Are you having problems building return clientele? Clients not re-booking as much as they used to? Clients often times will have simply gotten out of the habit of getting massage. But if most of your clients aren't returning or re-booking, something is not right.
Here's a few suggestions to get you thinking outside the box and getting a different view of some possible reasons.
Receive a massage on your table. Is your room comfortable? Did you feel comfortable getting undressed and on the table? Is your table comfy & cozy? Does it have enough cushion? Is there a big ugly water stain on the ceiling right above the table? (This is how I discovered my ugly ceiling & a creative fix.) Is the room too cold or too hot? Is the massage cream frigid on your skin? Are you staring at dust bunnies and lint balls on the floor under the face cradle?
Receive a massage from a business similar to yours. (For example, if you work in a chiropractor's office, go to another chiropractor's office.) What are other's doing that is different from you? What do you like or dislike about other places? Visiting other businesses can be as much a lesson in what not to do as it is what to do.
Receive a session from a business that is very different from yours.
(If you work in a private practice, get a session from a spa). This can be a great way to think outside the box and open yourself up to other possibilities in your own practice.
Survey clients (with an online, anonymous survey) and ask for their honest feedback.
Often times, clients will feel more comfortable giving feedback anonymously and are more likely to be honest. You might be surprised what you learn.
Take some continuing education classes to get your creative juices flowing.
Don't just signup for any old class because you need some CEU's... find a class that looks inspiring and that will add value to your practice. I've had many clients comment that they love the fact that I am always learning something new. Clients who have been coming to me for years are still surprised when I add fresh techniques to their session - they thought they knew all my tricks!
Here's some of the most common reasons clients don't return (in my opinion):
- The therapist talks too much.
Be mindful of your client's body language and non-verbal clues. Are they keeping their answers short... but you keep talking?
Have you communicated (verbally or non-verbally) to your clients that it's OK for them to be silent during their massage? Sometimes, clients just need permission. They might think it's rude to not talk during their massage. Once given permission, they will often be silent and sink into a deeper state of relaxation they didn't know was possible.
- The massage room is too cold.
It's a delicate balance to keep the room cool enough for the therapist, but warm enough for the client. I've received a massage before from a therapist who keeps her room very cool. She keeps a heavy blanket on the client, but the problem is that the body part she is working on is exposed to that cold air, and it's difficult to relax. I haven't gone back.
There are some other ways to ensure the client stays warm enough without making it uncomfortably warm for you. (We'll explore those ideas in a wintertime post.)
- The therapist doesn't deliver the type of massage the client requests.
If your clients are asking for deep tissue, but you have a passion for reiki and therefore "talk them into reiki" or... just perform reiki when they've asked for deep tissue - don't expect them to come back. If this kind of thing is happening a lot, it's a good time to re-evaluate your marketing and make sure you've got a clear target market of clients who are interested in your particular services.
If you've examined the above and don't recognize yourself, yet you're still not getting clients re-booking, there is one last thing to consider as a reason why clients didn't rebook:
Nobody ASKED them to!
What are your thoughts? What do you think are common reasons clients don't return?
*Thanks to fellow therapist Ginger for the idea on this blog topic!