Warning…this is another tough love session today, so if you're not in the mood, move…
Are you guilty of offering numerous services along with lots of add-ons and upgrades? If so, you may be losing out on all kinds of sales. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you need to have a large service menu in order to showcase all that you offer and all the ways you can help people. Many establishments, whether an independent therapist or a large clinic with numerous employees, often make the mistake of listing out every single modality or technique and every add-on in their menu. But all this can create a convoluted mess of choices that can be overwhelming for guests.
Studies have shown that when given an excessive amount of choice, people often become paralyzed in their decision-making. There’s 2 reasons for this; choice overload and information overload. Choice overload is the idea that when given so many options, people simply can’t decide which is best for them. They’ll constantly go back and forth about which they want, never truly satisfied even when they’ve finally made the decision. Information overload is the concept of being bombarded with so much new information for their brain to process, that they can’t take it all in to make a clear decision. This is especially true if you not only list out numerous services, but also put a detailed description of each. It’s simply too many choices AND too much new information.
It’s also been noted in these studies that people are actually less satisfied with their experience once they decide. They’ll often think something like “what if I had picked this other one?” or “I could have chosen better.” It’s a nagging feeling we’ve all struggled with when choosing a dish at a restaurant, a service at a spa, a paint color choice, or any number of other decisions we may make when faced with too many choices.
So how do you combat this? What can you do to simplify your services?
Start by getting rid of modalities. Clients don’t understand or care about all the different modalities and techniques you do. They care about results; what you can do for them. Instead of charging different prices and listing out each as a separate service, offer a “customized massage” that encompasses whatever combo of modalities it’s going to take to deliver the results they’re looking for. Then it’s just a matter of pricing for your time. For instance, the first establishment I worked at out of massage school, Swedish and Deep Tissue were separate options for clients. Deep Tissue was $10 more per hour. We were all told that if a client who requested Swedish, wanted specific DT work on any area once we got into the session, we were supposed to inform them that it would be an additional $10 if we were to do that. I thought that was crazy! I’m not bringing up the costs in the middle of a session and saying they have to pay me more just to work on a specific problem they’re having when I’m already right there. So when I opened my own practice, I never separated out services. I charged a flat rate for my time (30/60/90/120) and described it as a fully customized session depending on their needs that day. So I may throw in some Swedish, some Deep Tissue, some Thai Massage, some MFR, cupping, or anything else in my repertoire.
Secondly, simplify your add-ons and upgrades. For example, if you find that most people want hot towels, but don’t want to pay for the upgrade, why not increase your price on a standard massage just a little to make up for the extra laundry, and include it in every session instead of listing it out as an add-on. Reserve add-ons for things that take up much more time and money, like hot stones, aromatherapy, etc. You can definitely just increase prices of your standard massage to include every add-on you offer so you can keep it really concise, but don’t be afraid to have a few add-ons. Just remember to keep them simple in their description so you don’t overload your clients with information and choices.
The more you can simplify your services, the better chances that your clients will know exactly what they want and be completely satisfied with their decision.