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Effective Client Relations

While some people prefer the term ‘customer service’, I find the term client relations more appropriate and applicable to us in the massage industry. We’re not just talking about providing great customer service in the traditional sense, but creating a relationship with our clients and potential clients; because that’s what creates customers-for-life.

Your client relation skills are such an important part of growing a business.
Let’s just look at the difference in how people respond to an individual vs. a company. It’s hard for customers to develop a relationship with a company, but easier for them to develop one with a person. Because this is so difficult, major corporations have entire teams devoted to developing and maintaining these client relations; to creating a customer experience that builds a relationship with the company. But it’s just little ol’ you, right? Or maybe even just you and a few employees. So you obviously don’t have a team with years of customer service experience at the ready to design processes and handle situations. You do, however, have the upper hand in that you are an individual. You’re much easier to develop a relationship with without the strategies and processes a large corporation has to use in order to break through that corporate wall.

Client relations encompasses everything you do in the process of getting and maintaining clients. From the way you answer the phone to how you phrase your rebooking questions, the services and special touches you offer to how you reach out when they’ve not been in for a while.

Why is it important to dive deep into this concept?
Because clients are what makes your business! If you don’t have clients, you don’t have a business. If you don’t know how to speak to potential clients you won’t be able to get them in the door, and if you don’t handle things correctly when they come in for an appointment, you probably won’t be keeping them as clients for very long.

There’s a lot of talk about creating an amazing client experience, but what does that look like? And how do you design and build a great client experience?
Well, the first place to start is simple…with your ideal client.
Many therapists make the mistake of developing a client experience based on what THEY want; all the components that THEY’D like to offer. But what is far more effective at developing a great client experience is instead designing it completely around what your ideal client wants and needs.

So start with the overall benefit your ideal client is seeking.
Then consider what services, add-ons, amenities, and small touches you can incorporate around that.

Now remember, this isn’t just about what you do as far as hands-on work or services you offer. This is EVERYTHING from the time they inquire about your business to the service, rebooking, and follow-up. Every step has to be planned out and designed in relation to what they want and need.

Let’s say you’re trying to attract busy moms clients, take into consideration their circumstances and what you can offer as part of the entire experience to make it fit exactly what they want; even what they don’t realize they want. So you may incorporate or offer…

-Convenient online booking or texting for those times a phone call just isn’t going to happen.
-Straightforward copy that gets them the answers they need quickly because they don’t have time to read a bunch of unnecessary info with a toddler wrapped around their neck.
-Highlight openings during typical school and/or daycare times (especially if you mention that they can get in with you right after they drop off the kids or right before they have to go pick them up).
-Appointment reminders the evening before or the morning of because they’re likely a bit scattered.
-Offer a foot soak while they fill out paperwork to ease them into calming down and relaxing.
-A small play area with toys and such for kids to be entertained so mom can finally get that massage she’s been wanting, even if she can’t get childcare for her appointment.
-A bassinet next to the table for baby to sleep in, but still be close by while mom relaxes.
-Mommy and me yoga or movement classes.
-Cool compresses and specialized bolstering for nursing moms.
-Sell mom-oriented products if you want to get into retail (calming oil blends for mom and kids, baby slings or wraps to help with that back pain, belly support wraps for pregnant women, etc.).
-Offer coffee or tea after their session to perk them back up and get them ready for mom-mode again – even in a branded reusable cup that has some sort of cute mom-oriented phrasing on it (like “coffee + massage = mom fuel”, or anything else you can come up with).
-Send a personalized follow-up card that speaks to their specific situation and needs, and reminds them to take care of themselves so they can take care of their family.

There’s a ton of ways to spice up the experience to tailor things for your ideal client. Think about their pain points, and not only how you would help them in the general massage sense, but also what little touches can you add throughout their entire experience with your business?

If you’re wanting to dive deep and finally, clearly identify your ideal client, as well as develop a thoroughly amazing client experience, check out our business classes!

Hey there! I'm a massage therapist, educator, writer, and business pro helping massage therapists around the world build successful businesses. My goal is to give you everything you need to start, run, and grow a profitable massage practice that supports a life you love, all without the headaches I went through learning how to do it myself.

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