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Do you know how most of your clients found out about your spa or massage practice? Chances are pretty good they heard about you through word of mouth. Earlier this year, Verizon and Small Business Trends conducted a survey of Philadelphia small business owners. In answer to the question “how do your customers find out about your business,” 85 percent of respondents replied “word of mouth.” Online search at 59 percent came in as the second driver of new business; but none of the other marketing and advertising activities – newspaper ads, email marking, direct marketing, etc. – came close.


While you might want to conduct your own survey of clients to find out what drove them through the door of your spa or massage practice, it’s hard to deny the impact of word of mouth marketing. After all if someone you know and trust – a friend, family member or colleague – recommends a product or service chances are you’ll give them a try when the need arises. While you don’t want to abandon other marketing activities to attract new clients, you can do several things to ensure that clients sing your praises to drive more traffic through your door.


Provide outstanding service: Sounds rather obvious, but things can slip, especially when times get particularly busy. Make sure to meet with your team regularly to review processes and procedures from cleaning changing rooms, to greeting clients when they come in, to makings sure retail spaces are clean with products well stocked and in order. Clients may overlook some slip ups, but over time, even small things add up and will raise questions about the thoroughness of your operation and service.


Thank Clients

You’re probably thankful for the business, but do you tell clients? You might not want to express your thanks at the end of every session, but at some time or several times throughout the year, make it a point to express how much you appreciate the business. For long-standing clients, offer a special thank you gift in the form of discount or complimentary service – a foot massage along with a body massage or skin treatment. On a special occasion, such as a client’s birthday or anniversary or possibly to celebrate several years of their patronage, offer a free retail gift of their choice.


Ask for Input

Clients appreciate when you truly care what they have to say about your service and how it could be even better. You can offer a comment card, conduct a survey on your website or send out a special email asking for feedback. You may find some very useful tips to improve your service and at the same time gain the respect of your clients for being open to their comments and suggestions.


Address Complaints Head-on

Not every client complaint is valid, but everyone is worth hearing out. Sometimes clients bring their personal issues with them and even the slightest thing can set them off. In any case, actively listen to clients when they express dissatisfaction over something. In most cases, showing your concern and offering to address the problem is all that is needed to set things straight. You’ll win the trust of your clients for your commitment to good service.


Get Noticed

Do something that gets people talking. You can volunteer for a local charity, partner with another local business to hold a special event, introduce unique new service packages, write an op ed for your local paper and hold an open house for your long-standing clients. Whatever you do, make it memorable and meaningful to clients and prospects.


With the New Year getting underway, make it your goal to get people talking about your spa or massage practice. And once they start talking, make sure they don’t stop.