How to Keep Loyal Lifetime Clients!
I have a long list of loyal lifetime clients who have been coming to my massage clinic weekly or more for years, such as the client with fibromyalgia who has been coming twice a week for 20 years. So far, the lifetime value of this client’s massages is about $75,000. And that’s not even counting the retail products and gift certificates she’s purchased, nor the many clients she has referred – and the clients they have referred!
Here’s a typical conversation I have with colleagues:
Colleague: “How do you get so many clients and how do you keep them returning for years?”
Me: “It’s simple – I do nice things for them that other massage therapists don’t do.”
Colleague: “Such as …?”
Me: “Well, for one thing, I wipe them down with hot washcloths after each session.”
Colleague: “Oh no, not me – it’s too much laundry!”
If you think you don’t want to go to all that trouble – think again! It is worth the investment of your time if it means the difference between a client who walks away and one who stays forever!
Contrary to popular marketing opinion, there is no magic formula that gets you clients for life. But if you’re serious about having clients who stay and return, you need to commit to being extraordinary in how you run your business! Do things that others in your field don’t do and treat your clients better than any other practitioner will. Try these 12 tips on how to keep loyal lifetime clients:
- Focus on Relationships! Clients come & go but relationships can last indefinitely! Take an interest in your clients’ lives; Show that you care by remembering their families, hobbies, activities and special moments.
- Offer rewards! Have a 2-part reward system in place: 1) Reward loyal clients who return on a regular basis. 2) Reward clients who refer others to you. How will you reward your loyal clients?
- Sell packages! Structure your rates to sell a series instead of single sessions. Think of Costco – it’s better value to buy in bulk. For instance, if your single session fee is $100, package 5 prepaid sessions for $400. Clients get a better deal and you get money upfront. Plus you know they will return because they invested upfront.
- Be selective! Don’t say yes to everyone who calls! Have an intake process that weeds out people who are not serious about improving their health. Work only with clients who are committed to the service you offer.
- Follow up! Invite them to rebook – every client, every time! Call new clients after their first session to see how they’re doing. Make suggestions for home care, recommend additional sessions with you and/or invite them – again – to enroll in a treatment series.
- Stay in touch! Send a newsletter with the latest word about your modality, other relevant health info and updates on your business. Contact former clients and invite them back with a special offer.
- Acknowledge important occasions! This relates back to #1 – pay attention to your clients and acknowledge their special moments, such as birthdays and anniversaries. This keeps you on their mind and adds serious WOW to your service!
- Create a memorable experience! Your client’s experience with you starts with the first contact. You only have one chance to make a first impression, so make it memorable with superb client service, attention to detail and outstanding skills.
- Emphasize continuing care! Educate clients about the importance of ongoing health maintenance. Compare it to car care – it’s easier, safer and more effective to prevent problems with ongoing care than to fix a full-blown problem. This relates back to selling packages instead of single sessions.
- Take responsibility! Mistakes happen, such as tardiness, missed appointments or miscommunication. When you’re at fault, own up to it – confess and apologize. This will make a better impression on your clients than excuses and placing blame elsewhere, such as on the traffic or other people.
- Remember their names! Everyone’s favorite word is… their own name! Use it frequently in conversations and written communication. It personalizes your connection with the client and makes them feel special, instead of just a nameless client on your list.
- Educate your clients! They can sell your services better than you or any marketing strategies. Satisfied clients become your unpaid sales team, your best cheerleaders! Teach them a simple but specific process on how to refer others to you.
It’s the little things that count. Good wellness practitioners are easy to find. What’s rare is a great one who is willing to give special treatment to every client, every time.
If you’re serious about having clients who stay and return, you need to commit to being extraordinary in how you run your business! Do things that others in your field don’t do and treat your clients better than anyone else will. Keep your wellness clients coming back for more!