10 reasons why your customers don't visit you anymore and how to maintain success

Reason 1: You became too comfortable

 

When customers visit us for a massage, it’s important to maintain a consistent professional attitude. It’s natural to warm up to customers we know and feel more comfortable with being ourselves. 


However, this spoils the professional atmosphere and interferes with the reasons someone comes to see us. Getting too comfortable could look like this: 


  • Humming to a song 
  • Increasing unnecessary client contact 
  • Staying in the room while they get ready


When someone comes to visit us ( or visa versa ) Its professional to follow protocols like allowing the customer the privacy to change and knocking on the door to ask if they are ready before we enter. By staying in the room we allow the dynamics to change and this has to be avoided because we are responsible for how their time is managed, once the ‘Massage time clock’ starts ticking.


Maintain professionalism and see how your customers will appreciate this.


Reason 2: You take over conversations

 

Many people, including myself, love talking while they’re receiving a massage. It’s a natural reaction as is sleeping or even crying. While it’s ok to talk a little while you’re massaging, it shouldn’t be a conversation about you, instead, let the majority of it be about them. Let 90% of the conversation be about them and 10% about you. After all, it’s their time to relax and to express themselves. 


Note: Some conversations are inappropriate and shouldn’t be talked about when you’re giving a massage. I share much more about this topic in the “5 steps to a successful business you can be proud of” which is a free manual available to small business owners with adaptable protocols and health and safety training, that successfully aims to strengthen the emotional health of massage therapists. This manual will be presented for the first time at the IMFS ( international Massage Festival) in Sardinia, Italy.


Keep it light and don’t go into deep conversations. Use your judgment as to what is appropriate.


As described earlier, let the conversation be 90% about them.

Here’s an example of such a conversation:


Customer: “ It’s a beautiful day today I’m thinking of going for lunch before work”


Massage therapist: “ That’s what I’m doing too and then I’m going to buy Christmas presents for my friends and family. I’m thinking of buying everyone wine “


Instead say: “ That’s a great idea and It’s the perfect day to lunch out  “


This way, the conversation is about them, which it should be. Imagine going for a massage, and the therapist is mentioning things like how many clients they had or that they didn’t get to eat yet.

Instead, let your customer relax, and have a pleasant and easygoing experience.


If your customers don’t feel that they’re getting “me time”, they may not return, even if the message is great.


Reason 3: You talked too much

 

The conversation may be nice and your customer may love to talk with you. However, if you talk throughout the whole time of the massage, they’ll miss out on the opportunity to be mindful and enjoy the massage.


Think about when you prepare a relaxing bath for yourself. You light candles and you sit in the bath, with your phone, watching your favourite show.


Versus


You prepare a relaxing bath for yourself and you light candles and sit in the bath with relaxing music or music-free. 


Which one will you get the most relaxation and rejuvenation from?


Or you decide to have a power nap to rest your head a little, and you lie down in your comfy bed with an audiobook.


Versus


You decide to have a power nap to rest your head a little and you lie down in your comfy bed in complete silence.


Which one will make you feel more rested? 


Being mindful at times allows us to fully anticipate and appreciate what we’re feeling.

The next time you massage a chatty customer, allow 30 mins for no conversation so they can fully enjoy the massage.


You may allow conversation while massaging the back and discourage conversation for the rest of the massage. 


Here’s a scenario to see how we can discourage conversation.


Customer: “I’m doing a triathlon next year! “


Massage Therapist: “Super! “


Customers: Yes, I’m starting from Wales and riding my bike to Scotland, and so on.


Massage Therapist: “Fantastic!”


Giving these short answers discourage conversation in a positive and comfortable way with no awkwardness. Do this by sounding kind, calm, and honest in your expressions, and your customer will soon choose to relax and be quiet to enjoy it because more attention is given to the massage.


Reason 4: They don’t like where you’re based

 

You may have reached a new customer, they’ve visited you a few times consistently, and all of a sudden poof! They’re gone! 

This may be because of the shared premises you use. You could be in a gym, a hairdresser, above a barbershop, or anywhere else where you share space. A person may not like to walk through a gym or a barbershop to get to you or hear blow dryers in another room.


Massage therapy requires a private and relaxing atmosphere. If this is the case for you, it’s time to use the The one year rule, complete your objective, and move on so you can offer the right atmosphere to your customers.


Reason 5: You overstay your welcome ( if you’re mobile)

 

If you’re a mobile therapist, you may be asked to stay for tea after the massage. While this is a very kind gesture, it’s important to kindly decline and leave promptly after massaging.


