There is only one of you and hopefully lots of them. If you are a massage therapist with your own practice, chances are you are in need of new ways to streamline your business administrative processes. Your time is best spent in session,working-out knots and relieving tension, not sitting behind a desk staring at a computer screen. Unfortunately, you cannot simply ignore phone work, appointment setting, marketing, and client follow-up. These are necessary tasks for your business’ success. However, for most small massage practices outsourcing work or hiring an assistant is cost prohibitive. The solution? Leverage the power of technology to automate your massage business as much as possible by doing the following:
- Create and Maintain a well-designed and Informative Website -In today’s market, having a website is not an option. It is a necessity. Clients assume a “successful” business will have a web presence and of course you do not want to disappoint them. Your website should provide an accurate overview of your services. Whether or not you include a price list is a matter of preference. Most spas and therapist do. Keep in mind, many clients will make a decision to schedule an appointment with you based on the types of services you offer and at what price. Include your available appointment times and instructions on how to schedule a session. An FAQ section with the most common questions (i.e What to bring to a session? Are credit cards accepted? What to expect during the first session? etc.) will allow you to address clients’ concerns easily and effectively
- Online Appointment Schedulers – Booking a first time appointment with a new client can sometimes take upwards of thirty to forty-five minutes. New clients often have questions. Of course you want to take the time to answer their questions and make your clients feel comfortable. Whether it’s through your websites FAQ’s or if it’s specific to a medical condition, when they come in addressing client concerns is necessary. The interactions you want to avoid are clients sharing with you the details of their busy schedules and the explanation for why they want to come Saturday at 2:00pm instead of Saturday at 11:00am. With an online appointment scheduler clients can peruse your availability and schedule their appointment accordingly. If they need to reschedule that can be done easily online without the shame and stress of them calling in speaking with you. Not only do online appointment schedulers help you to automate your massage business but it empowers your clients, as well.
- Virtual Phones – No one wants to sit in an office and wait for a phone to ring. Chances are if you are in your office you’re in session and if you are not in session you are out marketing, running errands, or taking care of personal business. With standard business phones your best option is to forward your number to your cell phone. If you are running your business off your cell phone, you’re forced to have two cell phones, one for business and one for personal use, or you run the risk of mixing business calls with personal calls – not a good thing. The better solution is to use a virtual phone. For only $4.88 a month you can use the virtual phone service of phone.com and project a professional image to your clients. Your calls can follow you anywhere. You have the option of an auto attendant, unlimited voicemail boxes, call screening, call transfers, after-hours greetings, etc.
- Email Marketing (Using AutoResponders) – Following up with clients after a first session could not be easier if you use an autoresponder. Autoresponders allow you to pre-type messages for clients, save them within your account, and then schedule a time to send them. The software does the rest. So for example, you could set up a campaign that automatically sends out a welcome email to all new clients, then sends a what to expect e-mail two days before the scheduled appointment, and a follow-up email the day after a session. Are you running a special or want to wish clients a happy holiday? You can send an email blast (using a pre-designed graphic template) to your entire client list. It’s easy to stay in touch and follow-up with clients when done the right way.
- Texting Sevices – Lastly, effectively keeping in touch with an ever mobile client base is essential to automating your massage business. Clients need to stay informed and connected. What better way than their cell phones? (Most people will not leave home without them) With e-mails, websites, virtual phones and online schedulers you are relying on the client to take action in order to receive your communication. They must check their email, browse the internet or call a number. With texting you are able to bring the communication directly to them. No extra steps necessary. Do you need to remind a client of an appointment? Text them. Want to inform them of your referral program? Text them. Need to advertise your Valentine’s Day special? You got it…text them. With free texting services like textmarks.com, you can get the word out to hundreds of clients at once and focus your energies more on providing the best massage experience possible, not chasing down clients.