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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 client management. Show all posts
Showing posts with label client management. Show all posts

Sunday, August 20, 2017

How Wording Can Improve Your Confirmation and Reminder Emails




Struggling with how to phrase your confirmation and reminder emails to clients? While Bodywork Buddy online scheduling has some basic text with info about their appointment details, we also include an area where you can add your own additional information. (Keep in mind that the system allows for 1024 characters in this area.)

I like to mention details like parking at my studio, etc in my email. But you could also use this space for more specific wording about their appointment or your policies.

“Hi Cindy, your time with us is reserved only for you. It is considered confirmed. We will be emailing two* days prior to your appointment as a courtesy reminder only. If you are unable to make your appointment, please notify us more than 24 hours before your appointment time to avoid a cancellation fee.”
*Depending on what you have your reminder settings set to.




You could use this area to re-iterate your cancellation policy. (In addition to having your policies on your scheduling page and requiring that clients agree to them before scheduling, if you want.)

Here’s a write up that I’ve used in my own massage practice for a cancellation policy. I tried to find where I originally came across this wording, but haven’t been able to find it - I think it was from a massage therapy forum years ago. Anyway, I think it’s perfectly worded to help express to clients why we need to have cancellation policies:

“Please remember that appointments are commitments made by both therapist and client.  We have both committed our valuable time to each other.  I will honor your time by providing you with a high-quality massage and my undivided attention to your therapeutic needs; please honor mine by arriving on time for your appointment.  If this becomes impossible, please honor the time I have committed to you by only cancelling more than 24 hours before your appointment time, or paying for the time I have set aside for YOU.  Thank you.”


I asked Gael Wood of Massage and Spa Success how she likes to communicate reminders to her clients. Her suggestion was this:

‘Hi Susan, this is Gael from ________ day spa and I am calling with your appointment reminder. We have you down for 3pm on Thursday the 21st with Jill. We look forward to seeing you then!’ I also might offer an upgrade or more time if it's available. I don't normally mention cancelling, don't like to plant that seed! “


While this wording is more for a phone call, I love the idea of offering an upgrade at the time of a reminder! You could easily adjust this wording for your email reminders and mention your upgrade services as an option. I’ve recently added the doTERRA Aromatouch technique to my services and plan to use this suggestion to offer that as an upgrade to clients in their reminders.

(BTW, Gael has a new content marketing sample pack for free. Need some help in the marketing department? Check out her free sample - she makes it so easy for you!)

Gael also wrote an article for Massage Magazine last year about using scripts to improve sales.

Do you offer email or phone reminders to your clients? What wording has worked well for you?
If you don’t already have automated email reminders, check out what Bodywork Buddy can do for you!


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.

Monday, June 26, 2017

A New Way to Think About Setting Policies {Guest Post by Michelle Doetsch, LMT, BS}



A New Way to Think About Setting Policies




There are probably a thousand articles out there telling us how important it is to have policies, and they’re absolutely correct; it IS important to have policies. Those same articles will tell us how to formulate our policies and give us several examples of the type of policy the author favors. That’s good info to have, especially if you’re new to the whole creating policies thing and need some concrete examples to get your own policy juices flowing. Or maybe you just need some policies to copy verbatim so you can be done with the unhappy job of writing your own.

Two of the most common ways we’re counseled to create policies are: 1) Create policies that treat your clients the way you would want to be treated if you were a client, and 2) Create strong policies with clear penalties for violating those policies, then make sure to enforce those policies every. single. time. Failing to enforce them shows weakness and clients will take advantage of you if you let them.

Seriously sound advice. The only problem is that neither way felt right to me. The first one felt more right, but I had a hard time with it. If you feel the same way or are just looking to tweak your current policies, here’s another way to think about them. Write them with a view to treating your clients the way you expect them to behave.

This is the guidance I use to set most of my policies, but it’s not for everyone. I know that. I also know, that I’m not the only one who favors this style of policy writing. Earlier today I was investigating a local delivery service that brings organic produce direct from the farm to your door, and found that they have a cancellation policy very similar to mine. That got me thinking that perhaps some of my fellow massage therapists might resonate with this way of setting policies also.

