Some suggestions to masseuses for staying in touch with what their customers expect of them.
Ask meaningful questions about the customer's requirements. Our research has shown that people want to be asked more than the standard 'do you want hard, medium or soft' question. You should enquire about injuries or pain points, determine if they are to be treated or avoided, and then ask what the customer DOES want. That is, why did they come to see you?
Ensure the room temperature is comfortable. You've been in the room all day and have acclimatised, but the customer has just come in from the hot / cold / rain and may need the room environment altered for their comfort. Ask the customer if the room temperature is comfortable, and give them the opportunity to request a change, even temporarily until they cool down / warm up etc.
Music should support not overpower the massage experience. The music is there for ambience, not to disturb the peace. Also, make sure the soundtrack is long enough not to start to repeat before the session is over. A good selection of music will begin when the massage begins and wind down when the massage ends, subtly signalling to the customer that the experience is coming to an end, and then help them to become more alert.
Chat with the customer, but know when to tail off. Surveys of massage customers show that they like to have a rapport with their masseuse; talk about the weekend, their job, the tennis etc. But there comes a point when the relaxation kicks in and people just need to chill without making conversation. Recognise that point and let the customer enjoy your touch.
Have fresh massage table linen. The table must be and look fresh for every customer. Get rid of those floral cover sheets that look like grandma used them in the 1940s.
Use scents sparingly but strategically. Some massage clinics gets the aroma part of the therapy just right - the minute you enter the building you sense it - subtle yet distinctive, a reminder of the great experiences of the past and the one about to come. Don't use fragrant massage oil - the customer's partner will detect it the minute he gets home and ask potentially embarrassing questions.
If your business has a shower, don't keep the towels until they are old and crusty. You don't need to buy the most expensive, and they can serve as bathmats when old. Don't use the bathroom as a laundry / store room / cupboard. Make it an inviting part of the experience, and keep the shampoo topped up, the exhaust fan free of dust, and the mould off the tiles.
Address a complaint immediately. If a customer is unhappy and you can't placate them, escalate the matter to the manager quickly and show empathy for the customer's position. A well managed situation can consolidate a customer relationship, engendering even more loyalty.
Be aware of personal hygiene, your own! Be conscious that your lunch of garlic broccoli, curried egg or fish stew may permeate the room and add an unwanted aroma to that therapy!
Offer a glass or two of luke-warm water after the massage. The release of toxins during a massage can often lead to a headache - not what you want your customer to remember you by. A glass, preferably two, of body-temperature water after the massage helps to hydrate the body and pass the toxins.
Focus on the customer's experience and they'll return!
Top 10 Tips for Masseuses
Note. We have used the term masseuse here for simplicity. Obviously it applies equally to a masseur.
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