Retaining clients is crucial for a successful massage therapy career. For one thing, it’s far more cost effective to book additional appointments with current clients than it is to earning new clients. This is true across all industries. Client loyalty expert Fred Reichheld estimates that a 5% boost in customer retention will increase profits by 25%, and overall growth by 100% across all businesses.

Moreover, return clients can create a reliable base income. Think about a regular client in the long term. If he or she gets two massages a month, at $60 per massage, that’s $120 per year, or $1440 per year. When seen in this light, the importance of client retention becomes more obvious. You wouldn’t want to miss out on thousands of dollars in yearly income, would you?

Finally, return clients bring in customer referrals at no cost to you. Customer satisfaction research has shown that clients who are won through referrals are more engaged and forgiving than other clients.

For all these reasons and more, a strong career in massage therapy is largely dependent on keeping current clients happy and coming back for more. That’s why we’re providing the following tips on how to preserve customer loyalty among massage therapy customers.

7 Ways to Retain Massage Therapy Clients

  1. Exude Positive Energy. Take care of yourself so that you have positive energy to share with your clients. Give each client a genuine smile upon entry. Be enthusiastic about seeing him or her. As in any relationship, it’s easy to take a loyal client for granted. Avoid such complacency by taking careful notes after each session, and reviewing those notes prior to the next session to remind yourself of what this client prefers.
  2. Create Package Deals. Make it easy for clients to take good care of themselves—offer special rates for monthly/bi-monthly/weekly massages.
  3. Make it a Snap to Book Appointments. Take all the hassles out of booking appointments. Allow clients to make appointments by phone, online, or via email. Cloud-based online software for massage therapists can empower clients to book appointments themselves and take advantage of any specials.
  4. Create Welcome Packs and other Thank You Gifts. You can work with local lifestyle companies to feature their products in packages for clients. New clients could receive a branded reusable bag filled with healthy snacks, for instance. Long-term clients could receive a special thank you gift on their anniversary of their first massage with you. Even a small take-home treat, such as an individually-wrapped dark chocolate or special tea blend, will keep you in your clients’ minds and hearts.
  5. Follow up with clients after each appointment. Remind your clients how great it felt to be on your table by calling them up a week or two afterwards. Use this as an opportunity to ask how their self-care plan is going. You may be surprised how many clients will book another appointment just because you called. It doesn’t hurt to be up front with this follow-up call: Ask when the client would like to book another treatment with you.
  6. Be Active with Email Marketing, Social Media, and Blogging
    These outlets are non-aggressive ways to stay in touch with your clients. Provide plenty of useful information on how to stay healthy in general, and specific tips for your client population. For instance, if you work mainly with athletes, your blog, Facebook posts, and client emails could feature information on why breathing through the nose is advantageous for athletic performance.
  7. Offer a Discount for Advanced Booking. At the conclusion of each massage, recommend a time span before the next treatment, and mention your instant discount on return appointments. Even a 5% discount may entice clients to book their next appointment on the spot.

What are your favorite tricks and tools for massage client retention? We would love to hear from you! Feel free to share in the comments below.