This week let’s talk about client follow up; why and how you should be doing it.
So you have a client come in for an appointment. They love the massage, pay you, and then they’re gone. But if you’re leaving things there, if you’re not following up with that client, you’re letting money walk out the door; or maybe a better way to look at it is that you’re letting a key business asset walk out the door.
The problem arises when we rely on our clients to take the initiative to think of us, to book an appointment, to make the first move, so to speak. But life gets busy. They have family and work commitments, they’re tired by the end of the day, and yes, those pains start to creep back, but often it’s a slow process so they may not even notice it happening at first, or they just don’t think they have the time, and you’re probably booked up; the list of reasons goes on and on. How easy it is to forget about the thing that helped us and we know we should do more often. But once we leave that massage room and life takes over, that’s just how it goes for a lot of people.
You want those clients to come back, right? Rebooking is a major part of the success of any massage practice. What you need is a rebooking strategy. This isn’t just a blasé attempt at random. A good rebooking strategy is often at the heart of a good marketing strategy. It’s far easier and more cost effective to get an existing client to return than it ever is to get a new client to come in. While there’s far too much to a good rebooking strategy to get into it all here, let’s go over one of the basics of client follow up to get your started.
So there’s four timeframes to follow up with each of your clients as part of your rebooking attempt…
#1 Follow up right after you finish the service
When they come out of the treatment room, this is where you check in with how they’re feeling, how they liked the massage, and of course, you can go ahead and ask them if they’d like to rebook right then. This doesn’t have to be sleazy or salesy, just ask. You have no idea what some people’s thought process is surrounding massage. They may not even realize it’s more than just a once a year or on special occasion kind of luxury. Or they may think they’re imposing if they ask I know that may seem weird to some people, but you might be surprised how many people have that thought. Make it apparent that you’re available and that they should book again.
#2 Follow up the within 1-7 days
Make a phone call, send a text message, an email, even a handwritten thank you note in the mail, or however the client prefers to communicate, and you want to reach out. If you’re following up the day after, see how they’re feeling; are they still feeling as good now that they’re into their normal activities, but now hopefully more relaxed or their injury or pain complaint now addressed. If you’re following up a week later, you’re checking for the same feedback, but this time it’s a bit more of a notice to them to check in with their body to see if the effects of the massage are starting to wear off a bit…reminding them that it may be time to come back for an appointment.
#3 Follow up within at 1-3 months
For those who haven’t been in for 1 to 3 months, check back in to see how they’re feeling and if they’d like to book another session with you. This is the point where a lot of people simply get lost in the shuffle of life and forget to make themselves a priority. Sending a nice postcard with a reminder or even an extra incentive to book an appointment is a great way to reconnect with them and get back to the forefront of their mind.
#4 Follow up within 1 year
I know it may seem odd to reach out to someone who hasn’t been in for a year, especially if they were a one-off type of client, but first, it never hurts to follow up anytime, as long as you’re not being obnoxious, over-zealous, or pushy with it. But think about what made that person come in that one time. Some people will never be the weekly or monthly client, they’ll be the yearly one. And for most of you, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. It’s a special occasion kind of thing to them, or something they have to save up to be able to afford, so they just don’t do it very often. But yeah, go back through you files and see who hasn’t been in for a year or so and follow up. Remind them you still exist and that it’s time for them to treat themselves again.
If it’s a repeat client who then suddenly stopped coming, this follow up is a great reminder for them that it’s been far too long and they need to make themselves a priority again.
So please, don’t forget to follow up with your clients. Or worse yet, don’t think that you shouldn’t. This is a key component to building a great clientele, full of that repeat business that gives you a steady income and solidifies your practice.
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