A fully-booked daily schedule is a sure sign that a massage practice is operating efficiently and growing its business. But getting to this point can be tricky, especially for practices that are just starting out or those with local competitors.
Most massage practices simply do have the budget for expensive marketing and advertising campaigns to help them reach out to prospective customers. But there are a few proven ways that any massage practice, regardless of size or budget, can use to keep a steady stream of appointments from both their existing client base and prospective customers.
1. Implement an online scheduling system. The manner in which a massage practice schedules its appointments can have a direct impact on its success. Practices that only schedule appointments over the phone, by e-mail or in-person could be missing out on new appointments and even new clients. In today’s Internet-driven society, most people expect that their service providers-including service providers-to offer a quick and convenient way to book appointments online, 24 hours a day. Many people simply do not have the time to make an appointment during a practice’s business hours. Still others simply prefer the convenience of online scheduling. By adding an online scheduling component, a practice instantly transforms itself into a 24/7 business… and this results in more appointments, more clients, and more profits
2. Start an e-mail marketing campaign. Not every massage practice has the means to throw around money for an elaborate and expensive marketing and advertising campaign with all the bells and whistles provided by an agency or contracted service. But all massage practices can quickly create an effective e-marketing campaign that targets current and past clients. The first step is to actively collect e-mail addresses from clients. (If you have an online scheduling system in place, this task is complete, as the system can automatically collect and maintain client e-mail addresses when they book an appointment online.) The next step is to determine the means in which to send the message, whether through a visually-appealing newsletter (as offered by an e-marking provider such as Constant Contact or iContact) or simply an e-mail message sent through Outlook, an in-office computer system, or right through your online scheduling software application. The third item is to develop interesting and appealing content that your clients will want to read. Ideas include current specials or discounts, news about the practice or massage tips that clients can employ themselves.
3. Remind customers of their scheduled appointment times. Reminding customers of their appointments can be a hassle, but studies show that they can reduce the “no-show” rate by as much as 75 percent. And that means more full time slots and more revenue. Fortunately, massage therapists that utilize an online scheduling system can set the system to send these out automatically prior to a client’s scheduled appointment time. Besides ensuring that open time slots don’t go unfilled, appointment reminders are also appreciated by clients and can be instrumental in developing a loyal customer base.
4. Remind customers who haven’t book in a while. In today’s busy society, many people simply forget to schedule their regularly-occurring appointments. Why not remind them with a friendly e-mail? As with the aforementioned appointment reminders, some online scheduling systems can automatically send out reminders to clients after a specific time has elapsed between appointments. It’s a perfect way to keep the lines of communication open with clients, as well as help keep appointment slots full today and into the future.
Keeping its appointment slots full need not be an expensive or complicated endeavor. With a little technology and creativity, a massage practice can achieve this goal while nurturing a loyal and happy customer base at the same time.