6 Proven Tips to Building a Good Rapport with Your Massage Clients and Patients

Every industry has some aspects that you have to concentrate on since they have a significant effect on your business. For instance, if you are in the manufacturing sector, it is important that the quality of the product be top notch.

Similarly, in the massage therapy industry there are some things that require close consideration, with your massage techniques being the top priority of course. If you are not aware of the proper massage techniques, you may not be able to satisfy your clients and patients. The second and perhaps the most important thing to work on is your rapport building skills.

Any business or job where you have to deal with clients directly requires good interpersonal skills. There are many reasons for this. Firstly, customers love massage therapists who are good listeners and are polite. In fact, as a massage therapist, you are partly a psychotherapist as well.

If a customer loves a particular masseuse, there is a good chance that he/she will return and ask for the same individual again. Secondly, if you build a good relationship with your client, odds are that the client will never go anywhere else.

There are a few simple techniques that you can follow to improve on your rapport building skills. Let’s discuss some of these in detail.

Smile When You Talk To Your Customers

The fundamental rule to building a good rapport with your customers is to smile. This goes without saying for both face-to-face dealings and over the phone conversations. Always remember that a smile can be ‘heard’ over the phone as well.

Even if you are having a bad day, be sure to smile when you speak to clients. This way they could feel welcomed when they step into your massage therapy facility. Be sure to amend the tone of your voice as well as facial expressions in accordance with the client’s.

It will most definitely be awkward if the client is upset and you are smiling. If the client is upset, keep a neutral expression on your face and show concern. Feel free to laugh at their jokes and compliment their humor every once in a while. Most people love to be pampered and loved.

Refer To Your Clients by Name

Another excellent way of building a great relationship with your clients and patients is to refer to them by their name. But you have to be mindful not to sound rude. If you have an elderly client, be sure to refer to them as Mr. or Mrs., followed by their last name.

Always be very polite with elderly customers as they can easily be offended by even the tiniest things. Try to avoid first names, unless of course it is with a younger client. Of course, you can be a little more relaxed around the younger clients. If you refer to your client by name, you will be addressing them on a personal level, and younger people like to be addressed using their first names.

Never Over-Share Personal Details

When clients are getting a massage they tend to talk about themselves. They share their experiences, and sometimes, their problems. They might joke with the therapist as well. In order to pamper your clients, you have to be a good listener.

You should listen to what the client has to say, and seem interested. However, you should also focus on what you are saying to the client. Never get the client involved in your personal matters, problems or how your day is going.

Many clients do not appreciate it when the therapist monopolizes the conversation. If a client asks you a question, address it in as few words as possible and divert the conversation back to the client. However, you must be very careful while doing so and must avoid sounding rude or brusque.

Solicit Feedback Through Handwritten Comment Cards

If you are curious as to what your clients have to say or think about you, you can use comment cards to solicit their feedback. You can either have clients fill a prepared form or send them one by mail. Comment cards are always a great way of learning what you are doing right and how you can improve your services. If you want your customers to truly love your service you should consider personalized comment cards.

Instead of having them printed and kept at the front desk, you could write them by hand before sending them to your customers. Be sure to mention their name, and sign the comment card yourself. The comment card itself can be generic, but be sure to handwrite the note onto it. Hand-writing a comment card is a great way to show customers that you truly value their opinion.

Be Enthusiastic and Proactive In Offering Discounts

There is nothing a client loves more than a discount. Even if it is not much, be sure to give the client one. Moreover, you should be proactive about it. If a customer is coming to your facility for the first time, give them an introductory discount.

Always remember that the quantum of discount doesn’t matter and it is the thought that counts. You can even give discounts to customers who have returned after a long time. If you want a customer to refer you to other people, you could offer a referral-based discount as well.

Inform Your Clients About the Extra Services You Offer

You may have come across various customers who always get the same type of massage therapy. This may either be because they enjoy that specific type of massage or because of health and other issues. On the other hand, it is also possible the client does not know about any other massage therapies and is too shy to ask.

This is why it is always a good idea to inform your customers about other massage therapy varieties and services that you offer. However, you must be vigilant when doing so since you don’t want to come across as too pushy. Remember that your goal here is not to sell the customer something, but to inform them.

A great way of finding out what type of services your clients would like is by having a questionnaire filled out. Clients can fill out what type of massage therapies they like and you can advise them accordingly. This way you will only tell them about services that they prefer.

There is almost no way a client will not like you if you utilize all the rapport building strategies mentioned above. Relationships are everything in business, and you never know where one might lead you to. At the very least, you will likely get a good tip (and recurring business) from your happy clients.

Neal Lyons is a founding member and volunteer contributor at the MTSI Institute, an information based portal dedicated to guiding and assisting aspiring massage therapists establish a successful career in massage. Neal is a published author and has collaborated on several mobile applications that serve the massage profession. You can view his published work on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Kobo. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and on Google+

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