Sweat the Small Stuff: How the Extras Keep Clients Coming Back

Written by Kristen Nickel, LMT, Licensed Aesthetician, Massage Therapy Program Chair, Globe University-Wausau

 During an interview for her Career Capstone class recently, massage therapy student Nancy Lindsley was asked what her favorite class has been and why, to which she replied, “Hot Stone, because of all the little things you taught us!”

massage therapy, aesthetics

I love it when massage students at Globe University–Wausau tell me that, because as an Aesthetician, it’s my favorite class too. That’s when I get to use what I learned in Aesthetics school to show the students that adding “extras” to pamper their client is effortless on their part but goes a long way in building relationships and client retention.

I began my studies in Aesthetics in 2008 because I wanted to add that skillset and the associated services to my business, but what I learned while there was so much more than things like facials, body wraps and make-up. It taught me that people want to feel like they’re your most important client and the best way to do that is to give them more than what they’ve asked for.

   The importance of the little things became even more evident in   
Aesthetics school when I began looking for a skin care line to carry in conjunction with my massage practice.  I finally decided on one line in particular for two reasons: one was because it is all organic products, with packaging that was recycled or from recyclable materials, and two because of the way the owner made you feel when talking with you.

Before he sold his practice to focus on his skin care line, he was booked 6 months in advance because of the little things he gave his clients. Even when talking with him he made you feel like you’re the only person in the world and I watched as it captivated people, including me. There was nothing extra special about him, nothing remarkable, but it’s his focus and attention to details and to the people around him that drew so many back to him, again myself included.

Now that doesn’t mean adding free services or giving things away, but rather focusing on the little things such as offering hot towels on the client’s feet or tea bags on their eyes during the massage. Even simple things can make a great difference. Try asking them about something you had talked with them about during a previous visit.  You can see your clients face light up when you ask about their son’s wedding or their daughter’s baby shower, or some other item that holds significance.

These are the little things that I reinforce to students and want them to remember when building and retaining their clientele. It shows you care about each client as a person, that they are not just a number in an assembly line of clients. Clients can come and go but if their previous therapist doesn’t go that extra mile, they’ll be booking their next appointment with you.

If you’re interested in a massage therapy career, click here!