People like to get on with their day or evening. You’ll realise that it’s the best thing to do. After all, you probably have things to do too. You went there to give a massage, and not have tea. Organize another day for this if the customer is also a friend of yours.


Reason 6: You’ve dramatically raised your prices and with no warning

 

If you have a regular customer who comes let’s say twice a month and suddenly you go from £50 to £75 without any warning or reasoning, you probably won’t see them for a while.


Raising prices should be a process that happens gradually and with reason when we reach a full customer base. 


It should also come with a notification, perhaps an email that reads: 


We’re raising our prices for such and such reasons. However, we promise to always deliver the quality you’re used to and keep bettering our service.


Most people will appreciate you for this, and won’t mind paying £5 or £10 more for your amazing massages.


Reason 7: Your branding doesn’t reflect their personality

 

You may give an exceptional sports massage, but also offer nail care and facials. If your branding doesn’t reflect the markets you cater for in a cohesive way, it may deter customers from booking, or revisiting.


Make sure your branding is on point and caters separately to each of these markets rather than blending the promotion of your services.

Make appropriate use of colours in your branding,  and section your websites to create a cohesive separation. 


Ensure your add-ons don’t come up on the wrong services. For example, if someone is booking a pregnancy massage, they probably don’t want to add a ten-minute sports stretch to it. You can have a separate page to display ALL your add-ons in separated sections. This way people will feel that it’s the right place for them. 


Reason 8: You don’t listen to what they’ve asked for and do what you think is right

 

A usual scenario is when a customer asks for a back massage and the massage therapist starts by pressing and stretching the legs.

You may have a treatment plan in your mind, but if your customer isn’t aware of it, what they’ll think is that they came in for a back massage and you’re doing something else. 


Even if the leg stretch only lasts 5 seconds, and even if you did it to help with lower back issues, and even if they liked it, it will increase the chances of their respect level lowering, and not coming again. If you are going to massage other parts, let the customer know this during the time of consultation so they know what to expect.


You can explain how this will help with the back massage that will follow, and that it will only take a minute for the ‘other’ work you’ll perform.


Another scenario may be that the person wants to relieve neck pain and you’re using strong pressure on shoulder points explaining that this is what they need. As professional massage therapists, we should withhold from being bold, and go with what our customers feel comfortable with. Trust is gained with time by our customers, and with treatments that they feel comfortable with.


Reason 9: You’re never available soon enough ( Booking tip included)

 

Many make the mistake of blocking our calendar a few days in advance to seem busy, or because we don’t want to take last-minute customers because we need time to prepare for them. 


Yes, some people are attracted by our amazing accomplishments as massage therapists. However, most people come because they need a massage. 


If someone needs a massage they probably can’t wait for two or three weeks. Being available will allow people to make a reservation with us and not look elsewhere.


Being prepared to take customers on the dot should be doable in our normal working hours if we’re serious about our massage business.


Tip: Spread and balance your appointments throughout the day ( If your customers can come at the times you suggest) to leave space for a possible last-minute caller. 


Reason 10: You’ve fired them!

 

We’re wrapping up by emphasizing the importance of working on our massage business, to maintain the success of your practice. 


The tenth reason people stopped coming to you is that you’ve built your business to a point where firing a customer for the right reasons is possible. 


If a customer, even if they’re regular and bring money to the business, tries to control how he or she interacts with your business it’s time for them to go.


For example, they try to take advantage of how much they pay or when and how to cancel appointments ( these people tend to be controlling in general, not just with your business). And when you feel underappreciated with evident reasons, it’s time to let them go. You can do this by being less available, or however, you choose to approach this.


You see, customers make a large and important part of our business and it may be a little difficult at first to lose a customer. However, working on our business is equally important. It has to be able to survive in most situations.


Keep working on your business by bettering your services, your marketing, your professional development, your websites, your networking! All of these activities will strengthen your massage therapy business because customers come and go, but your business is what will remain.


Now I’d love to learn from you! In your experience, have you identified a reason why a customer stopped coming to you?


Warm regards,

Simone T

2 Comments

  1. Alin Gheorghisor says:

    Thank you so much for this article, Simone! So true and hepful. I totally agree with you, keep sharing with us your valuable knowledge!

  2. Hi Alin, I definitely will and I’m truly grateful and happy you found it valuable. I’m now even more motivated to do so. Thank you 🙂

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