Where The Idea Came From


I’ve worked a lot of jobs in my almost 50 years of life, and I’ve had good bosses and bad bosses. The way they treated their employees was reflected in the ways the employees behaved… Not the other way around.

The bad bosses always assumed the worst, refused to listen to employee concerns, ignored problems, or blamed them on the employees. They required doctor’s notes to prove you were sick if you called in. They wouldn’t allow you to take lunches or breaks away from your desk for fear you might be a minute late getting back. They wouldn’t give out paychecks until 5pm on Friday to make sure you didn’t skip out early. They scheduled every staff meeting at 8am to “make sure everyone’s on time to work, for a change.” These bosses treated every employee as a misbehaving school kid, and the employees responded by acting like misbehaving school kids. These jobs, not surprisingly, were plagued with poor morale and high staff turnover.

The good bosses, on the other hand, took employees at their word, were accessible, and made employees feel comfortable bringing problems to them. If you called in sick, they gave you your paid sick day without grilling you. If you were late because of something beyond your control they understood. They scheduled staff meetings at times when everyone was available and best prepared to make a real contribution to the proceedings. These bosses treated their employees like professional adults, and the employees responded by acting like professional adults. These employers enjoyed a staff with high morale and low turnover. *
*Note: There was no correlation in type of employer vs type of employment. Some of the jobs which required advanced college degrees had the worst bosses, and some of my retail jobs were the absolute best about treating employees with respect and dignity.

A Few Policies

While most of my policies are pretty standard, they still aim to treat my clients how I expect them  (and myself for that matter) to act. For instance, my tardiness policy reads, “Sessions begin and end on time. If the client is late the session will still end at the originally agreed upon time and there will be no pro-rating of cost. If the therapist is late the session will continue for the originally agreed upon length of time or be pro-rated, whichever the client chooses.” 

However, my cancellation policy is very different from the standard ones. It reads: “24 hr notice is respectfully requested when canceling or rescheduling an appointment.” That’s it. 

I’ve had more than a few people tell me that it’s a terrible policy and that clients are going to take advantage of me left and right. They’ve told me that it’s not “business-like” enough. Frankly, they’ve told me in about every way possible how it’s a horrible, no-good, very bad policy but they haven’t convinced me of that.

You see, my policy works for me and that’s all that matters. There are two things I let slide: illness and family emergency. Both often strike without warning and often within the timeframe of a more traditional cancellation policy. Almost everyone alive has had the experience of going to bed feeling great and waking up sicker than a dog. It’s happened to me both as a client and a as practitioner, and I’ve cancelled appointments in both situations. Besides, I ask them to NOT come into my office when they’re contagious, and I deeply appreciate them honoring that request. I would feel like a hypocrite asking them to stay home when they’re sick and then charging them a missed appointment fee if they stay home when they’re sick. I also can’t bring myself to give x number of sick days to a client, after which I terminate them. That works for some people, but not for me.

For as much “leeway” as I give my clients, I have very few late cancellations. By the way, I don’t consider it “leeway,” I consider it treating them like adults who know when they’re too sick to be leaving the house. Yes, having an appointment open up the same day affects my bottom line, but not as much as a sick client passing their contagion on to me would cost me when I have to cancel an entire day (or several days) worth of clients. It’s definitely a strategy/policy that takes a long-view approach. 

I’m not saying that you need to adopt my style of cancellation policy. Good heavens, no. What I am saying is that there’s more than one way to set the same policy. Use the one that works for you, no matter what anyone else says about it. You’re the one who has to enforce it, and you’re the one who has to live with the consequences of enforcing it. Therefore, it should fit who you are as a business person, not who anyone else says you should be.



Michelle Doetsch


I am a Licensed Massage Therapist in Michigan and I’m Board Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (BCTMB). I have been a massage therapist and Reiki practitioner since 2002. My specialty is treating clients with headaches, high stress, neck and shoulder pain, sciatica, and fibromyalgia, as well as other types of chronic pain. My training in energy work is extensive; over 200 in-class hours in a variety of energy work techniques including Reiki, Spiritual Healing (long standing and respected form of energy work in England), and Kundalini Energy Healing. I am a certified member of Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP). My education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Grand Valley State University.


