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New clients via social deals and not proper tipping or none at all..thoughts?

I recently began a social media advertising campaign ( Living social , groupon) and am having an issue with new clients that either tip at the offered rate or not at all. I should mention that I would rather not rely on tips / but the DEAL is of course for the client. Any guidance would be appreciated

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Have you considered putting tip envelopes placed near a tip guide sign by the front desk or in the massage room? (Similar to what is in the rooms at massage envy that says what customary tipping is for a 50 minute $70 massage). Does the promo say that the price does not include gratuity?

Now there is a neat idea ! 

Perhaps for this promotion I  will created a sign ,stating what customary gratuities are ,and then I can take it down when medical clients are in the office.

AND YES...it does state on the ad about gratuity, though I have found it is seldom followed. An so is ME's , I massaged there for a bit.

I believe that this type of advertising is OK when you are first starting out ,depending on your clientele.

My guidance for anyone considering this type of marketing strategy - bargain with your promoter. They often offer 60/40 and can go as high as 40/60 without manager approval. Also note that you need to be realistic.If you are the sole therapist  with one room available do not over tax yourself or your clients by a 500-700 limit of offers...I pushed for 250. They balked..but I stood firm.

Thank you for the guidance... 

I would suggest hanging a sign in a picture frame stating~

*Gratuity  not included in massage prices* or have the social deal state so, which most do I believe, there is nothing wrong with reminders, these ppl already have the mentality of being cheap!

Tricia

I did the same thing....I am also started out and did one of these! Tips were extremely poor and I only got 2% return clients....and 80% of them waited until the last month to book. I turned people away b/c I wouldn't kill myself giving 7 massages a day to make everyone happy for a discounted treatment. I am trying really hard not to do another one. Let me know how your sign goes! I also had an automated email to confirm appointments and put a message that gratuity at the regular massage price was appreciated....something like that. It helped

Couple of things...

 

#1 - Soliciting tips, other than a line for it on the receipt for them to sign, is pretty tacky.

#2 - Relying on tips is a YOU problem, not a client problem. If YOU want to count on them, then market yourself accordingly

#3 - People who buy the deals are - 90% of the time -- by definition cheapskates. If they could afford to tip you on the full value of the service, then they would. They can't, so they don't. It is not a matter of education, it's who this customer is.

#4 - Run your next deal with T&C stating 20% gratuity on the full value of the service REQUIRED. If the clients aren't willing to do this, then they won't buy the deal so you will eliminate the 90% of the folks in point #3, but you will get the tips you depend on and have a higher likelihood of gaining a repeat customer since they can afford to tip what you consider to be an approrpiate level.

As for being "tacky": I think it's how you handle it.  A lot of clients didn't know if they should tip or not and were asking...So during a confirmation email I made it known that credit card, cash, check were accepted for services, gratuities etc.  And actually, a lot of my clients (regulars) from a previous location, came to me from a Groupon..They buy them because it's a way to try different therapists without paying the full price and being disappointed. However,  I do agree, a lot of people who purchase them are cheap.  I don't know what T&C is.  

"Terms and Conditions"

Just thinking out loud.  It can be difficult to experiment with money.. But try increasing your price.. Up it by $20 and not worry about tips.  People will think you must be good, and you will probably get good tips.  And you won't attract the cheapskates.   

So far so good .. and haven't created the sign yet. Oh ,and I limit myself to 5 max massages a day. I only allowed LS to offer 250 vouchers. Much more manageable that way. Working on the automated reply system - perhaps that will work out better than the sign. 

Timeless Touch said:

I did the same thing....I am also started out and did one of these! Tips were extremely poor and I only got 2% return clients....and 80% of them waited until the last month to book. I turned people away b/c I wouldn't kill myself giving 7 massages a day to make everyone happy for a discounted treatment. I am trying really hard not to do another one. Let me know how your sign goes! I also had an automated email to confirm appointments and put a message that gratuity at the regular massage price was appreciated....something like that. It helped

Reading is optional ;-)

Sharon Seller said:

"Terms and Conditions"

Gordon ,

Thanks.  My prices were already listed and these marketing companies utilize 1/2 off your top advertised price, so my offer price is $30  and what I receive is $15.  This campaign will be my one and only , and thus far I have received 40% repeat customers thus far. Other than the tipping snafu ,it has been a profitable experience for this new MT.  

Gordon J. Wallis said:

Just thinking out loud.  It can be difficult to experiment with money.. But try increasing your price.. Up it by $20 and not worry about tips.  People will think you must be good, and you will probably get good tips.  And you won't attract the cheapskates.   

If this is true, it would require that Groupon consumers assume the majority of MTs don't deliver the value which the charge.  A rather depressing indictment of the profession.

Timeless Touch said:

They buy them because it's a way to try different therapists without paying the full price and being disappointed.

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