Providing an exceptional client experience doesn’t take a lot of extra time or money, but it does make the likelihood of repeat business and referrals go up. With so many places to get a massage now (many that are extremely similar and impersonal), take advantage of the freedom having your own practice gives you to create a memorable massage. Here are some of my best tips for giving clients a unique, comfortable service they want to come back for.
Keeping the waiting area and treatment room clean and in good repair demonstrates pride in the spaces we work in. I even tidy up the public ladies room throughout the day (I hope the mens room looks okay). It’s easy to let the dusting slide in a dark treatment room but can be extremely embarrassing when clients turn the light on!
Using fragrance-free laundry products and massage oil ensures no one will have an allergic reaction to their massage (a definite plus). Some people aren’t actually allergic to certain scents but are very sensitive, thus experiencing symptoms like nausea, sinus reactions and headaches when exposed to them. Therefore, I don’t use anything scented in my office (other than aromatherapy upon request).
Keeping nails short as well as hands and feet soft (I get calluses on my hands from holding the Ashiatsu bars) is non-negotiable. Being touched by rough or sharp hands/feet lowers the quality of the service and makes it hard to relax. I use a pumice stone every day along with a foot file occasionally to keep my feet and hands smooth.
In the winter, do your best to have warm hands (or feet) and massage oil so you’re not starting massages with cold first contact. I set my oil in front of a space heater but have seen lotion/oil bottles in a glass of hot water to warm them as an alternative. Rice packs warmed in the microwave can be used to warm hands and then be placed on clients (with a sheet or towel as a barrier).
I place a dry, folded towel that has been warming on a heating pad under the client’s neck while they are face up and I’m working on other areas (thanks for this killer tip, Tina!). I also offer an eye cover (a king-sized pillow case wrapped around their head). These are nice extra touches that cause many clients to literally sigh with contentment once in place. The towel stays warm since it’s cozily tucked under their neck and is available to wipe off with after their massage.
Offering hot drinks and snacks for the road is a perk that most franchises don’t have. When I looked up the reviews for the spa I worked at and saw the consistently positive comments about the beverage/snack bar, I knew I would offer something similar in my practice. My water dispenser has hot water to make tea or instant cider and luckily, the therapist I rent from has a Keurig that she lets me use (a hot plate or microwave could also be used to heat water). I’ve tried a few different snack options but most clients don’t take advantage of them, so I just have tiny candy bars and snack packs of almonds out.
It’s easy to fall into the habit of not keeping notes of every session for long-standing clients whose massage needs are pretty consistent, but keeping even brief notes is enough to be reminded of what we did last time. It’s surprising (and a little alarming) how much I forget between visits, even with those who come in weekly. Clients often comment on how good my memory is when I ask them how something we’ve worked on in the past is doing (I always confess that I keep notes). It’s reassuring that their treatment is being documented, and lets them know that we want to remember their preferences and what gets results for them.
Following up with every new client a few days after their visit to see how they’ve been feeling goes the extra step in customer service. I also check in on regular clients if we tried a different technique or they had a new issue. I have a few insights and tips about this topic here.
Basically, treat clients better than you expect to be treated. None of these details requires much (if any) expense, extra time or additional work, and yet when combined with a skilled, caring, customized massage they create an experience that is hard to match. Setting the highest standards for my practice attracts discerning clients and continues to grow the practice that I love!
What special touches do you add to your sessions that your clients love? Please share them in the comments. Thank you!