New Yew Healing

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

How Do You Know Clients Have Opted in for SMS Reminders?



We've recently added a symbol within the client file under the phone number to show if your client has opted in for SMS reminders.

The little mobile phone icon will show when the number has been verified as a mobile number within our system, and then the spiral icon will show when the client has successfully opted in to receive text reminders.



Did you know?

  1. Texting is the most widely-used and frequently used app on a smartphone, with 97% of Americans using it at least once a day. (Pew Internet)
  2. Text messages have a 98% open rate, while email has only a 20% open rate. (Mobile Marketing Watch)
  3. 90% of all text messages are read in under 3 minutes. (Connect Mogul)
  4. 96% of smartphone users text. (Acision)

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!


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

How to Get the Most Out of Bodywork Buddy On Your Phone



I often get asked if Bodywork Buddy has a downloadable app for phones and tablets. When we built BWB, we decided to go with a mobile responsive design for the entire system to be accessible on any mobile device via a browser. So while there isn't an app to download, the system works great on your phone through a browser by automatically adjusting the size of the site to your screen.

Here's a few reasons we went this route instead of a downloadable app:


  • Bodywork Buddy is a pretty large and complex system, and in order to make it as a downloadable app we would have to make it more bare bones and the entire system wouldn't be accessible through an app.
  • The app stores typically require companies to submit their apps (and any updates) for approval before being available for download. We make frequent updates and changes to BWB on the backend, and we're able to do this as often as needed without waiting for any approval from a 3rd party because we have our mobile responsive design instead of a downloadable app. This also means that when we have updates or changes, you automatically get those without having to install any updates on your phone or tablet.
  • Having a downloadable app would also technically mean having 2 separate systems for our company to maintain: the main system and the downloadable app. As you can imagine, this would double our team's work load and take us longer to make updates and changes. Actually, it would triple our team's work because we would need one system for Apple, another for Android, as well as our desktop version.
In order to provide the best experience for our members and the best customer service, we feel that the mobile responsive design is the way to go!

In talking with some of our members, I've realized that what many therapists are wanting in an app is simply the ability to have an icon on their homescreen to click and be taken immediately to their BWB account. The good news is: an app isn't needed to do this! You can create your own clickable icon for your homescreen.

The good news is: an app isn't needed to do this!



This article details how to do this for different types of devices. Check it out and follow the steps according to what kind of phone or tablet you have!


Here's some other tips on how to get the most out of using BWB on your mobile device:


  • Try turning your phone to landscape when scheduling from the calendar or from different parts of the system. This will allow you to see more information all at once on the screen.
  • When you're trying to click within the calendar next to an existing event (say something in your google calendar that is synced to your BWB), zoom in on that day so you're able to click into the blank space next to the event to create your new appointment or event.
  • Need to call a client? Do a quick search from the main clients page, find the client in the results, click right on their phone number next to their name to call immediately.
  • You can email clients the same way from your phone, click their email address next to their name in the client search results to open your email program on your phone and compose a message.
  • Stay signed in to BWB on your phone by checking the "remember me" box so that when you click on your icon on your homescreen, you're taken right to the inside of your account.

Did you find these tips helpful? Let me know in the comments if there is something in particular you're struggling with, I'd love to help if I can.


Cindy Iwlew, LMT 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 since 1999.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Tracking Groupon and Other Deal Sites


Wondering how to track sales and redemption of services you've offered on a deal site? While not all deal sites are the same, with some basic information from your deal you can record it in Bodywork Buddy to add toward your income and also track redemptions.


I recommend creating a client file with the name of the deal site. So for example, create a client of "Groupon". (You could put the city for the last name, or create a different client file for each time you run a deal - having the date as the last name.)


Once you know how many deals have been sold, create a session record for the client Groupon, with X amount of services sold (using your regular services at full price). Enter a discount in the discount field equaling the discounts given for the deal, and then record the payment from the deal site.





Then in your business expenses, create an expense with the deal site as the vendor and record the amount that they took from the deal you ran. (I would classify this expense as advertising.)



