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Bodywork Buddy Blog

Bodywork Buddy: business management software for the solo therapist that keeps you organized and makes tax time a breeze.

Showing posts with label Referrals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Referrals. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Master Your Screening Process for Creeper Clients

Did you see this post last week on Bored Panda directly addressing Mr. Massage Creeper? (Or could be Ms. too, I suppose!)

We’ve all been there, unfortunately. Unlike most professions, licensed massage therapists have to hone their skills of gut instincts, intuition, screening, and noticing red flags of creeps. I remember early on in my massage career, I once had 3 creeps in 1 week.

I contemplated quitting massage, even though I loved the work. I wondered what was I doing to attract these weirdos, and what could I do to make it stop?

I couldn’t believe that someone would think that I was offering illegal services, didn’t they know how awesome massage therapy is and how disrespectful it was to do this?! I laugh to think now that I thought that way, but the truth is that massage school did not prepare me at all for how the average joe thought about massage, much less the creepy joe. No skills or tactics were taught to us newbies on how to deal with creeps…. I don’t recall it even being mentioned to us that we would encounter them.

Looking back, I think of some ways my working environment could’ve been improved for a more professional image. I was working for other companies, and didn’t really have any control over the building, decor, etc. I didn’t think at the time that it really mattered. After all, these people had successful businesses, they must know what they’re doing, right?

And this was before email was commonplace. Smartphones and texting were non-existent. Online booking? Ha! So all screening had to be done on the phone, and more often than not, nothing unusual would happen until the creep was there in person. Thankfully, we now have the awesome conveniences of today’s technology that can help us screen out any unwanted clients and hopefully save us from some face-to-face encounters with scoundrels.

Here’s a few ways some Bodywork Buddy members have screened out creepers:

Customize the Bodywork Buddy online intake form with distinct questions.

Asking specific questions like these can help you notice any red flags:

  • “What are your goals for your session?”
  • “What inspired you to seek out a therapeutic massage session today?”
  • “How long ago was your last massage?”
  • “How did you hear about me?”

Only accepting new male clients by referral from existing clients.

Let your clients do the screening for you! Only accepting new male clients (or female for that matter, if you have problems with female creepers) from existing clients will significantly reduce the number of people looking for “other” services.

Use online scheduling software that has option to decline an appointment request.

Bodywork Buddy has the option to accept or decline an appointment request. This can really come in handy to screen out creeps rather than having all appointments be automatically scheduled.

There’s also the option to include a message area for the client when scheduling. This can be a great tool to see red flags right away. Did they ask creepy questions or make a weird comment when requesting an appointment? APPOINTMENT REQUEST DECLINED.

Don’t accept same day appointments for new clients.

Many LMT’s have noticed that creepers are typically looking for an appointment that day. Help filter them out by using the “max days out for scheduling” feature in Bodywork Buddy. This will only allow clients to see openings as soon as the next day or as far out as 4 days (instead of immediate openings/same day openings) when scheduling online.

Require clients to agree to your policies online before they can schedule an appointment.

An optional feature in Bodywork Buddy can require clients to agree to your policies when they schedule an appointment online. The policies are completely customizable and written by you.

What screening techniques have you found helpful in your own massage practice?

Cindy Iwlew is a licensed massage therapist who has had a private practice since 1999 and cofounder of Bodywork Buddy massage software.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

One Simple Trick to Get More Massage Clients Online

Testimonials and reviews help build trust with potential clients, resulting in them being more likely to schedule a massage appointment with you.

Research from Nielson reports that 88% of people will trust online reviews. In fact, many prospective clients will automatically search for reviews and testimonials about your services. Make it easy for them by displaying raving reviews right on your massage website and online scheduler!

Bodywork Buddy makes it painless to collect reviews. Once a session record is created (within 24 hours of the appointment time), our massage software automatically emails a request to the client to leave a testimonial. You can then choose to publish it to your online scheduling microsite.

Ready to give it a try? Signup for our free 15 day trial.

Cindy Iwlew is a licensed massage therapist who has had a private practice since 1999 and cofounder of Bodywork Buddy massage software.

Friday, September 23, 2016

2016 Massage Therapy Resource Bundle *ONLY 2 DAYS LEFT*

I'm excited to tell you about this great resource bundle that I've had the pleasure of being a part of! There's only two days left to get the 2016 Massage Resource Bundle.

