And Putting Your Massage Clients First!
Service Minus The Customer!
Customer Service in massage therapy requires a bit MORE than just therapist/client interaction.
Build a massage business with the customer in mind!
"Let's Talk Service."
How about this – Let's talk service minus the customer.
The point I'm getting at is, what else constitutes customer service other than direct interaction with customers or massage clients?
Please note that this train of thought is coming from my retail days. I ran a retail chain for many years and the owner pounded into us that 'customer service' is much more than just interaction with customers. Can you see how this relates to your massage business?
If not, let me explain...
I managed a chain of convenience stores. The customer experience, or customer service began way before they were in the store purchasing a super big gulp.
When a prospective customer is driving down the street and feels the need to purchase that super big gulp and glances at our location, what goes through their mind?
When they glance at our location does the landscaping look appealing enough for them to pull in?
When they drive up to the gas dispensers are they clean, or are they so filthy this person doesn't even want to touch them?
When they get out of their car in front of the store is the asphalt clear of puddles of oil?
Is the apron (the large concrete slab right outside the front door) clean and free of bubblegum and dirt and mud?
Are the front doors and windows clean or are they smeared with ketchup and finger prints from the high school lunch rush?
When they walk inside are the floors clean? If they have to use the public bathroom is it clean and do these customers feel confident that touching the handle that flushes the toilet won't give them Hepatitis A?
Do you see where I'm going with this? EVERYTHING mentioned above, to me, and especially to your clients, is customer service!
"How Does This Relate To My Massage Business?"
Customer service is much more than interaction with actual massage clients.
Yes, client interaction is extremely important. Yet, don't forget everything else that your massage business portrays. Some may call this the 'Spa Experience.'
If you are still a bit unclear of what I'm referring too, here's an exercise for you. Go get in your car, drive around the block, and put your 'client mind-set on,' and then drive back to your massage business.
When you pull in, is there enough parking? Is the parking lot clean? Is the apron clean? Are the windows clean? Are your bathrooms clean? In the lobby do you offer magazines for your massage clients to read while they are waiting? Is the floor clean? In your actual massage therapy room is everything ready to go in a neat and tidy fashion?
ALL of this and much more is taken in and perceived when a client arrives for a massage. ...and since I'm writing this off the top of my head I'm probably missing some big items as well. But, I'm sure you see my point when I refer to, 'customer service minus the customer.'
The key to all of this is that I've not mentioned face-to-face communication with the client and you or your staff, once!
How about this situation?
You pull up to your favorite massage therapy establishment and there are massage brochures flying in the wind all over the parking lot. (Little Johnny grabbed a handful the day before and decided he wanted to watch them sail in the wind.) Most of these are filthy from being driven over several times as this is a busy location.
You walk up to the door and the windows and glass door are filthy, obviously have not been cleaned in days. You make it inside and get ready for your massage. There's nothing to read (Little Johnny thought it a good idea to throw all the magazines in the trash.) The lobby T.V. is on the blink as well. (Why doesn't any T.V. in any lobby or waiting room ever work?) So, you sit and wait.
In the massage room you are now finally ready for your massage. Oops! Have to wait a few minutes longer as your therapist forgot to fill her massage oil dispenser as well as forgot to turn on the massage stone heater for your hot stone massage.
Ah, the massage was excellent!
Upon leaving you look for massage therapy gift certificates that are usually on the front counter, as you'd love to purchase a couple for your sisters birthday, but alas! They are now all out in the parking lot. Once again, Little Johnny decided to distribute all the locations massage gift certificates to the great outdoors. Oh, but wait! Here are a couple of gift certificates! There are two stuck together on the floor in the corner of the lobby, stuck together with Little Johnny's gum. ...and is that a trail of ants leading to and from the gum? My, what a sense of smell they have! How did they find this gum so quickly, or, (you ask yourself) how long has that gum and those gift certificates been there??
While you wait for the receptionist to find more gift certificates you feel the urge to go to the bathroom. You enter and are a bit skeptical of using the facilities as they are not very clean. The bathroom has had 'the once over,' but you're not impressed. Yet, you have to go, so you grin and bear it. You finish, wash your hands, but oh no! The paper towel dispenser is out of paper towels to dry your hands with. You try the drip-dry method and finish them off on your pants.
Gee, what a marvelous customer service experience! Not!
Sure, I'm being dramatic. I also understand that we can't spend all our time running around our business ensuring everything is in order every second of the day.
Yet, I highly recommend you make the 'rounds at least once a day, if not more. Especially the bathrooms!
I always began outside. How does the parking lot look? Are the windows and glass doors clean? Are your logos of your business on the outside window acceptable or beginning to peel off? Is your lobby clean? Are the floors clean? Yes, this is ALL customer service!
Here's a tip: Create a form/checklist of everything that needs to be checked every day. Then, assign these duties to your staff or do it yourself. If you are the business owner then you will need to follow up to ensure this checklist is being completed and walk your own property, yourself.
If you are an employee take it upon yourself to walk the property. If your employer notices this you will be seen in a more favorable light. "Wow, Kris really does show interest in our business!" Remember; look at this from the business owner's point of view, not your point of view. You must understand that the establishment owner and your massage clients always ask, WIIFM? "What's In It For ME?"
If you rent space from someone do the same. If they don't meet your standards have a professional discussion with the owner or manager of the facility. If this doesn't cut it, take your practice elsewhere.
This is why only 'high-class' locations get my business. No, I'm not a snob. I just know they understand what true customer service entails. It's much more than just human interaction.
Heck, I even pay ten cents (or more) per gallon when I purchase gas at a reputable brand name establishment. Why? The gas dispensers are clean. There's always water, paper towels and squeegees available when I want to wash my truck windows. They are well lit and I don't have to worry about being mugged in the parking lot at night. There's no trash polluting the parking lot as if a bomb went off.
Once again, relate this to your massage business.
Something to think about in regards to customer service besides just performing a great massage.
Las Vegas Massage Therapist Kris Kelley
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