Ever think about what you would do if a Massage Envy opened in your neighborhood? Or maybe one already has? It’s a legitimate concern. We’ve seen what Walmart has done to mom & pop shops, and massage franchises can have the potential to have the same sort of impact on independent massage businesses.
But the good news is there are two very important aspects of a great massage that Massage Envy and other franchises are inherently setup to fail.
For Massage Envy, the goal is to get as many people in and out in the shortest time possible to maximize revenue. But….what are the consequences of this?
First, there is burn-out. Imagine having one massage right after another with little-to-no time between appointments. This leads to high turnover at Massage Envy. Many massage therapists will leave simply because the work is unsustainable. This means that a client may not see the same massage therapist for their next appointment - and almost certainly won’t see the same therapist for all of their appointments over time. This is your first easy win: consistency.
As a client, each time you see a new therapist there is a learning curve. The therapist has to learn about your likes: preferred pressure, scents, music, etc. When you have consistency, the overall experience is much more pleasant and the treatment is often more effective. This is an easy way to beat Massage Envy - you can provide a consistent experience and they will struggle to do the same.
Additionally, Massage Envy therapists are given very little time between clients, which means it’s usually the front-desk staff who take care of the check-out process. But it’s this time before and after the appointment where personal connections are formed. Massage Envy therapists do not have the same opportunity that you do to develop a relationship with your client. This is your second win: creating closer connections and providing better customer service.
Below are 5 action items that you can take on today to help compete with Massage Envy. In the end, your business can win by providing a more personal, premium experience.
- Schedule ample time between appointments. This will mean (1) you are always on time and (2) you can spend more time chatting with your clients and developing your relationship. Not being rushed out the door like can be the case at Massage Envy is important for winning on customer service.
- Create personal notes, not just treatment notes. Once the client has left, include notes about their personal life in their file. Review your notes before their next appointment and bring up something from their personal life the next time you see them. For example, ask them about a recent vacation, their daughter’s soccer game, a job promotion, etc.
- Use these same notes to be sure you’re providing the most consistent experience possible. Record likes and dislikes. Any detail is not too small. It will make for a more premium experience and your client will notice your attention to detail.
- Provide refreshments. In the spirit of beating Massage Envy at customer service, think of all of the ways you can create a premium experience for your clients. A simple idea is having refreshments on hand to offer your clients.
- Follow up. Take 10 minutes each day to follow up with clients. I can assure you this is not happening at Massage Envy (they fear their massage therapists will steal their customers, so they don’t give them client contact info). A quick call or text will show the customer you genuinely care about how they are feeling. As a bonus, it will likely mean they’ll book more often since you’re staying top of mind.