It’s a small investment that will deliver tremendous value and new ideas to help you advance in your massage career. I don't want you to miss out.
Right now you can get over $800 worth of CEU classes, business classes, Ebooks and bonus offers for only $39.95. I think you’ll agree that is one amazing bundle!

I love that this kind of support is available now. When I started doing massage, there was little to no online support. New and seasoned therapists alike were left just floundering on our own.

Included in this bundle is my own ebook on growing your massage business with referrals, as well as a discount when joining Bodywork Buddy for your online scheduling and business management needs. (Plus LOTS of other great courses, ebooks, and bonuses from leaders in the massage profession!)

Check out just a few highlights included in the bundle:

Ok so... the countdown is on - jump on this now!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

How To Run a Successful Deal Campaign: Part Two

Now let's dive in to the actual process of working the deal.
Remember, it's going to be hard work but I think you're up to the challenge!

Here are my nine steps to a successful deal campaign.

1. Get ready!
First, decide what your offer will be.
Will you do a Swedish massage or a completely new service?
For example, I might want to get creative and create a 30 min. foot massage / peppermint foot scrub followed by a 45 min. focused massage, this way I can add some value to the offer and raise the price a bit on this service.

Next decide on a price point and add it to your services and website. Do this before you sign up with a deal site.

Don't forget to buy any new equipment or supplies ( like towels, new sheets, sugar, peppermint oil...)
Remember to think about making a good impression. If your sheets are funky, think about replacing them. You are aiming to retain these clients so first impressions matter!

2. Put processes in place or sharpen your existing ones.
What is your booking process?
What is your communication process?
Really think about this. You're going to be working with more people than usual so you'll need to have these processes streamlined. They need to be CRYSTAL clear. Don’t make things complicated and make sure your website is easy to navigate.

3. Get online booking, like now!

Requiring that people who buy the deals book online is a great way to manage the influx of new business. Make your tools work for you. Automate as much of the booking and communication as possible through email. After all, That's how they found out about you in the first place so it's a great tool to use in order to communicate.

For example, when someone books with me, I send them my welcome email. Every client gets the same one. I introduce myself, important information about my practice, directions with a map and a picture, and attached links to my intake and policy paperwork so they can fill out everything before they get here if they want to.

Then my booking system takes care of the rest with email confirmations/reminders as well as text reminders.

4. Clean and organize your office and get all your paperwork ready.
Is your treatment room appropriate and comfortable for new clients?
Is your intake form professional?
Do you have a policy agreement ready for new clients to sign?
Do you have a place for them to fill in their email and a check box if they'd like to be added to your list for future contact?

Make sure you outline your policies on no shows, last minute cancellations, and expirations on packages and promotions. Lay it all out there for them and have them sign the agreement. You can even have a copy to put in your welcome bag. (More on that later)

Remember that your main goal is to retain them as long term clients so you'll want to let them know about your policies.

5. Give a stellar treatment.
This is your time to shine, knock their socks off! Be friendly and focused on doing your best work. Listen to them and find out their bodywork goals. Anticipate their needs and give five star customer service.

6. Create a rebook incentive.
You just gave them an outstanding massage, so they are totally relaxed and amazed at your awesome skills! Great Job!!
Now, you want to retain these wonderful clients so give them even more incentive to come back.

I decided that I would offer a package with special pricing so that I could show that my work was consistently great and to get them in the habit of seeing me regularly. That might not work for your practice so think about your goals and get creative. Also, make sure to put appropriate restrictions on your incentive.

7. Give them a welcome bag.
Some ideas for things to add to your gift bag: a heartfelt welcome letter, your brochure, your business card, samples of pain relieving gel, mints, coupons for other like-minded businesses.

You could even put some gift certificates in there for their friends (first time clients only) if you’re doing Eric Brown’s 60 clients in 60 Days program. Another great way to boost your clientele!

8. Add them to your email list.
DO THIS. Once you’ve grown your list, you can start running your own deals, NO profit sharing. Remember, scarcity is really important so don’t run too many specials or deals. I only run two specials a year and it’s an extremely successful campaign for me because people anticipate it.

This is how you retain the value of your work. People feel like they are getting something truly SPECIAL, because they are! Running specials all the time is not...well, special. It becomes expected.
My email list is one of my most valuable marketing tools.

