Tips for establishing a professional level of loyalty and trust
In the world of massage therapy, word-of-mouth and repeat business are worth their weight in gold. It is for this reason – among others – that massage therapy students should strive to get in the habit of providing an experience that clients truly value.
Part of doing so requires considering what’s most important to each client. Before each massage, students in the massage therapist training program should consider this question: If you made an appointment for a massage, what would you want that experience to include? While there is no universal answer, here are some ways to put clients at ease, and – hopefully – keep them coming back for more.
1. Maintain a sterile environment. Massage therapists want their clients to ease into a state of bliss. This is difficult to achieve if there is any dust or dirt or off-putting odors. As a safeguard, be sure to disinfect your massage space daily, and complete one major cleaning toward the end of every week.
2. Create a soothing tone. Choose scents and artwork that suggest a sense of calm. Muted colors and soft lighting can also have a soothing effect. In addition, a lot of Branford’s student-run massage clinics feature leather-upholstered furniture, yet another way to set the mood.
3. Take pride in your appearance. Personal appearance can be seen as a reflection of the service a client can expect. Clean hair, clean fingernails, clean clothes, fresh breath, daily showering and appropriate (i.e., closed-toe) footwear are all essential parts of the trade.
4. Confirm every appointment. Making a quick call or sending an email reminder lets the client know that he or she is important, and that the massage therapist will be prepared for their appointment.
5. Ask the client about preferences. Massage therapists should ask every client if he or she has any personal requests. In the age of iTunes, for example, some professionals will allow their clients to choose a playlist prior to beginning each session. Regardless of whether the client has any suggestions, allowing for some flexibility may make them feel more in-control.
6. Follow the client’s lead. Most clients prefer not to have an ongoing conversation throughout their massage. It is best to assume this, responding only when – and if – the client takes any initiative to speak.
7. Ask for occasional feedback. Once every few months, it may be useful for massage therapists to send out an email asking for suggestions regarding performance (or practice). Keep in mind that clients see the experience from a different perspective. The most valuable feedback may come from clients who scheduled an appointment once, and then never returned. Plus, engaging in a dialogue may provide an opportunity to win those clients back.
Have friends or family who might be interested in pursuing a career in massage therapy? Learn more about Branford Hall’s massage therapist training program.