resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
November, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 11
How Do You Retain Your Clients?
By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT
In my last column, I wrote about how to reactivate clients. You know, the ones who go missing for one reason or another. I hope it was helpful and your practice is experiencing the fruits of that labor.Now that those clients are back, how do you keep them? After all, the winner of the game is the therapist who has the greatest ability to attract and retain clients. Imagine if you didn't retain your clients, but wanted a thriving practice? It would be like trying to fill up a bucket with a big hole in it. No matter how much water you put in the bucket with a hole, it will never fill. Well, if you are not retaining clients, that is what will happen with your practice - it will never be full.
The bottom line to client retention is keeping them happy. Of course, that means different things to different people. However, in today's economy and stressful times, people are looking for something special and unique. People are looking to be treated in a certain way and consumers want an experience. Gone are the days of just being satisfied with an hour massage. Consumers are smarter and the number of therapists is growing exponentially. So, how do you set yourself apart from the myriad of others? What makes you special and how will you provide an experience for your clients?
I strongly believe the experience starts with the first interaction. Whether it's in person or over the phone, the clock starts ticking and the value of the massage is being tallied. Do you take the time to conduct a proper interview? Do you ask questions that show you care? Are you rushing to book the appointment? The answers to these questions tell the client what kind of therapist you are and what they can expect from future interactions with you. Similar phone protocol is imperative for on going clients as well. Do you return calls promptly? People will leave voice messages if they know you return calls in a timely fashion. If you are receiving hang-ups, chances are your time- management and phone skills need a makeover. If you are professional, caring, prompt and unrushed, your long-term therapeutic relationship is well underway.
The next phase of the experience happens during the treatment time, but before hands-on. How do you greet your client? Do you remember (or write down) the things discussed during the interview or do they have to repeat everything? Do you remember what you did with them during their last visit? Do you have the table prepared the way they like it (abdominal pillow, face cradle, etc.)? Do you listen to them? What extras do you provide at the office? Do you offer water after the session or teach them exercises to do at home? All of these little things add up to a richer, fuller hour of care.
The massage itself is up to you. Your work is your own and it must be nothing short of awesome to keep people coming back. However, my area of expertise is business so I won't go into how to give a good massage. That's your job.
Follow-up is another key to client retention. Whether you do a 24-hour follow-up call for a new client or send a monthly newsletter to an existing one, the continuity is imperative to long-term success. It's so easy for you to slip from people's minds; you must stay at the forefront at all times. Birthday cards, newsletters, follow-up calls, reminder calls and holiday greetings are examples of ways to keep in contact. If you don't believe how effective this can be, allow me to provide a real-life example. Every month, I send out an e-mail newsletter. As I recently started another new practice, this has only been happening for about six months. The last two newsletters got amazing results! Three clients e-mailed me back within minutes of receiving my newsletter to book appointments, for two months in a row. They commented that they loved being reminded of me, couldn't believe it had been a month since their last massage and appreciated how easy it was to hit "reply" and book an appointment. Whatever method you choose to stay in touch, the premise is that you still are thinking about your clients long after the hour massage is over. The dollar value of the treatment is being extended beyond the 60 minutes, and the experience is still continuing.
Retaining clients is the key to the ultimate success of your business. It costs far less money to keep your existing clients happy compared to drumming up new business. It takes less emotional energy to work with an existing clientele, and it's just plain easier. Business peace of mind comes when the clients are happy with your work, pay you a fair amount of money and reschedule for many, many years.
Click here for previous articles by Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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