How to get repeat business from first-time spa and massage practice clients


Every time a new client walks through the door, it could be the beginning of a new long-term relationship. But of course, that’s not a certainty. In fact, not every new client comes in because they chose your spa or massage practice after carefully considering all the options on Yelp or other local business review sites.  Some are there to redeem a gift certificate they received. Others may be there as part of an event, such as a spa bachelorette party.


Your challenge is to turn first-time clients into full time ones. Even with outstanding treatments and impeccable customer service is, there is no assurance someone will rebook. However, there are several things you can do to encourage them to and maybe even add on some services.


Initiate the conversation: If someone has never been to a spa before, they probably have a lot of questions about the services and also about your experience. Don’t wait for clients to ask, tell them about your background and your areas of specialty. Talk about the services you will be performing and the kinds of results they can expect and how long they will last, and throughout the conversation make sure to emphasize the benefits of ongoing skin care and massage treatments. Clients also may want to know what types of products you will be using on their skin and why. Describe the products you plan to use, discussing the ingredients and their benefits.


Put clients at ease:  For first-time clients, a body treatment or massage – especially because it may involve undressing – can be very intimidating. Clients may think that they need to do something or direct you in some way during the treatment.  Put clients at ease right away. Explain the procedures, your goals for the session and encourage them to speak up if they are uncomfortable in any way during the session.


Make it unique:  Meeting clients’ individual needs is the name of the game these days. That’s why is it so important to learn as much as you can about a first-time client, ideally during the booking, so that you can customize treatments to their particular needs. Also, the more you know about a client ahead of the appointment, the better you will be prepared to offer advice on self-care, including tips on nutrition, exercise, ergonomics and at home skin care.


Offer an incentive: Consider giving first-time clients a discount coupon for a future session or for one of your retail products.


Keep in touch: After a first visit, you want to stay on someone’s mind. Shortly after the appointment, send an email or drop them a note telling them how much you appreciated meeting them and introducing them to your spa or massage practice and your services.  You might want to suggest follow-up treatments and explain why you think they will be helpful.


Any time a new client visits, consider it “the beginning of a beautiful friendship” to coin a movie quote. Show a lot of interest and make the experience memorable and new clients will be eager to come back.

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