One Minute Tip: Get a landline number

Clients need to contact us, and most often that will be by calling us, there’s just no way around that so they need a phone number to reach us.

For those who are Solo therapists, mobile therapists, or who work from our homes we tend to just give our mobile numbers as they are convenient, no need to get a new number, it’s with us 24×7.

But what happens?
We get those unwanted calls. You know the type. The caller is a bit sketchy, or a bit breathless. They ask questions you think should be pretty obvious, and they seem obsessed with knowing whether or not they NEED to be draped during the session. It’s icky, and now this icky caller has your mobile number.

The best way to reduce these types of calls (we can’t prevent them 100%) but a great deterrent is to use a landline number instead.
Some mobile providers offer a landline mobile number, which means that you can have a landline number for the business that can then ring through to your mobile.

There are some companies that would allow you to purchase a landline number specifically for business, but this can be cost prohibitive.

A great solution if you have a smartphone, is to purchase a Skype number. You can then simply run Skype on your phone, and business calls will come through that app. Skype allows you to choose a landline number based on region, so you can make it a very local number, or a number specific to cities that you may work, and it’s relatively low cost at around £12 for 3 months service.

If you are in the US, a great low cost solution for you would be to use Google Talk, which can set up your landline number, and it will forward to your mobile line. Google Talk can also record Voicemails, texts and can transcribe your voicemails for you.

So why is this a deterrent?
Having a landline number tends to offer the illusion that your massage business is bigger than it is. It will let people think that you are a large clinic or Spa, with dedicated offices/locations, and the idea of this visibility and scale will put off someone who is looking for services not appropriate to our profession.

Give it a try, stay safe, and go get those massage clients!

One Minute Tip: Low cost fitted sheets

Do you like fitted sheets on your massage table?
Have you struggled with buying sets that have everything you need (fitted sheet, flat sheet, face cradle cover).
Are you frustrated having to buy each component individually?

I tried for the longest time to locate a UK retailer of the sheets I fell in love with when I practiced in the US. I couldn’t find them anywhere, and decided to swallow the shipping cost and order them from the US.
After a year, my clinic was getting busier, and I was struggling to keep up with the laundry to ensure I had enough sets for the clinic each day and decided to invest in some more. A lot had changed in that year though, and this time the cost to ship the same order of sheets was double the cost of the sheet sets themselves and I just couldn’t justify that.

After venting my frustration, I came up with a great idea of using regular sheet sets normally used for Single beds.
I located some nice sets that felt great to the touch and had a variety of colours but most of all were very nice to my wallet and I purchased a good 10 sets.

But there was the problem of the face cradle covers, thankfully my Mum likes to sew, and took on the challenge of taking apart an old cover that was due to be thrown away and using that as a guide to create new ones from the pillow cases from the sheet set. Even better, the pillow cases had enough material to create TWO face cradle covers per sheet set.

If you are on a budget, but looking for some new covers for your tables, this is a great way to do it.

One Minute Tip: Update music often

Most of the time our clients enjoy the music/playlists we have in the clinic, but if you have been in business for several years and have had clients who have supported you this whole time, there comes a point where they have probably heard everything in your music library…..MANY TIMES.

It’s important we keep our music library fresh, and change things up a bit every now and again and coming into Spring is the perfect time to try something new.

Why not ask your clients for music that they would like to hear, although you will want to listen first before adding to the rotation for all clients just in case. Or you could create different playlists which are themed, to seasons, to massage techniques, to specific clients and then allow them the chance to choose what they want to listen to during their session.

Just make sure you always have your music license up to date, or are using license free music.

Why not consider using something like Spotify to let you try out different music styles, or to discover new music when you are feeling stuck.

One Minute Tip: Add Value

When business is slow, or when you are just starting out and trying to build your client list, it can be very tempting to throw discounts around at every opportunity because it encourages people to schedule with you because it’s a bargain.

But once we start offering these discounts, it can be very difficult to stop or slow down these offerings and charge what we are really worth. This issue was highlighted with the emergence of group discount services like groupon, livingsocial, amazon local etc, and when therapists are offering 60 minute massages for £15 it can be scary to think about charging full price.

It doesn’t have to be, and you want to make sure that you attract clients who value your services and skills, and not just the discount you are offering so to do this you need to ADD VALUE.
You have to over-deliver on your clients expectations, but it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to do this.

