work with my clientele to introduce myself and tell them about my practice. I included an article I'd written about my work that was published in a national magazine. That made a lasting impression that continues to bring new clients to me years later from those same referral sources. WHAT IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE THING YOU'VE DONE TO INCREASE CLIENT RETENTION AND REBOOKING? Tiesha von Kaenel: I find educating our clients on what is happening with their bodies helps them feel confident in my skills. Almost every client I have rebooks, either for their next appointment, or for their next multiple appointments. Karla Freitag: We offer a membership program, the Cornerstone Advantage, that about 50 percent of our clients participate in (and we expect that percentage to grow). The program structure is simple: clients pay an annual fee of $60 per individual. After that, the Members Only price is $60 for 60 minutes; a $15 discount over the regular rate. In addition, each member is tagged in our online system and will receive special discounts, coupons, and opportunities to receive extra perks throughout the year. Prior to the end of their year, each client will receive an email reminder that it is time to renew their membership. No contracts to sign, no high-pressure sales. Simple and sweet! Our clients like it. WHAT ASPECTS OF CUSTOMER SERVICE DO YOU PROVIDE THAT YOUR CLIENTS REALLY APPRECIATE? Joshua Bell: I ask questions and try to create an environment where the client feels they have a voice in their massage. Through communication, we can be sure to be on the same page so I can provide the service they need while they enjoy a massage tailored just for them. Joan M. Laubacher: Online scheduling! This was the best move for me to make in my practice; 75 percent of my clients book online. I recently sent a survey to my clients using SurveyMonkey and included a question on ease of scheduling. The response was overwhelmingly positive. My clients appreciate booking at any time of the day, and because they prepay when they book, they enjoy ending their massage without the stress of payment. While they're with me, I'm 100 percent focused on meeting their needs. I think this is what my clients appreciate most in 22 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k s e p t e m b e r / o c t o b e r 2 0 1 6

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