Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing series on the business of Thai Massage. For more ideas on building the ultimate Thai Massage business please check out other articles I have written. You can find them here, here and here. Click here to read Part 1 In this series of articles we are addressing ways to excite and revive your client list to help increase the frequency your clients rebook with you. At the heart of building a successful Thai Massage business we should set out to find clients who have a real need for your service. Once you have found those clients, it is then all about showing you care and delivering amazing service. It is about getting to know your clients and working on refining and improving how well you communicate with them. The more you can treat each client as an individual – treating him or her as the amazing person that they are while delivering an outstanding massage where they can feel the tangible benefits- the more they will book with you. In a world where our clients have so many choices, while having limited funds and time, it is important to know that giving an amazing massage is not always enough. For a multitude of reasons, clients who initially showed tremendous excitement about their treatment(s) don’t always come back and we are often left wondering why. As such from our perspective, those little extras and going the extra mile can mean so much. It can literally mean the difference between a struggle to have as many clients as you’d like, and having a growing waiting list. To help in the process of getting to know your current and past clients and to help renew communications, in the last post I suggested sending out a survey. Now it is time take a look at what to do with the results! I suggested 4 reasons that your clients are not coming in as often as they (or you) would like: 1) I keep meaning to, but then keep forgetting to book Essentially a client who has indicated this is the reason they aren’t coming as often as they’d like is asking to be reminded. I would think of this as a doctor or a dentist. When you haven’t been to see a health professional in a while then you can expect a friendly reminder. So for these clients you should feel confident that sending them a direct email or better yet a reminder phone call from time to time is not only appreciated, it’s exactly what they’re looking for. My suggestion would be to contact them every month or two. Going forward I would also suggest making it a policy of talking to your first time clients about this service that you offer and you only do it for those who opt in. 2) I am just too busy- as much as I would like to keep coming One of the great reasons to run a survey and include a contest is that your clients have to leave their name and they should be expecting to hear from you. As such you don’t only have to contact the winner. You can either write or phone your clients and lead with the following… Thank you for taking the time to answer my survey. I am always looking for the best ways to help you and your health. You didn’t win the contest this time, but I did notice that you said how you’ve gotten really busy and that has been preventing you from coming as much as you’d like. I’d like to make the following suggestions: a- Lets book the massage well in advance before your calendar fills up b- How about instead of you coming to me, I come to you. In that case for an extra fee I can massage you in your home c- Lets try a shorter session, even a tune up of 30 minutes where I focus on specific parts of your body in greatest need would be great if you are having a hard time squeezing in a longer session One thing I will say about clients in this camp is that this is the group that requires some extra assistance to make taking care of themselves with a massage an integral part of their life. Your role here is to train and remind them on the importance of massage to take better care of their body. As such one of the best things you could be doing for these clients is to be in more regular contact with them through your newsletter and/or group emails. Many people are hesitant to send too many newsletters to their clients. I understand that and I can be like that as well. I hate ‘spam’ as much as the next person. At the same time, when you treat it as though you are having a conversation with your clients and are sending content that people find valuable then they are more likely to open the newsletter. And even if they don’t always read it, they still won’t find you to be a nuisance. Just think about it, I am sure there are some newsletters, alerts, or even websites that you visit or read regularly because you enjoy their presence in your life. Well if you can provide good, useful information then you can have that relationship with your clients. There are many angles you can take in crafting this content. Here are a few ideas: 1) Write about Thai Massage and its benefits. You could even paraphrase some sections from my books, website or other online resources to help with that 2) Have a featured Thai Massage posture. Describe a posture and how it benefits your clients 3) Have a featured issue such as back pain. Describe it and some of the postures and ways that Thai Massage helps 4) Share a client’s success story 5) Have a featured stretch that would be good for your clients 6) Feature specific activities that are healthy: ex. Meditation (or even write about the different kinds of meditation, or tai chi, or yoga etc.) 7) Feature recipes 8) Inspirational quotes The good news if you find writing a chore is twofold… On the one hand we know that these clients are busy, so it does not need to be long at all. Just focus on one idea at a time. A paragraph or two might be all that you need. Secondly with many of these topics, you could make it a video instead of written. As such you would make a 2 or 3 minute video which would hopefully take you only a few minutes to get done. Then once in a while –perhaps every 4 or 5 mail outs- you can be more direct and talk about booking your next session. At that point your clients are more likely to act and the reasons are many. One reason is that your message is getting through so they realize they need to get massaged more often. Another reason is that they will feel more connected to you for all the good ways you’re helping them, so they’ll be likely to book with you. The key here is that I am suggesting emailing quite often: daily or perhaps weekly to remain on the radar and take care of your clients with good content. Then by reminding them every 4 or 5 emails to book, that means you get to mention it every few days, every couple of weeks or perhaps once a month, but you are not forcing these reminders down anyone’s throat. Far from it, you’ll have earned respect and turned yourself into a voice of reason and authority in your client’s life. I am going to save what to do with client’s who tell you that the price is too high for one more newsletter on this topic, because it is a big one. So I’ll end by discussing what I would do with clients say that that they are just not interested anymore. For those clients, one thing to keep in mind is that as long as they remain on your newsletter list that they are still clients. It is certainly possible that they may just as easily change their mind and become more active down the road. So for those clients what I would do is send them a personalized email thanking them for their time and letting them know that even if they are not interested in coming for massages that you would like them to keep an eye on your newsletter because of all the amazing things you’ll be sharing going forward. What you might also try with these clients is to send them a birthday wish and a special deal to help them come back from time to time. …………………………………….. Like what you read? Want to contribute to the conversation? Leave your comments below!
Shai Plonski is a co-founder of the Still Light Centre in Toronto, and a skilled trainer of Thai Massage. In this episode of A Congruent Life, Shai