Massage & Bodywork

JULY | AUGUST 2017

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My most effective client retention strategy is … To always spend the time to take a complete history and understand the client's goals before beginning treatment, and being honest with that client if they will not benefit from my work. Asking, after working on the primary issue, "Is there anything I missed here or any spot you want me to go back to?" This ensures the client feels heard and gets the massage they sought. To educate and invite clients to return with a professional recommendation and easy rebooking process. This includes how often they should receive massage, benefits of regular massage, and a piece of self-care they can incorporate between sessions. Forgive the corny pun, but I've found it to be immensely important to "keep in touch" with clients. Sending out a content-rich monthly email newsletter has helped me maintain a dialogue with clients. The customer service experience that taught me the most about how to treat my own clients is … Working with medical practitioners who were honest about what they knew and didn't know, and who always followed up on what they said they would do. Every terrible massage I've ever had. Especially the one where the therapist ignored my neck, after I specifically asked for work on my neck. Ordering from Zappos. They are a way-cool customer service company disguised as an online shoe retailer. They masterfully developed rapport by listening to my needs, mirroring back what they heard me say, and then recommending the perfect product. While living in Asia, I noticed that small businesses there tend to give small gifts to customers as tokens of appreciation. After adopting this in my own practice, I created an ebook listing hundreds of ideas for such parting gifts. The technology tool that has benefited my practice the most is … Schedulicity online scheduling system. It's easy and quick for both me and my clients to use. And it has great technical support both in setting up an account and maintaining it. Online scheduling. It's reduced my workload, cut down on no-shows and cancellations, and helped me maintain control and boundaries with my schedule. Social media. When you are clear about who you are in the world, what you have to offer, and how that benefits others, you can broadcast the message to a large audience for free, over and over again. An online booking system. This frees us up to focus on being practitioners rather than schedulers. My marketing advice for therapists is … Honestly talk to people about what you do and share the excitement you feel—whether that be one on one, in a networking situation, in promotional emails, or on social media. Learn it. Plan it. Do it. Accept that there is a learning curve and make the effort to learn all about marketing. Plan an approach, write out the steps, and then actually do those things. Focus on creating "highly satisfied" clients, and they will do a large part of the work for you. They are twice as likely to return to your business and three times as likely to recommend you than the merely "satisfied" client. Find your own voice and be your own quirky self. While clients obviously expect skill and professionalism from their massage therapist, they will also appreciate authenticity and uniqueness. Ben Benjamin 50 Years in Practice Allissa Haines 12 Years in Practice Eric Stephenson 19 Years in Practice Susan Epperly 11 Years in Practice 26 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k j u l y / a u g u s t 2 0 1 7

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