resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
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 more information about Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
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