resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
June, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 06
The Heart of Business: Client Relations
By Jenn Sommermann, LCMT
Business does not have to be about accounting and long-winded business plans. Even though that is a valid aspect of professional development, many massage therapists hire accountants and some never write business plans.If you enjoy those pieces of the business side of massage therapy, good for you. However, I feel the most important aspects of business revolve around client relations. Getting the clients scheduled in the first place, performing excellent customer service beyond the "hands-on" work and retaining clients is paramount to success. A successful massage career is much more than a good massage just as a five-star hotel is much more than a comfortable bed.
When you first hear the term client relations, what do you think about? Of course, it means different things to different people but I want to try to put together a list of some of the top things that client relations mean to me. For the purpose of organizing this information, I am going to break it into three categories: before the massage, during the massage and after the massage.
The first time you speak to someone on the phone or meet them in person is critical to the success of the long-term relationship. You have about five seconds to "impress" someone and the average client sizes you up in a short time. How you handle this interaction is very important.
You must be professional, clear, and establish your value in a short amount of time. There is no un-doing the first meeting. You never get a second chance. This is the first step in establishing a good relationship.
The ease with which a client schedules and your promptness in returning phone calls is the next thing to pay attention to. If a client cannot get through to you or if it takes too much effort to book an appointment, they won't be a client for long. Convenience and impeccable phone etiquette is key to client relations.
Once you get the client in the door, excellent service and paying attention to their needs tops the list. If a client likes an abdominal bolster, make sure it is set up before the client comes in for an appointment. Don't make the client ask or worse, have them go without. Client preferences must be noted on their chart and should be adhered to each time.
And speaking of charts, keeping accurate records is a must. You are the keeper of people's lives and there is no excuse for not doing an intake and tracking progress with good notes. Use whatever format you like, although SOAP notes are widely accepted. The point is to understand your notes, be able to defend them if necessary and have a clear picture of what your treatments consist of.
Once the client has left the office, follow-up is imperative. Marketing studies show that the best bang for your buck is follow-up. It costs less money and takes less time to keep an existing client than to bring in a new one. A little time spent keeping your current clients happy will go a long way towards ultimate success. Check in and see how they feel after their first appointment. Whatever they tell you, write it in their chart so that you "remember" it for their next visit. If you read an article that would be good for a certain client, take the initiative and send it to them. Clients love that.
Because you've taken such good treatment notes, the next time they come in for an appointment, you will be able to ask them about their current condition. "Remembering" the details is easy if you write it down and clients will feel cared for. In a world where health care is challenged and medical professionals don't have time to converse, let alone remember details, you will stand out amongst the stars if you do.
Good client relations isn't hard to accomplish, but it takes time, thought and effort. With some practice, these techniques can become second nature and be part of your standard of care. Clients will appreciate it and as a result, will come back. I truly believe if more massage therapists focused on client relations, there would be more success in our industry.
Click here for previous articles by Jenn Sommermann, LCMT.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.