Make a Fantastic First Impression on a New Massage Client

There’s only one chance to make a fantastic first impression on a new massage client. Most people when they meet you will form their opinion about you and your massage therapy practice in a matter of seconds. That’s why it’s important to make sure clients (especially new clients) feel great about doing business with you and form a positive opinion about your massage therapy practice. Giving an amazing massage is only one portion of the customer experience. There are numerous details that go into a client’s first impression of you, starting with the initial meeting and ending when they leave your office. Use these handy tips for making your new client feel as comfortable as possible:

1. Greet the Client with Easy to Understand Directions. You or the receptionist should always greet the client at the door with a warm welcoming smile. Offer to take the client’s coat or other belongings. The client should always be offered a beverage. If no one is available to greet the client (maybe due to finishing up a session) then a sign should be clearly visible welcoming the client, offering a drink, and requesting they relax in the waiting room.

 

2. Before You Offer the Intake Form Assess the Client’s Level of Experience. Always inquire whether the client has had a massage before or not. Experienced massage clients will get impatient going through all the details on the intake form, while a new client will be happy to have a walkthrough of the information. This way you can speed up the experience for your tenured clients and slow the pace for new clients.

 

3. Always Be Attentive to the Client’s Needs Before the Massage. As you walk the client to the massage room be sure to ask if they need to use the restroom or if anything else can be provided before the massage begins. Nobody wants to leave a great massage when the urge to pee comes up suddenly! It seems obvious but depending on your clients day (did they just leave work, were they running late, trying to get the kids out of the house, were they chugging coffee on the way?) they may not have thought about it. The walk back to the room also provides a great time to assess the client’s mobility – the way they hold their shoulders etc.

 

4. Always Match Your Client in Conversation. A talkative client will prefer you to engage in conversation, while a quieter client will become annoyed if you chatter too much.

 

5. Provide Advice on Your Tipping Policy. While experienced clients may know all about the tipping policy, a new client will not be as sure about tipping etiquette. If you accept tips a small sign placed in an easy to read location announcing tips 15%-20% are appreciated but not expected will do fine. If you do not accept tips, be sure to clearly say so as to avoid any uncomfortable situations when the client is ready to pay. If you are comfortable doing so, at payment is a good time to ask for referrals.

 

6. Allow the Client to Linger. Leave the room and say, ‘take your time and I’ll meet you at the front desk.’ This lets the client know you respect their individual pace and there is no rush to hurry out the door.

 

7. When Appropriate, Let The Client Know When They Should Re-book. If the thought of this makes you cringe, you will need to work at it. Re-booking clients is one of the single most important skills to a successful practice, it’s even more important that getting new clients. Learning something new takes practice to get good at it, but you can do it!

 

How do you do it? Just ask. You genuinely care about your client’s health and welfare.  Many clients won’t re-book unless they are asked, they don’t know what their muscles need but you do.  You’re a professional.

 

After the session, give the client some tea or water.  Take a little time to talk about how they are feeling, if they have any questions, and if there is anything they may need worked on when they return. You know when they should come in next.  With your Appointment Book/laptop/tablet open, ask them something like this:

I really think you would benefit from some more work on these areas…let’s schedule you in again…” -at the end of the week, next week, next month, – whenever you think they need to be seen again.

Other options include:

  • “When would you like to re-book your next session?”
  • “So, what date would you like to schedule your next appointment?”
  • “When would you like to come back?”
  • “Would you like to go ahead and schedule your next appointment?”
  • “I’m booking for [month], would you like me to book something for you now before my schedule is filled?”
  • “I have a 2pm on next Wednesday or a 5pm the following Monday.”
    • or “…before your condition worsens.”  
    • or “…to get the best results.”
    • and “…Then once your condition improves we can slow it down to a maintenance/preventative treatment to maintain these results and prevent your condition from reverting to its previous state.”

If the client seems uncomfortable, there is no need to push.  Just give them your card and allow them to re-book when they like.

  • “Can I help you make an appointment while you’re here, or would you rather call when you’ve had a chance to look at your schedule?”
  • “Would you like to make another appointment, or just call when you’d like to come in?”
    • This way the client has the opportunity to say no without feeling like they may be turning you down.

     

By paying attention to all the little details and following these tips for the best client experience, you will have satisfied clients that can’t wait to come back!  What are your suggestions to make a great lasting first impression?

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