September 19th, 2018
I thought we’d talk client experience today…specifically how to design it, because this isn’t just something that happens; it’s something you have to strategically develop.
A huge mistake that a lot of therapists are making is that they’re just thinking of what services to offer, how to sell them, how to make their place pretty, and maybe a few special touches to offer clients, things like that. But these aren’t all separate things. Every step that a client goes through from the time they hear about your business to the time they book that appointment, receive their service, and then later hear back from you…that’s all the client experience. And every single step of that needs to be planned out to reflect your brand, your mission, and solidify to your clients that you and your business are the best around. But how do you go about planning all this out?
You have to think of your ideal client. You should have this worked out already, but if you don’t be sure to join the free My Massage World Facebook group where we’re spending all week explaining this…plus there’s a few videos I’ve done on the subject previously, so check those out. I’m not going to beat the subject of an ideal client to death…let’s just jump into how to use that profile to develop your client experience. You want to design every step of the client experience around exactly what your ideal client would want. How do you know what they want?
#1: You should be offering a solution to their problem…
Whether that’s their pain, stress, whatever. You should be addressing their problem and offering a solution via your services, right? I mean that’s pretty obvious, but remember, you need to address their external and their internal problem. I’ve spoken and written about this previously, but let me explain really quick. The external problem is that which is what they’re usually complaining of. The stress or pain or whatnot. The internal problem is that which is a bit deeper, like the frustration of not being able to keep up with their daily activities because of an injury, or the guilt of snapping at their kids and husband because they never get a break and feel overwhelmed and constantly stressed. You’re not just telling them “I can give you a break”, you’re saying “you’re going to be a more balanced person because you’re taking time for yourself; and that means you’ll be better able to take care of everyone else, without feeling so crazy all the time.”
#2: You need to learn what they REALLY want, not just what you think they want.
There’s a few ways to go about this. You can just ask your existing clients that fit that ideal profile, or otherwise survey people who fit those same demographics, complaints, and lifestyle to get a general sense of what they’d prefer. You can also find social media pages and groups, or blogs and forums centered around these ideal clients of yours. Look at the phrases they use. Look at the way they speak about their issues. Get a sense for what they’re really looking for. For example, while you may think a flotation or deprivation tank is what would be best for your athlete clients, maybe they’d prefer a sauna since none of the gyms in your area offer that. Or maybe you cater to busy moms and they can’t ever seem to find time for themselves. Maybe you offer a bassinet next to the table or a quiet play or rest area for their kids to use within eyeshot, but still allowing for mom to get some me time. How can you address what they really want and need out of your business? And this leads us to…
#3: Remember every single step and make it memorable.
It’s those special touches like allowing a busy mom to take a break even when she has her kids with her, or offering something that no one else does and yet your clients really want…that’s the stuff that makes the biggest difference. While it may be big things like that, it can also be the very small things…like sending an email the day before their appointment, not only as a reminder, but also with detailed directions to your place and instructions for what to expect. Or offering a small gift bag to every new client with product samples and maybe a branded reusable water bottle or anything else they might like. Or keeping an umbrella by the door to walk your clients in and out on rainy days. Or offering tea, coffee, or snacks before or after sessions. Or customizing each and every session to include any modality at the same price because their body changes from day to day and they never know what they want. Or checking in the day after their appointment to see how they’re feeling.
There’s so many ways you can improve the client experience, but to really make the biggest impact, you need to seriously take a step back and think of every single step a client goes through when dealing with your business. From the time they see your website, to how you answer the phone, any pre-appointment correspondences, what your parking lot and building looks like, how they’re greeted when they arrive, where and what they can do while they wait, what the intake process and service is like, how you tell them the session is over, how you check them out and ask them to rebook, what you let them leave with, and how you follow up. Every step needs to be planned in detail to reflect your brand, your business mission, your ideal client’s needs, and remind your clients why they pick you over all the other therapists out there.
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