My massage therapist is not only skilled at what she does, she’s also one of the savviest business people I know. Janice Luzzi, LMT, Valley Therapeutic Massage always has a full schedule and has been working her marketing plan for years — the old fashioned way.
Making the connection
Q: Jan, how are you able to keep business coming in the door, regardless of the economy?
A: I focus on my clients and what they need. For example, I would never use an on-line scheduler to make appointments for new clients because I want to speak with them to find out why they’re looking for a massage.
Speaking to them over the phone also gives me the opportunity to ask them how they heard about me, which tells me if I’m spending my advertising dollars in the right place.
The other thing I always do, is phone my clients two days after they’ve had their first session with me. In fact, I write their phone number in my daily planner immediately after their massage, while I’m at my desk and they’re getting dressed, so I never forget to contact them. Even if they don’t pick up the phone to answer my call, I will leave them a message and ask how they’re feeling. The only day I don’t follow-up with a phone call is on Sunday.
I also ask my clients if they would like to schedule another session before leaving my office, telling them, if they need to re-schedule, please don’t hesitate to call.
Changing with the times
Q: Is the Internet helping to bring in new business?
A: As you know, when I first started out in business, having a good looking ad in the phone book helped a lot. Some years, the monthly bill for my phone book ad felt like it was a mortgage payment, but things have changed in the past five years. Some of my clients still find me in the Yellow Pages, so I keep the ad, but it’s a lot smaller.
More people are finding me online. I chose a web design company that specializes in massage therapy. They keep me listed in the top ten organic search list, which is important, because there are quite a few massage therapists in my area. At the moment it’s working, but that’s expensive too, so I’m always asking, “How did you find me?”
Keeping in touch
Q: How do you stay in touch with clients who didn’t reschedule?
A: One of my first jobs was as a social worker. If a child needed to be removed from a dangerous household I had to make detailed notes about what I saw. My observations had to be completely objective: my reports could never contain language about what I “felt” or “believed” might put the child at risk.
In my own practice, I need to make objective observations for clients whose insurance companies are paying for their treatments. It may sound a little strange, but learning how to take notes in this manner has helped me serve all my clients better. For example, I always make a note on what days and times work best for each of my clients, so when a cancellation happens, I can offer the spot to the right person.
The little details make a big difference
Q: Is there anything else that has helped you keep your business active?
A: Again, this might sound odd, but your question reminds me of a conversation I asked my students one day.
We were speaking about renting office space and I asked them what they would do if the restroom wasn’t clean, especially if it was shared by other businesses, too? Nearly every student echoed they weren’t going into massage therapy to clean toilets.
I didn’t suggest they clean the toilet, but I did tell them that my space is in an older city building: The restroom is down the hall and is used by several offices. After each massage I go into the restroom to wash my hands, and wipe down the sink area so it’s not wet from splashes. It’s a little thing, but it’s important to me to keep the client experience as positive, and stress free as possible.