Making your Massage Business Easy to Use

I went to a networking event recently. It's a lovely group that meets monthly at a local restaurant for mingling and dinner and a presenter on some businessy topic.

I knew of the restaurant, but had never been there. On my way out the door I opened the confirmation email to get the address. But the address wasn't in the email. So I went to the networking group's website. But again, just the name of the restaurant, no address.

This was not a debacle (because we have the internet and smartphones) so I looked up the restaurant and got myself there. No big deal.

I got to the event and all was well. Except... there was a cash bar. That had never even occurred to me. I had a whole $3 cash in my wallet, so no glass of wine for me! No big deal. Probably best to stick with water anyhow, right? No need for a sloppy first impression.

Then I started chatting with another attendee. And that was the first time I heard about the raffle. Apparently attendees often bring a small gift to be raffled off, something representative of your business, and people buy raffle tickets, to benefit a scholarship awarded annually. Well, that's cool! Except I had no cash to buy raffle tickets and didn't bring anything to contribute for a raffle prize. No big deal. A missed opportunity, but not a tragedy.

I made it through dinner and didn't embarrass myself or say anything stupid (score!) and then came the speakers. The volunteer leadership made a few announcements and introduced the board members. Pretty standard stuff until... it was time for EVERYONE there to stand up and introduce themselves. One at a time. To the whole group. A super-short elevator speech. I was prepared for table-time small talk. I wasn't psyched up for a big group situation.

Once again, no big deal. I've done this before.  I managed just fine with my, "Uhhhh, hi. I'm Allissa Haines. I own a collaborative wellness center in Plainville, Massachusetts. We've got massage, acupuncture, craniosacral therapy along with yoga under one roof." But I could've been better. I stuttered a little. I fumbled. (And duh, I didn't need to include "Massachusetts." It was a local networking group for Pete's sake.)

So, for the final time, none of these things was a big deal. But as a whole, it made for an unsettling night. I was caught off guard, over and over again. It was already a tough situation. Networking is hard for me. I didn't realize how uninformed I was, until the curve balls were coming at me. 

Had there been better communication on the part of the organizers, I would've been prepared. The bartender (and raffle) would've made more money, my intro would've been smooth and practiced. I would've been impressed by, instead of disappointed in, their organization. And much more likely to join up as a member.

This was just little old me at a networking event. Imagine if a client had this experience at your office.

There's no address in your confirmation email, or no confirmation email at all, ugh. The address is on your website, but not on every page, so they have to hunt for it.  So the client arrives aggravated from having to look you up, or aggravated from getting lost. And probably late.

They weren't told there would be an intake form, so that's annoying, too. Then the massage therapist doesn't clearly communicate how to undress and what to take off. Or how to get on the table. The client wasn't advised to speak up if they are cold. Or warm. Or if they need another pillow.

The massage ends, the client gets dressed and comes out of the room, after sitting there for a minute wondering if they are supposed to come out. Because the therapist didn't say. The client pulls out their credit card, but you only take cash and check. So that's a debacle.

That would be a pretty awkward experience start to finish, right? Kind of like my networking night. But it would be a big deal. Because you would lose that client. 

But there's good news: You can make your massage business easy to find, and easy to navigate. Get your address and phone number on every page of your website, and in every confirmation email that goes out.

Put a 'What to know before your first massage' info page or blog post on your website. Include everything first-time clients could possibly want to know. Be sure your verbal intake over the phone or your confirmation emails point new clients to that information.

Think about your procedures for after a massage, too. Do you ask clients to schedule another appointment or do any kind of follow-up?

Take a close look at how a client experiences your business, from the moment they find you, to the day after their appointment. If there's any stage of the process you can make easier, smoother, make the change now! 

What needs updating in your business? Share in the comments!