9. Follow up with a handwritten "thank you" note.
Handwritten is KEY. Don’t let bad handwriting be an excuse to skip this step. Take your time and do this. I promise you’ll make a huge impression.
Include a few business cards for their friends and offer a referral bonus. Something catchy like, "Send three, get one free". This is just an example. Be creative and make it juicy so they will want to refer.

Have you had success running “deals”? What are your tips for success?
Share your experiences!

Hi! I’m Hillary Arrieta and I help people improve their lives by offering holistic solutions to eliminate stress. 
I own Gaia Bodywork in Richardson, TX. and specialize in unique and effective massage and meditation techniques such as Barefoot Bar Therapy and iRest® Yoga Nidra.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Series: How To Set Your Massage Referral Program on Fire / Part 10

Last week's referral tip was about troubleshooting.  Now we're to our last post in the series!

Referral Fire Starter Tip #10: What NOT to Do.
We’ve spent some time talking about how to fix some of the things that can go wrong with your referral program; now, let’s discuss some things you’ll want to avoid at all costs. Any one of these pitfalls can sabotage your referral success:
  1. Not following up. We talked earlier about the need to actually do something with the names and numbers you collect. If you don’t use them, it’s the same as sticking quarters in the ground and waiting for them to grow into dollar bills. You need to follow up and connect in some way with these referrals!
  2. Not automating your process. Your referral process should run as smoothly – and as automated – as possible. If you’re collecting referrals electronically, there should be an automatic process for them to get forwarded on to you. Don’t let your referrals get bogged down at any point; a kink in the hose means a kink in your business.
  3. Not keeping it simple. The more complex your process is, the more time and energy it will take to administer it. If you have to choose between keeping it simple or making it really cool, go with simple. Your referral program should be a money maker for you, not a resource swallower.
  4. Not telling people about it. No one is going to go out of their way to take part in a program they don’t know about. Take every opportunity to let people know how they and their friends can benefit from your referral program.
  5. Not paying attention to changes around you. If your client profile is changing, or your market is changing, or the products and services your clients are demanding are changing, you need to be aware of that. Your referral program won’t rescue you from being behind the times in other areas of your business.
  6. Not valuing referrals and treating them like gold. The highest compliment a client can pay you is to refer a friend or family member to you. If they do and that friend has a bad experience, it reflects poorly on them. When someone sends an acquaintance your way, you need to go above and beyond to make sure that referral has a great experience. Not only will that make you look good, it’ll make the original client look good, too.

As you can see, creating a strong referral program isn’t rocket science. In fact, the more simple your program is, the easier it is for you to administer and for your clients to understand.
But don’t be deceived by the simplicity; referrals are the lifeblood of any serious businessperson. Having clients who constantly feed quality leads your way is like having a sales force of hundreds of additional people – without having to pay them a salary or benefits!
Keep the tips and suggestions in this series on-hand to make sure your referral program is as successful as possible. And when in doubt, go for the most simple solution you can design. That approach is sure to keep your program operating smoothly and easily.

Series wrap up:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Cindy Iwlew is co-founder of Bodywork Buddy Massage Software, a complete online management solution for independent massage therapists that includes online scheduling

She continues to operate her own private massage practice of 13 years.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Series: How to Set Your Massage Referral Program on Fire / Part 9

Last weeks referral tip was about Moving it Forward.  This week, we look at any problems or hiccups in the process and focus on smoothing the system out if needed.

Referral Fire Starter Tip #9: Troubleshooting.
Even the best referral program can run into some issues along the way. Here are some common problems and how to address them:

  1. No one is using the program. If you’re not getting any referrals, you either haven’t created a strong enough rewards program, or people don’t know about it. If you think the issue is with promotions, start mentioning your referral program at every opportunity. Add it to your regular mailing, mention it to all your clients, and consider doing a separate mailing to promote your program.
  2. The referrals you receive aren’t interested. If you’re getting plenty of referrals but they’re not becoming clients, that means you need to increase the quality of the referrals you’re receiving. Make sure you let your clients know you’re rewarding based on qualified leads. You can also ask a qualifying question on the referral form to make sure your clients are thinking in the right direction. A simple question will make your client think twice about writing down anyone and everyone, without regard to whether they fit your ideal customer.
  3. You’re getting too many referrals. This shouldn’t be a problem unless the referrals you’re receiving aren’t qualified. Otherwise, most people wish they could be in your shoes – so overrun with business that you’re wondering how to turn off the flow.
  4. Your program is too expensive. If it seems like you’re spending more money/time on referral rewards than they’re worth, there’s either a problem with your perception, or you’ve stacked the rewards too high. Most business people know how much a new client is worth to them in terms of business over the next year or years. Compare that amount to the amount you’re paying to your referrer. If each new client is worth about $50 in new business over the next year, you don’t want to offer more than that as a referral bonus. If you are offering $100 credit for each new client referred, no wonder it seems expensive – it is! Adjust accordingly.  (If you charge $65/hour, and a new client becomes a regular of once a month - that's $780/year!  So from this valuation, offering a free massage for every 3 clients referred is still a great deal for you!)
  5.  Your program is taking too long to administer. If you’re spending hours each week administering your program, you need to simplify and automate. Create systems to help you track and reward your clients, and streamline your process so it can operate quickly and easily. Cut out extra steps, get rid of things like punch cards and by-hand tracking, and make it all digital if possible. If that is too complex for you, a single index card with names and numbers of referred clients can work, too. Pick something that fits your style and remember that simple is best.

