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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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Yes..I did 300 w/group and about 220 didn't try to book until the last month.  I extended it another month and then told everyone (on website and voicemail, online scheduler) that they could use it as cash...nobody else bothered to come in and I only charged $10 more to get the 1 hour so it was still discounted.  If I do another one I will only let out 250 maybe less!! I am glad you stood firm with LS.  One of my friends did one and LS over sold her promotion!! They sold 1000 and it was just her.  She started to redeem them and got burnt out and told everyone else to get there money back.  



Lucy Crissinger said:

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

You can get the attorneys I get, or you can get the ones OJ Siimpson gets.  Every profession is like that.  There is a difference between someone thats worked as a therapist for say ten years as compared to someone in the profession for only six months..Usually anyway..Its not a depressing indictment of the profession.  Its  like that in every profession.

Relax & Rejuvenate said:

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.

While Living Social and Groupon can be a great way to get people through the door, my experience has been that these folks are only looking for a deal....they tip poorly, if at all, and rarely rebook. They are always on the lookout for the next 'coupon therapist'. I strongly believe this can negatively affect your image as a practitioner and create alot of work for little return. If you believe in your skills, believe in their value. I gladly paid my Chiro this morning for the excellent work he did and the knowledge he has. I regularly receive 20-30% gratuity on my non-discounted services. I feel much of this can be attributed to punctuality, a clean, nurturing environment, good communication (text, email, phone), the ease of online booking, conversations that stay within professional boundaries....it's the details that clients experience that entice them to come  back and show their appreciation with gratuity.

Rod Cain

Rod Cain Massage Therapy

I know this may offend a lot of people and I apologize in advance!

1.As a massage therapist, I consider myself and other therapists as professionals.

2.I am not a waiter! I do not work for tips.

3. I do not tip my doctor, physical therapist,or chiropractor when I go to them. nor do I expect my clients to tip me!

4. Charge the amount that you feel your services are worth, even when running specials!

5. As far as some considering people that don't tip and use the social site as being cheap I can agree to some extent, but have you  looked at the economy lately? Some of these people that use the "cheap" way are people that honestly can not afford massage on a regular basis, and when the do spend the money to do so it is actually a big deal for them. Also if they enjoyed the massage, they are going to tell people that they received a massage and even though they didn't book with you again, maybe somebody did that they told about it.

Chris, 

I so agree with you . 

I have only had a handful of issues on tipping so , I guess I was jumping the gun...I would much rather not expect the tip , course then I would have the clients and not have to deal with Living Social . :-) . 

re: 4 . I have since I posted this , had clients make repeat appointments without scoffing at my prices. If the therapist is worth it , most clients will pay. 

5. So true...Word of mouth is my best advertising . I have received more than a few calls from potential clients stating " my friend/coworker/ family member  received an awesome massage from you ,and I would like to make an appointment. " 

So far I am truly pleased with my experience. 

Course I have very clear boundaries in place for both myself and my clients. There are exceptions, and those are handled with the utmost compassion .

This has been a eye-opening and thought provoking conversation. and I learned a bunch from everyone sharing . 

thanks, 

Lucy 


Chris Reynolds said:

I know this may offend a lot of people and I apologize in advance!

1.As a massage therapist, I consider myself and other therapists as professionals.

2.I am not a waiter! I do not work for tips.

3. I do not tip my doctor, physical therapist,or chiropractor when I go to them. nor do I expect my clients to tip me!

4. Charge the amount that you feel your services are worth, even when running specials!

5. As far as some considering people that don't tip and use the social site as being cheap I can agree to some extent, but have you  looked at the economy lately? Some of these people that use the "cheap" way are people that honestly can not afford massage on a regular basis, and when the do spend the money to do so it is actually a big deal for them. Also if they enjoyed the massage, they are going to tell people that they received a massage and even though they didn't book with you again, maybe somebody did that they told about it.

Keep in mind that people who often look for "deals" or "specials" are not looking to spend money freely.  They are tight with their cash or really cant afford it but want to be able to so expecting a tip from them would be highly unlikely.  Instead of doing an ad somewhere, you may consider a refer a friend program or something of that nature. 

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