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Massage Today
August, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 08

How Special Do Your Clients Feel?

By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT

Your clients are your greatest asset. There is no doubt about it. Since that is the case, it's in your best interest to make them feel as special as possible, especially if you want to keep them coming back.

There is a sea of massage therapists out there these days and competition is tougher than ever. How do you keep the clients you have and attract new ones? Simple - make them feel special.

Well, I said it was simple but it must not be, judging how few therapists actually do this simple step. I believe the variance of your success boils down to how special you make your client feel. If diligently pursued, your client will feel special and repeat business is guaranteed. Strong client relationships are the main key in keeping your clients feeling like the most important thing in your practice. And isn't that the goal? Make them feel as if we are there for them and have nothing better to do than care for them? If done correctly, a client relationship will be established immediately and you will build a large practice based on repeat, and fulfilled, customers.

One of the easiest things to do for a client relationship is to use the client's name during conversation. Studies show people respond to the sound and sight of their name. Whether you use it in conversation or on a birthday card, the use of a name establishes a personal connection. Next time you see a new client, try to use their name at least two times during the intake interview. For example, "Tell me what brings you here today, Mr. Smith." or "How long have you had the shoulder problem, Ms. Jones?" It's so simple but has such a positive impact.

Another way to establish a relationship and make a client feel special is to be totally present and "in the moment" with them. How much multitasking happens in today's society? Way too much. If a client can slow down and feel like we are with them, "in the moment" solely focused on them, it will bring pleasure that is hard to match elsewhere. Easy to say, tough to do.

Set the tone from the start. When a client walks in, is your desk covered with piles of paper and charts? Are you in the middle of answering a call or recording SOAP notes from the last session? Make it a goal to have a clear desk and a clear mind so when your client walks in the door, the illusion is created that there are no distractions and nothing else but them in the room. If you need to ask the client to wait a minute for you to tidy up, so be it. It's better to run a minute late than have a client walk in and see the chaos of your mind or your desk. An organized environment is very powerful visually and will have lasting effects on the client.

Unlike the product industry, we can't put a price on the relationship we have with our clients. The value should be priceless. Clients are becoming more discerning and competition is fierce, so the relationship we establish with our clients should be a large priority. Focus on making them feel special and the rewards of repeat business will be plentiful.

Click here for previous articles by Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.


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