Posted on December 7, 2015
As a massage therapist, you go to school and work hard to perfect your craft. Then, you market your services to grow your business. And finally, you get a good client base going and you’re on a path to a successful career.
Once you’re on that path, it’s important to remember that your marketing efforts should not stop. The key to long-term success is having your existing clients rebooking regularly. But what do you do when that doesn’t seem to be happening? You should have specific marketing tactics in place to regain their business.
Take a look at these seven ways to get clients interested in rebooking regularly:
Before clients ever have a chance to drop out of care, there’s something you can do to help ensure they schedule regular massages: educate. Spend some extra energy with first-time clients discussing the health benefits of massage therapy and why it’s crucial to see a massage therapist more than once or twice a year. With understanding comes action.
You want to assert yourself as the expert. If you are treating a client, and in your professional opinion they would benefit from a weekly or monthly visit, then tell them. Document a treatment plan, and explain why a regular visit will benefit them. Clients will respect your professionalism, and will listen to your advice.
Another way to keep clients from slipping under the radar is to implement an efficient and effective follow-up system. There are software programs that will automatically do this for you, but if you’re keeping track yourself, simply mark in your calendar when you are going to follow up with a client.
You can implement a simple strategy like:
- Right after the appointment, ask the client to book their next appointment.
- If they decide to book it, remind them the day before their appointment to prevent a no-show.
- If they decide not to book their next appointment, mark in your calendar to call them in 2-3 weeks. Let them know that you are following up to see how they are feeling and see if they would like to book a follow up appointment.
- If they still decide not to book another appointment, you can follow up with an email every few months reminding them that you are available when they are in need.
Once you’ve created a process that works for you, it should become like clockwork – and few clients will slip through the cracks. As a reminder: when you reach the email stage, it’s important to provide an opt out option to comply with spam regulations.
Keep it Personal
This goes for all communication, whether it’s face-to-face, over the phone, or in an email. Jot down notes as you speak with clients when they come in for treatment, and then use the info you gathered later. If Sue Smith has persistent neck pain, ask if her neck feels any better since her last massage. Incorporating personal touches like this shows you truly care about your clients’ well-being, which sparks a desire to seek out your services again in the future.
Go one step further and keep personal notes on the client. Maybe during her last treatment Sue was talking about her son’s football tournament. Write that down and ask her about it then next time you talk to her. Going above and beyond in your customer service by paying attention to important things in your clients’ lives will make you memorable and you’ll gain loyal clients.
Ask for Feedback
It’s going to happen every once in a while – a client decides not to return because they felt they did not receive great service. Because of this, it’s important that you ask for feedback. You want to find opportunities to improve your business, and when you know the specific reason that someone did not rebook, it’s easier to win them back.
Try to avoid being defensive. Apologize for falling short on their treatment and let them know you’d like the chance to prove that you offer great service and their one experience was a rarity.
Offer A Discount
When trying to win back a client who has expressed discontent with your service, try playing the discount card. You can tell them that you want the chance to prove yourself, and you’d like to offer them 50% off their next treatment as a way of saying thanks for giving you a second chance.
You can also use discounts in other ways. If you have a client that has not booked another appointment after several months of calling and emailing them, offer a discount. Maybe $10 off their next treatment – this will act as an incentive to book, especially when you set a 2-week expiration on the offer.
Finally, you can even offer a small discount to people that book their next appointment right away. After their treatment today, let them know they can get $5 off their next appointment if they book right now. You then have 3 things working for you (1) they just finished treatment, so they are very aware of the value you offer (2) you are currently face-to-face, which is harder to say no to and (3) you’ve offered them a great deal!
Treatment packages are an excellent way to get clients into your office regularly. For example, you can offer a package of 5 or 10 treatments for a 10%-25% discount. Since the client has pays upfront, you have guaranteed those 5 to 10 visits. In return the client receives the discount. It’s a win-win situation.
A loyalty program can take many forms – such as buy 10 get 1 free. Or buy 10 and earn VIP status – which gets you 10% off all future treatments.
You can even create a points system, where every dollar spent earns the client points, which can be redeemed for products or services. You can get very creative with a loyalty program – the point is, you create incentive for the client to book more often.
When it comes to reactivating old clients, the best course of action is to prevent them from dropping out of care in the first place - by educating and following up. But when you do lose clients from time to time, consider enticing them to return with special discounts, packages, and rewards.
And remember, always ask for feedback so that you can work on areas in need of improvement. Take action with these tips today and learn what it's like to experience long term success!