Create a service (set to private) of "prepaid sessions" or "groupon deal", etc. with the price of $0. When a client redeems one of your deals, set the service to the private prepaid session service. The balance for the session will remain zero, but you'll still have a record of when the client had their session.




This will:
  1. Record the payment from the deal site
  2. Include the percentage you paid to the deal site for advertising expense
  3. Track the discount you offered for the deal
  4. Create session records for each client redeeming the deal
Use the deal site to track how many have been redeemed altogether.



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 since 1999. www.BodyworkBuddy.com




Sunday, May 8, 2016

*New Feature* Client Message


Last week we added a new feature that allows clients to leave a quick note for you when they schedule online. This is great if a client has a gift certificate they are redeeming, they need to tell you something that pertains to their appointment, etc.

It's completely optional, so clients don't need to leave a message in order to schedule.



When a client does leave a message, a speech bubble icon will show up next to their name for today's schedule on the dashboard as well as in the calendar. You can click on the bubble or hover over it to read the message.







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 since 1999.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com



Sunday, January 10, 2016

How To Email Receipts To Massage Clients


Bodywork Buddy makes it easy to send receipts to your massage clients!


First, you'll want to make sure you have your email services enabled in your settings.





Make sure you have an email address on file for your clients.

After their appointment, click into the green confirmed appointment in the calendar, and choose "complete appointment (create session)" from the popup window.




From within the session record, you can record payment info and other details including SOAP notes, etc.
After you've filled out the details you want to record for the session, click "email receipt" along the top in orange.




A popup window will ask if you're sure, click the green "email receipt" button.



And it's done! Total time to email receipt to a client: 2 seconds.


Want to see how Bodywork Buddy can make your life easier? Signup now for our free 15 day trial and get started in 2016 on the right foot - organized and saving time!

Here's what one of our recent members has to say about our service:
"I am ever grateful for the high quality and super fast help I receive from this company!! Top notch all the way!"
Thanks, Virginia! We love working with massage therapists.
Read what other members have to say about Bodywork Buddy.

Hope you're having a terrific start to the new year. Wishing you many happy clients as well as some table time for yourself in 2016.



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 since 1999.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com

Saturday, November 28, 2015

*NEW FEATURE* Online Client Intake Forms


Start 2016 out right with a paperless practice!

We've recently launched the new feature of online client intake forms in Bodywork Buddy. You can now email clients their form to fill out securely online and already have it attached within their client file in BWB.

There is a default form you can use, but you can also edit and create your own custom forms from within your account. (dashboard > clients > client intake forms > edit.)



Add, delete, or edit any fields you want and click save. Hover or click over the blue "actions" button to open a preview of what your client will see.



Clients can fill out their form (securely!) from any device with an internet connection: desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Their info will then be connected with their client file in your BWB account under the medical history tab, and also at dashboard > clients > intake form > main.

When a new client is scheduled with you, you'll have the option to send them an intake form. You can also send an intake form to existing clients anytime from within the client's file > actions > send client intake form.

This feature is still in Beta which means we're doing some fine-tuning and there will be more cool aspects to this feature to come.

We would love to hear what you think!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

How To Tell if Your Client Received Their Email Reminder


Like most online schedulers, Bodywork Buddy sends automated email reminders to your clients for their upcoming appointments.

Unlike most online schedulers, Bodywork Buddy includes an email log so you can see when emails were sent and even when they were opened by each client.

To see if your client received their email reminder, go to dashboard > account > email services > scroll to bottom "sent email history". Here you will see the most recent emails sent from the system in your account.

If an email is labeled "sent", it hasn't been opened yet and the date/time stamp indicates the time it was sent. Once an email is opened, the status changes to "opened" and the date/time stamp indicates the time the client opened it. It also lists the type of email sent (appointment confirmation, appointment reminder, testimonial request, etc).


You can find the email logs for each client from within the client file as well.

This is handy if you've ever wondered if your client received their email reminder, or to find out when the email address you have for a client is not valid or undeliverable.

Email reminders cut down on no-shows and help enforce your policies. (Not to mention that they make you look like a rock star with their professionalism.) Bodywork Buddy emails include an area to add your own text as well as lists your cancellation policies.

