Massage & Bodywork

MAY | JUNE 2023

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Page 93 of 100

I was reading through some online reviews of massage businesses, and one jumped out at me. I have been sick and I accidentally left a message at the wrong phone number about rescheduling my massage. The therapist charged me. So thanks for nothing. I will never be back. The business has the following cancellation policy prominently displayed on its website. We have a 24-hour cancellation policy that applies to all appointments scheduled. This means that a 24-hour notice must be provided to reschedule or cancel your appointment with no charge or a full refund. If a scheduled appointment is canceled with less than a 24-hour notice, the cancellation fee is 100 percent of the service cost with no refund. Who is at fault here? It isn't the fault of the business that the client called a wrong number. It seems like the client would have noticed that when the voicemail message did not say, "You've reached the Massage Center," but she didn't. The business has a clear cancellation policy posted. It is also on their voicemail message, but the client canceled and hung up without listening to the entire message. And left the business a one-star review. There were numerous other reviews that were all positive. Another spa in the same area had 30- plus 5-star reviews, and one negative review. The negative reviewer left very specific comments concerning the massage she received, stating that the therapist was being 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 91 essential skills | HEART OF BODYWORK When a Client Leaves a Bad Review Online By Laura Allen rough and constantly using her elbows. The client stated she asked the therapist to please stop with the elbows, that it was hurting her, and the therapist said, "I know what I'm doing. I've been doing this a long time and I have to save my hands." The owner responded and offered the customer an apology for her experience and issued a full refund. That's a smart thing to do and shows good customer service. Consumers frequently turn to online reviews before deciding to patronize a business. If there are numerous positive reviews and only one or two negative, that's a good sign. If there are numerous negative reviews with no response from management, or a snarky response to the client, that's not good. The purpose of our work is to help the client. Being rude and failing to listen to the client's concerns can all earn negative reviews. Responding politely, and offering a solution if there is one, is best. If the client violated your clearly posted policies, you should still be polite, but you don't have to break your policy over one offended person—when they were the one at fault. Laura Allen has been a licensed massage therapist since 1999 and an approved provider of continuing education since 2000. She is the author of Nina McIntosh's The Educated Heart, now in its fifth edition, and numerous other books. Allen lives in the mountains of western North Carolina with her husband and their two rescue dogs. TAKEAWAY: When possible, respond quickly and politely to resolve the issue. ALEX GREEN/PEXELS.COM

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