9 Ways to Strengthen Your Client-Massage Therapist Relationships

Jun 27, 2018

When it comes to the success of your massage therapy clinic, your client relationships are everything. Attracting new clients is important, but generating ongoing business from existing clients is invaluable.

Build rapport and pave the way for happy clients with these top nine strategies.

1. Respect boundaries

Respecting boundaries will allow you to build respectful professional relationships with your clients. Consider your client-massage therapist boundaries as protective circles. This will help you safeguard, rather than harm your relationship.

Boundaries are essential to building a healthy professional relationship. As a guide, you’ll want to avoid oversharing personal information and getting clients involved in your personal matters.

2. Leverage the power of smiling

You might be solely focused on what you’re saying when interacting with customers, but don’t forget to smile. A smile can light up the mood of your interactions, making customers feel welcome and relaxed. If you’re too serious or distracted with the minute details of the day, your customers can pick up on this. By smiling more frequently, you could make your massage therapy clinic feel like a more positive, welcoming, and appealing place to visit.

3. Use your client’s name

Add a personal touch to your communications by using your client’s name to address them. Ask clients how they’d like to be addressed – whether it’s Mrs. Jones or their first name – and keep that in mind for future interactions. Use this personalised approach for emails, phone, and in-person communications. Remembering client names makes them feel welcomed and appreciated.

4. Focus on client preferences

Keep track of your client preferences – you can find out about these preferences through subtle cues or formal feedback. For example, if your client clearly prefers to relax silently during their massage, take note of this and reduce the amount of conversation you carry on during the session.

If they prefer a certain type of massage oil, no music or dimmed lights, record this in your client record card so you can set up the massage therapy room as they like it before they arrive each time. Doing so can help you deliver a great client experience and end up with a happier customer who keeps coming back.

5. Create a pleasant, welcoming clinic

A spotless, pleasant clinic communicates your commitment to quality and cleanliness. Make sure you exceed sanitation regulations, and potentially even have your clinic cleaned by a professional cleaning service. Disinfect tools and equipment, and ensure anything coming in contact with clients is in good quality. Replace towels, sheets, tables, and other items as soon as they become worn.

Read more here on how to calm anxious massage clients.

6. Proactively seek feedback

Formally soliciting feedback through written comment cards or email follow-up surveys is the best way to find out what your clients think about your clinic. If you ask for feedback in person, your clients may be less likely to give you honest feedback.

By allowing anonymous feedback, you have a better chance of learning what you’re doing right and where you can improve. For higher response rates, try using personalised comment cards with a personalised note explaining why you’re seeking feedback.

7. Keep clients up to date with your services

Don’t assume your clients know about your other services. Make it easy for them to find out any new services you’re offering and complementary massages they could benefit from. Hand out brochures, mention them in your email newsletter, and talk to customers about your other services where relevant.

By keeping clients up to date with what you’re offering, you can gently upsell or cross sell your services while keeping clients engaged and interested with your clinic. They might be made aware of services that could be right for their family or friends and so make a referral without you even suggesting for them to.

8. Offer incentives

Incentives can cost relatively little to implement, but they can give the client a sense of satisfaction because they feel they’re getting value for money. They can also encourage referrals and word of mouth knowledge about your clinic, so provide things like introductory incentives, seasonal offers, and VIP or points-based freebies.

10. Use technology to your advantage

Avoiding letting your client relationships go stale with easy ways to keep in touch like email newsletters, blog updates, and social media. Find the right balance between too much and too little communication. Find out whether customers would like to be contacted regularly and get their permission, and ask them what medium they prefer, whether it’s SMS, email, social media, or some other channel.

You can provide reminders, highlight special deals, and offer informative content. For example, use email to follow up about their experience after the massage, and use the opportunity to remind them to make a return appointment. For convenience, you can schedule automated emails. This way, you build trust and maintain awareness of your clinic in the customer’s mind.

Running a successful massage therapy practice is as much about your skills as it is about maintaining positive client-massage therapist relationships. Respect boundaries, keep in touch by using technology tools, and solicit feedback. By giving clients a great experience, you’ll keep them coming back while you build a strong reputation for attracting referrals.

Discover Massage Australia has been teaching students to become thorough, confident massage therapists since for over two decades. As the oldest and most experienced ‘hands on’ training school in Australia, we’ve helped thousands of graduates build their own successful careers in massage.Contact us to find out more about our industry-leading courses.

Cameron Aubrey

Cameron Aubrey has over 20 years experience in the massage industry, and leads the team as Course Director at Discover Massage Australia. Cameron holds a Diploma in Remedial Massage, and his expertise runs across a large range of massage techniques, particularly sports, Swedish and whole body massage.