In my massage training, we were taught to call clients the day after their massage to see how they were feeling. Being one to do as I’m taught (until I know better), that’s exactly what I did when I started my first practice. I hated it! It was uncomfortable for me because I felt like I was asking for their approval. Either they answered when I called and we had an awkward conversation or I left a voice mail and seldom heard back from them.
Most of the clients I spoke with after their massage felt fine and seemed confused about why I called, which led me to believe that those who didn’t call back must have felt fine, too. Over time, I stopped following up figuring no news was good news. When I started working for other people, I learned that none of them did follow up calls.
Then I started my current practice with a brand new modality. Since I didn’t have any previous experience providing Ashiatsu, I wasn’t sure how clients would respond to the work. I decided I wanted to follow up not only to find out how clients reacted, but I knew it was a customer service feature that most spas, clinics and franchises weren’t using and doing so would make me stand out.
I found I had the same problems with follow up that I had years before, namely feeling like an approval-seeking wack-a-doo who wasn’t getting much information to improve the client experience. I changed the voice mail message I left asking for a call back if they had any concerns, questions or comments and still received almost no return calls. So I started experimenting with my follow up method and here’s what I discovered:
- Following up several days after the appointment provides a much better overall picture of the client’s response. If they are sore the next day but it resolves quickly, that’s pretty normal. Allowing a few days in between also gives clients a chance to use the bath salts and Sombra I provide to help minimize any soreness (I know many don’t take a bath as recommended the night of the work, but do so the next day because they are sore and find the bath salts help tremendously).
- Texting gets me far more feedback than voice mail or email. I resisted it because it seems impersonal, but clients are more likely to reply to a text (some people don’t even check their voice mail anymore). I simply ask how they’ve been feeling since the massage and respond to their answer. Another benefit of texting is that I have actual text that I can copy and paste for social media or website testimonials.
- I no longer feel as if I’m asking if they like me. Maybe I’ve become desensitized doing it so many times or I’ve just grown as a person. The goal is to learn how I can best meet their needs should they return rather asking them to rebook.
Following up and getting feedback is about the client, not me. It’s essential to flush out and correct consistent undesirable results while letting them know that I care. It’s also another layer to offering an exceptional client experience and building a relationship, keeping the practice that I love thriving!
Were you taught to follow up with clients? Do you? Please share your experience in the comments. Thank you!