Have you stopped to consider that communication, time management and creative thinking are just as important as your touch? You may be the greatest massage therapist in the world but if you lack these skills your business may not thrive as it should.
Whatever business you are in, when entering into a transaction of any kind you expect competency, transparency, trust and respect. When these key measures are met consistently you build a successful relationship and a successful business.
The obvious starting point is that you are competent and qualified to offer the treatments that you do.
Are your prices and the treatments offered clear? Do you have a booking and cancellation policy? These are the obvious things, but what about more intrinsic things, like when a client asks a question you don’t know the answer to? Can you be transparent and honest and say “I’ll research that and get back to you” or do you fob them off with a half baked answer?
You are not superman or google, part of the human condition is sometimes getting things wrong or misunderstanding things. Whether it stems from miscommunication, the actual treatment or another aspect of your practice that has affected your client’s experience, if you can stand up and say it was your fault and share with your client how this can be prevented in future, it will go a long way to showing transparency and building trust.
Whilst the customer may not always be right, but they do always have a reason and that is what you need to focus on and address.
The best way to build trust is to show that you care and feel personally accountable for things going right for your client, and to express a genuine desire to make it right when things go wrong.
Use phrases like “I understand what you’re saying,” or, when clarifying something, “I think I heard you say…,” or when a client is being unclear about exactly what isn’t going well, but you’re aware that things need adjustment: “What can I do differently?” These are all basic, kind, neutral ways to show your client that they can trust you to take good care of them and you want them to feel safe and heard.
Respect can be shown in a multitude of ways both small and large. Starting with being ready for a client’s treatment at the booked time (hopefully that respect will work both ways and they will arrive in time!).
Learn to look at things from the perspective of your client and communicate anything that is relevant so you’ve made it clear to them that their experience whilst in your care matters to you.
If you’re not sure what the client wants, remember that it never hurts to ask and clarify so you can respect their wishes accordingly.
We make our biggest mistakes when we are busy pretending to be an expert, or get so wrapped up our own world and personal dramas that we forget to value and connect with our clients. Appreciate each encounter as a new opportunity to utilise these skills, build trust and make the person on your table feel cherished and seen. That is the true measure of success.