How's the Customer Service You Provide?

7 Ways to Connect with Clients and Keep Them Coming Back

By Karrie Osborn

How do you feel when the wait staff at a local restaurant takes 15 minutes to greet you after you’ve been seated?

What runs through your mind when you see dirty brushes and grimy floors as you sit down for your appointment at your local hair salon?
And how important do you feel when your trainer at the gym takes a personal call while continuing to spot you on the
free weights?
In each instance, customer service is sacrificed, and future business is lost. How can you make sure your clients always feel special? Here are some simple customer service tips you can apply to your practice today!

1. Personalize Your Work
This is the most important element of your customer service. Your rapport sets the framework for your client/therapist relationship, but if you can’t deliver more than a cookie-cutter massage, then your value to the client is questionable. Through the intake process, you should quickly be able to devise a treatment plan that will address what each particular client needs.
2. Hear the Client
To be able to do #1, you must really listen to your clients. Your client-intake process is critical here. Don’t assume you know what will fix Susie just because it worked on Jane. Each body is different and should be treated accordingly. (Note: Make sure the intake is thorough, yet time-efficient. It’s important to get your client on the table and get to work.)

3. Pay Attention to Details
Sometimes it’s the little things that make or break relationships. No one wants to have their face in the cradle, staring down at a dead fly and oil stain on the carpet below. Replace pilled, stained sheets before they put a stain on your good service. Hang a mirror in your treatment room for clients wanting to do a face-check afterward, and have tissues available for the inevitable post-massage nasal drip. Your attention to detail tells the client you care about her experience.

4. Be Present
Clear your mind before a session. This task is as important to your preparation for the client as is putting clean sheets on your table. Ground yourself, meditate, pray, or simply find a moment of silence as you prepare to help the next client.

5. Personalize the Experience
Just as you must personalize your work for each client, it’s also important to personalize the experience. Whether it’s letting clients choose the music, offering them the addition of an essential oil to their treatment, or letting them dictate the room temperature, these things tell clients they are the most important people in that moment.

6. Educate the Client
If it’s the client’s first massage, explain not only the process of how to get on the table, and the work you intend to do, but also the effects of the massage they receive. “You may experience some soreness tonight or tomorrow as we addressed a lot of tightness in your shoulders and upper back. Soak in an Epsom salt bath tonight. Stay hydrated and get a good night’s rest, letting the massage continue to work for you. Feel free to give me a call if you have any questions or concerns.”

7. Make It Easy
No one wants to work too hard to spend their money. If you don’t accept credit cards, you should. Don’t offer online booking? Why not? These are simple things you can do to make life easier for clients (see page 7 for member discounts on providing these services). Before the client leaves, ask when (not if) she wants to rebook, or offer to call her in two weeks for rescheduling. Your clients want an EASY button; give it to them.

If you’ve done your job right, your client has special, healing memories of her massage with you. She will tell others what a great massage she just had, and she may even create a Facebook post about it. Even better will be when she picks up the phone and schedules her next appointment!

Karrie Osborn is senior editor at ABMP.