Statistically speaking, businesses spend 5x more to get a new customer, than to retain an existing one, plus existing clients tend to spend more with you than newer clients. That being said, it definitely makes sense to take care of your current clientele so they keep coming back to you as opposed to buying the next discount deal that comes along. In fact, customer turnover tends to be much more customer service related than price related. Let’s take it as a given that you already give an awesome massage and that your client’s love your technical skills. Here are some ideas to help you to really “wow” your existing clients and increase your rate of return:
Create a “sense-sational” experience
From the moment a regular or potential client walks into your spa or place of business, think about what you can do to feed their senses.
Sight – Aesthetics are important. When a client walks in the door to your establishment, is the environment warm and serene or does your front desk area double as a clutter filled work station? You don’t have to invest a fortune to have your common area be an inviting place that people are happy to be at and look forward to returning to. Even if it doubles as a work area, do what you can to create an attractive environment. A handsomely designed retail sales display not only creates a nice visual but it also becomes a talking point for retail sales.
Likewise, is your massage room so dimly lit that the customer cannot see a hook on the wall? When was the last time you vacuumed the floor (or is that the reason that the lights are so dim?) The service starts with the senses. A attractive environment will go a long way to creating an exceptional experience.
Sound – New age and environmental music is the norm for spas. To give your clients that extra “service with a smile” you could allow them to choose from a selection of music from various genres to listen to during their service. For those who are unsure or do not want to make the decision, be sure to have a default suggestion to offer.
Smell – Who doesn’t love the intoxicating aroma of high-quality essential oils? Of course for someone booking an aromatherapy massage, they (and you) will experience the benefits of the particular oil blend chosen, but to really create that extra level of service, make sure that you incorporate use of scent at the beginning and/or end of the service or even diffuse a particular scent into the air. Be sure to make available and display any product that you use in your service to help to boost retail sales. This will help your clients to recreate their relaxation experience at home. They will definitely want to re-book with you.
Touch – Your clients are coming to receive your touch but they themselves will be touching your sheets and lying on your table. To spoil your client, make sure your sheets are crisp, clean and soft. Some therapists add an extra mattress on top of the massage table for added softness. Your client will feel super pampered when they see you went the extra mile to make the massage table comfortable and will want that experience again.
Taste – Taste is not something we particularly think about as massage therapists. That being said, offering your client an herbal tea or a fruit infused water post service is very inexpensive addition and a nice way to say you care. You may even wish to have a table with a small fresh fruit basket or offer some mint candies or a special season appropriate treat.
Climate – The ambient temperature of the room (if you in fact have control of it) should be comfortable for the client. Show your clients that you care about their needs by offering a heating pad for the table, a space heater or a blanket.
Selection of Oil – No one wants to feel yucky or excessively greasy after a massage service, plus since the skin is the largest organ of the body, it is important that the product that you are using is high quality. Educate your clients as to the quality of the oil that you are using. They might not realize how well you are taking care of them unless you mention it. Can you easily get your hands on nut-free oils in case your client has allergies? Do you have a warming or cooling lotion at easy reach to apply to the client who walks in with a sports injury? You may even take it a step further and be able to offer sample sized packet of a particular product or even offer a retail line of products to help your client maintain some of the benefits at home.
The Little Extras – Don’t you just love it when you receive a massage and you are treated with extra special amenities such as a bolster under your legs, a mask for your eyes, a hot pack on your back and/or a pillow or a rolled towel under your neck? Well so do your clients. All of these easy and inexpensive little extra touches go a long way toward making you client feel comfortable, well cared for and coming back for more.
Intention – Show that you really care about your client. Remember their history including injuries and areas of concern and also their stories and perhaps names of their family members if they are mentioned (jot down a few notes to review before your service.) If they complain about a particular condition, do some research and find helpful information for them. It goes without saying that you should be present with good energy when providing the service.
Customer Service is King
Ease of Appointment Scheduling – If you value your client, make it easy for them to book with you. That may mean that you are using an online scheduling service or you promptly return your calls and emails. Make it as easy as possible for your clients to get in touch with you. Allow space in your schedule for standing appointments with regulars and be flexible to accommodate your clients’ needs.
Invite your Client to Reschedule – At the end of a service, always, always, always, ask your client if, or better yet, ask them when they would like to come back. As simple as that sounds, sometimes that is all it takes. Your client wants to know that you want them to return.
Keep in Touch – In today’s connected world, it is quite easy and relatively inexpensive to stay in contact with your clients. Call to confirm appointments, re-schedule appointments or just see how they are feeling. Develop an email list to to send announcements, a holiday e-greeting or an occasional special promotion. Drop an email or a note to people who you haven’t seen in awhile. Maybe they lost your card and are ready for their next massage. Even if they are too busy (or too broke) at the moment, at least you will be on their mind when they are ready to schedule their next massage. Don’t be afraid to be proactive.
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There can be a significant amount of effort and expense in client building. Once someone has received your great service, it is much easier to convert them into a regular or repeat customer than it is to get someone new to come to you. Furthermore, it is more likely that they will purchase a package or a product if they come to you regularly. There are many small, inexpensive things that you can do to keep your massage client coming back. Client retention is a pivotal part of any successful massage business.
How do you spoil you massage client?