In a crowded marketplace, being successful as a working therapist isn't easy. The choice for clients is greater than ever, with sports therapists, massage therapists, physiotherapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, reflexologists, thai massage, swedish massage, your mates mate, etc...
How do we as therapists make our way in the World, win customers and more importantly, keep our customers. In amongst the wide array of therapist options, then we also have to content with the ever widening range of treatments, such a dry needling, acupuncture, massage, manipulation, cupping, flossing, IASTM...the list goes on!
The one thing that stands true though in our industry and every other business is the need to hang on to customers. Loyal customers are the cornerstone of all businesses and here are a few facts to illustrate their importance:
1. Repeat customers spend on average 33% more than new ones
2. A 5% customer retention rate can increase profits by 25-125%
3. 68% of customers leave if they feel you are indifferent to them
4. Acquiring new customers is anywhere between 5-25 times more expensive than keeping existing ones.
Finding new customers is hard work, costs us money and can be really frustrating. Social media is overcrowded with posts, making it difficult to be heard. A loyal customer will come back time and again, and as we see above, they tend to spend more money. In addition, the added benefits of referrals make their worth all the more important. How many times have we heard a customer saying "I got your number from my friend, otherwise I wouldn't have tried you" In the massage and therapy industry this is even more likely because our work is based on trust. Trust you can only ever get from word or mouth.
So the question is how do we make sure customers stay loyal to us and keep coming back, and help us with the vitally important referrals. Here are a few ideas:
1. Offer customer loyalty discounts, perhaps a free half hour treatment after 5 or 10 full hours. Or give your customer a monetary discount every so often, or a block booking discount.
2. Offer a friend referral scheme whereby the referring customer gets a discount off their next booking.
3. Work with industry professionals, such as PT's and get them to refer their clients in exchange for discounted treatments.
4. Always ensure you give the best possible customer service. Show interest in your customers, their work, their home lives, their interests etc.. This is good for business, but more importantly it's a real pleasure to get to know someone really well and build a solid relationship and friendship.
5. Always ensure you give the appropriate treatments and if you can't treat a particular area as it's not your area of expertise...be honest and refer them on.
6. Be honest with expectations, don't over promise and under deliver.
7. Always ensure your working area is clean and tidy and welcoming. A warm room feels a whole load better than a cold one.
8. Use quality equipment, such as massage wax and oils, nice towels, instruments etc..
9. Be flexible, sometimes it's difficult to get customers to fit in exactly with your schedule. Sometimes we need to bite the bullet and work on an evening when we don't want to. We have to appreciate people have busy lives and at times we may need to fit around them.
10. Follow up your treatments by sending an email or text to see how the client is. Make sure they feel ok and if they have any questions. It costs nothing to show interest and care.
If you have any other ideas then please let us know and we can share them with.