You can do something as simple as alter your treatment environment to create a sense of luxury, sheepskin padding on your table, warmer rooms, or table warmers.
You could offer extras after the treatment, from home made infused water, fresh fruit, mints, just little things that show your clients that they are valuable to you and that these are little things that set you apart from other therapists in the area.

Share this:

One Minute Tip: Confirmation Calls

Tired of thinking you have a busy day ahead only to be disappointed because of no-call no-shows or late cancellations?

It’s time to think about adding confirmation calls to your daily routine.

When you are in the Service Industry, especially in the massage industry we essentially trade time for money so when someone disrespects our time by failing to show for an appointment we take it personally.

There are genuine reasons from time to time that would excuse people from failing to notify you that they can’t make a massage appointment, but generally most people have the ability to pick up the phone or send you an email to let you know they can’t make it.

Ways to reduce the number of no shows can seem a bit harsh, but you will weed out clients who do not value your services, and ensure that your appointments are booked in with clients who appreciate you.

Cancellation Policy:

Make sure that you have created a cancellation policy and make it as visible as possible.
Recite it when clients make an appointment on the phone, post it on your website, display it in your clinic and include in emails when confirming an appointment.

Here is an example of my own cancellation policy, feel free to use it as a guide for your own, or use it for ideas on how to build your own:

All cancellations or reschedules require a 24 hour notice or they may be subject to charges.

Appointments cancelled or rescheduled with less than 24 hours notice will result in a charge of half the cost of the scheduled service.

Appointments that are missed that neglected to give notice (no call, no show) will result in a charge of the full cost of the scheduled service.

We are contactable by email at XXXX 24 hours a day, and by phone on XXXX.
If no one is available to pick up your call, our voicemail system will kick in and all that we need is a brief message to let us know that you need to cancel or reschedule.

Should you no call, no show a new appointment cannot be booked until the balance of the previous appointment has been settled.

Notice I use the word “may” instead of “will” at the beginning, this is to allow some discretion with the policy. So use it, offer leniency if you feel the reason behind the no-show is genuine and make sure you are consistent in its implementation.

Confirmation Calls:

Although my clinic uses an online scheduling system, and if we have a clients email address they will receive an automatic email 24hrs prior to the appointment to remind them they are due for a massage, we still ensure that we receive a working contact number for each and every client.

The day before we will call each client and remind them of their appointment, it will give them the opportunity to cancel or reschedule if needed, but it also helps those who may be a little forgetful that they have made an appointment.

When a client confirms, we make a note on their account so that should they then fail to show for their appointment we have foundation for enforcing the cancellation policy.
If the client doesn’t answer, we leave a voicemail if possible and then also make a note on the account to confirm we left a voicemail.

 

I hope this helps you reduce the number of no-call/no-shows, they will never fully go away, but hopefully this will reduce them.


One Minute Tip: Ask about Pre-existing conditions

Here is the easiest way to ensure that you are prepared for your client the first time they show up for a treatment.

 

The best way to prepare for a client, is to do as much discovery as you can before they show up for their appointment.
Make sure you ask them if there are any conditions that you should be aware of prior to receiving a massage treatment.

 

This will hopefully give you ample time to research their requirements before you get them on the table, and will make you feel more confident and prepared.

 

Let us know in the comments here, or on Facebook, or send me an email at sally@dynamicbodywork.co.uk and share how you get on.

One Minute Tips: Loyalty Cards

We all struggle from time to time encouraging our clients to schedule another appointment.

Here’s my quick tip on how to provide value to your services, and reward clients for their loyalty.

 

 

We often thing that Loyalty cards are more for Cafes and Coffee shops, but these are a simple, low cost way to encourage your clients to return to your Massage Practice, or Spa.
Create a 5 or 10 spot visit area on a business card, and each time your client receives a treatment that you feel qualifies, sign and date, or stamp the little window on the card.

Once they have filled in all the spots on the card, they can redeem this for a discount, upgrade or free service from you.
Easy Peasy.

Here’s the other great thing about these little loyalty cards, it means that your clients are ALWAYS carrying around your contact details. It makes it so much easier for them to refer you to another potential client when they can hand over your contact information right there and then.