Series wrap-up:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

Part 8

Cindy Iwlew is co-founder of Bodywork Buddy Massage Software, a complete online management solution for independent massage therapists that includes online scheduling

She continues to operate her own private massage practice of 13 years.

                                                                                          puzzle photo credit:

Monday, September 24, 2012

Series: How to Set Your Massage Referral Program on Fire / Part 8

Last week's post was about making it easy for your referrers.

Referral Fire Starter Tip #8: Moving It Forward
You’ve got a stack of names and contact information... now what?  How do you connect with those leads and turn them into clients?  In tip #2, you mapped out your referral program that included a planned process of reaching out to those referrals.
  1. If you're getting addresses for your referrals from clients, mail out a postcard offering a discount or special for them to try out your services.  Be sure to include that their friend thought they'd be interested.
    Don't email.  If you don't already have an established relationship with them and don't have permission to email them - then don't.
  2. If you're not collecting mailing addresses, have referral cards to hand out to your current clients.
  3. Report Back. Your client will likely want to know how it went when you contacted their referral. Drop them a line by email or in the mail that says, “Thanks for referring Joe! We met last week. I truly appreciate your trust in me.” Then you can inform them how they can claim their referral reward. Short and to the point does the trick.

Effective communication at every stage of the process will smooth the way – communication with your new prospect, communication with your staff (if you have staff), and communication with your original client. Letting everyone know what’s going on and why may seem like overkill, but it really makes everyone feel like part of the process.

Series wrap up:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

Cindy Iwlew is co-founder of Bodywork Buddy Massage Software, a complete online management solution for independent massage therapists that includes online scheduling

She continues to operate her own private massage practice of 13 years.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Series: How to Set Your Massage Referral Program on Fire / Part 7

Following up last week's tip of marketing creatively is how to make it easy for clients to refer people to you.

Referral Fire Starter Tip #7: Make It Easy for Referrers

You can have the best referral program with fantastic rewards, but if it’s difficult for clients to use or understand, they won’t use it. Everyone is overwhelmed enough as it is; the last thing they want to do is to have to wade through piles of information or red tape just to send a client or two your way. Here are some tips for keeping your program simple and user-friendly:

  1. Keep the rewards simple. Don’t get too complicated with different levels of rewards or different rewards for different people. Keeping it simple and streamlined will make it easy for your clients to understand, and easy for you to implement.
  2. Don’t give too many choices. More choice is not always a good thing. In fact, surveys show that when people are given more choice, it actually increases their confusion and reduces their satisfaction with their final selection. If you must give choices for redeeming referral rewards, keep it simple. Ask them to choose between two types of the same thing ($20 off a future service or a free upgraded service, for example.)
  3. Confirm when you receive a referral. Let your client know when you receive a referral from them. A quick email reply, “Thank you for trusting us!” is perfect. You can also make a note in the computer if you have a customer management system so the next time you talk to that client you can let them know you appreciate the referral.
  4. Reward promptly. The only thing worse than never receiving the reward you were promised is having to wait months for the reward you were promised. Reward your clients promptly when they’ve earned something from your referral program. Positive reinforcement will increase the likelihood of a repeat performance.
What ways have you made it easy for clients to refer their friends to you?

Series wrap up:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Cindy Iwlew is co-founder of Bodywork Buddy Massage Software, a complete online management solution for independent massage therapists that includes online scheduling

She continues to operate her own private massage practice of 13 years.
                                                                 easy/hard photo: