What Rebooking Strategies Have Been Successful?

['Round the Table]

Every time I get new clients, I have them complete a health intake form, [then I] discuss the intake form, take their blood pressure, and perform an evaluation of their posture and specifics needs. Based on the health intake form, I report the findings to the clients. I explain to them how massage therapy can improve their overall health; then, I go back to the findings and I recommend they start a maintenance plan with me. After they have understood the value of my treatments they are happy to book again.

Ian Abarzua

Portland, Oregon

My authentic holistic intentions toward my clients’ well-being are often conveyed above and beyond providing result-oriented therapeutic bodywork, by accenting their service with oh-so-special add-ons, i.e., foot scrubs, warm oil scalp massage, reflexology, warm stones on their tummy, and/or warm towels on their feet to enhance the bliss of being pampered.

Allowing me to be a part of their personal wellness program, I find my practice reaping favorable results with the following incentives that translate to professional strategies:

• 15 percent off your next visit, if booking the same day of the service

• 20 percent off first-time appointment

• Complimentary add-on services

• 50 minutes service upgrade to 80 minutes for the price of 50 minutes

• Bring a friend and receive half price for your appointment

• Buy a five pack and receive a free massage

I genuinely delight in celebrating my clients with as many creative and customized incentives that encourage them to keep wellness with me at the top of their list.

I share effective health tips that appear to be magical to them because of the immediate results they experience, which prove to be invaluable.

Rhonda L. Woodhouse

Century City, California


I am very busy with my massage and skin care practice where I work. People often complain they are not able to get an appointment with me, especially for facials, since I have one day that I do only massage. What I suggest is that they make a standing appointment with me to assure they have a spot. I let them know they can always change it if they need to. We sell a lot of packages and often have sales for them. This is always a great incentive to get clients to buy more packages and then rebook in order to use them.

Barbara Burgess

The Villages, Florida

Rebooking a client to create a relationship is the key to a successful practice. To do this, I allow an extra 30 minutes per client. We name goals, note changes since the last session, and become clear what brought the client into my studio each visit. Having all of this information prior to working allows me to check in with progress, determine my course of action, and follow up. From there, I am able to create future goals that complement the client’s goal that session. For example, if my client came in with sciatic pain, I can discuss the importance of growing support for the pelvis through other areas of the body, as well as explaining the relationships of the participating muscles. By outlining what we might accomplish by addressing those areas, the client knows I am interested in her personal wellness. People seeking relief in the body do so because they are in need of change. When I suggest my strategy of change for the client, the client often returns.

Heather Corwin

Altadena, California


It begins with a variety of things that makes them look forward to being at your facility in the first place. I ran a successful massage therapy establishment for 16 years with so many of my clients returning week after week for the entire 16 years. A few of the strategies we used were:

1. Making them feel welcome and at home with a friendly “Hello, so good to see you” as they arrived, as well as “I really appreciate you being here,” as they were leaving.

2. Asking them to set future appointments before leaving the office. (Always assuming they wanted to return).

3. Providing effective, quality massage therapy sessions.

4. Timely service, including not shorting their time (an hour in my office meant 60 or more minutes).

5. Being diplomatic.

6. Fresh, clean linens and lotions.

7. A refreshing, warm, cheerful atmosphere.

8. Letting clients know we really cared about them.

9. Keeping talk to a minimum; learning to listen.

10. Reasonable fees.

Vivian Madison Mahoney

Gatlinburg, Tennessee


Cross promotions! I routinely give my clients a coupon or discount from another type of wellness provider. Specifically, if I am doing a massage in a person’s home, I try to get a mobile personal trainer to donate a consultation (which is easy to do because they all want to get their foot in the door of a new in-home client). This usually works out because I can offer something to my client when they rebook a massage and the fitness trainer gets a lead. Ultimate, it’s a wellness strategy for the client, so it’s a win-win situation for all parties involved.

Nathalie Kuffer

Ellwood City, Pennsylvania


I’ve written several articles about getting clients to rebook, but these are two simple things that have worked for me the last 15 years.

1. When you meet a client for the first time, determine their goals for the session (pain relief, general relaxation, doing something to pamper themselves, etc.). Once you determine that, you can begin to formulate a treatment plan or begin to educate them about how you usually work with people who have that goal. I usually suggest people come in once a month at a minimum for “maintenance.”

2. Ask clients to come back. Once you have determined that there is a good fit between you and the client, invite them to reschedule their next appointment before they leave your office. Reiterate the treatment plan suggested and then find out a good time for the next visit. Example: “John, I really enjoyed working with you today and think your shoulder would benefit from another treatment next week. What day would work for you?” You can do it!

Felicia Brown

Greensboro, North Carolina


Even before a client lies down on your table, talk about massage needs. Based on pressure-preference, past injuries, current stress levels, and daily exercise regimen, you can create the perfect massage recipe. Each individual appreciates the extra attention and recognizes the personal effort you put forth in talking about and listening to their needs.

Make a personal connection through eye contact, a warm handshake, and initial small talk. By asking some simple, noninvasive questions, most clients open up about themselves and their lives. You can easily take something they say and relate it to something you’ve experienced, which creates a quick bond and something they will remember about you after they leave.

Always guide your client toward a personalized package. Offer a special combination of three, five, or 10 sessions that incorporate their goals and needs.

E-mails and texts are very trendy, but how about an old-fashioned, hand-written, thank-you note? You will stand out from the rest of the therapists they’ve been to and it adds a little nostalgic touch to your particular service. They will surely reminisce about the last time they received a note in their porch mailbox and think of you.

Jes White

Carlsbad, California


Coming in november/december: tell us about
one thing that’s made you a better mt?
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