Want to try it out yourself and eliminate no-shows and last minute cancellations? Sign up now for the free trial of Bodywork Buddy and we'll import your existing client list for you for free, so you can get started right away without needing to do a bunch of data entry!



Tuesday, October 13, 2015

*NEW FEATURE* New Client Star


Over the weekend, we added a new feature that has been requested by our members. Now when there is a new client / client's first visit in your schedule, a star will appear next to their appointment in the calendar and on the dashboard in Today's Schedule.



Friday, August 16, 2013

How Your Menu Might Be Scaring Your Clients Away


I never used to put much thought into my service names on my menu.  I would just list them as the modality and amount of time.  But after a while, I started to realize a few things.  Not only do clients not know all the different modalities (and really, how could they?), but they appreciate a simplified menu that makes it easy to choose which service to request.
According to Psychology Today, the more choices we have, the more difficult the decision.  It's human nature to shy away from things we don't know and instead choose the path of least resistance.   When a menu looks too complex and complicated, massage clients will naturally choose the cheapest and easiest option.  (Swedish massage, anyone?) 
It's our job to communicate our services clearly and help our client choose the best service for them.  
Here are some tips that I have found helpful for clients when scheduling:
  • Rather than list your modality names, create descriptive names that illustrate how they will make your clients feel, or what problem they will solve for your clients.

    Which looks more appealing - Column A or column B?


    And this list is just using some pretty basic modalities as examples. Imagine a menu with things like Neuromuscular Therapy, Myofascial Release, Trigger Point Therapy...!  A lot of clients don't know what those names mean.  Make it easy for them with descriptive names.
  • Take your favorite service or combination of services and call it your "signature massage".  Put this at the top of your menu list, and mark it with an asterisk of *Recommended.  I'm willing to bet that 90% of your new clients booking online will schedule this service regardless of what it is.
    (Thanks to Ginger G. for this great tip!)
  • Have a non-massage friend look over your menu.  Do they have an easy time choosing a service knowing nothing about massage and being a complete bodywork newbie?
  • Have an option for clients to choose a "completely customized session" based on their needs that day.  They can just choose the time allotment (or have it for a set amount of time only - even better - LESS choices!).  This is also a great way to make clients feel like they get a 5 star treatment knowing that you are "creating" a session just for them.
Think of it like going to get your car serviced at the shop or getting a car wash. Notice how the car washes usually have a "recommended" service?  And the maintenance shops have "winter tune-ups", etc?  

What creative spins have you put on your massage menu to simplify the process for clients?  Comment below with any tips you have to add to our list.




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 14 years. www.BodyworkBuddy.com 

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Late Client



Round table discussion time! 

Here's a common problem for massage businesses:


The Late Client Scenario 
Despite having a cancellation policy in our brochures, telling clients when they call, and even taking credit cards for evening and weekend appointments, I would say our #1 issue that upsets clients is if they are running late.  

freedigitalphotos.net
We do tell all new clients to arrive 10 minutes early to "fill out paperwork and use the bathroom so that it does not cut into your massage time" and most do.  However, on two occasions this past month, people call to say they are running late 10-15 minutes.  Our response, "Ok, just get here as soon as you can and we will have you do the paperwork afterward so you can get the most of your time."  Some are understanding, but there are others who ask if they will be cut short.
"Unfortunately, your therapist may be able to go over a few minutes, but she does have an appointment scheduled after you".  (We do have 15 minutes in between to change sheets, say bye to clients, etc, not to go over on time.)  This sends the client spiraling into why that's not fair, they want to reschedule, etc.  I apologize and explain their appointment was scheduled from 10-11, and while the therapist does have some wiggle room, that time was reserved for them.  "You were told at the time of scheduling about our cancellation policy.  Unfortunately, if you want to reschedule, there is a $30 fee."
I obviously let things slide as much as I can and make it work in the clients favor when possible (and when they are kind about it) but I would be interested in how other therapists handle this. 
 How have you handled this situation?  What has worked well in your practice to enforce a cancellation or late policy?  What do you do when a client gets upset over your policy?



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, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy since 2007.  www.BodyworkBuddy.com