Have you ever given critical thought to your point of difference in customer service and therapy delivery when reviewing your business marketing?
Growing your client base, and operating a thriving business, requires exploiting your business’ uniqueness. Therefore, identifying what is unique to your service when looking at other therapies (or same) in your area of influence should be a marketing priority.
In marketing, especially online, there is a very small window of time to attract attention to your services. This same approach should be considered applicable in the clinic setting too.
Your confidence and expertise are factors, however, delivering an immediate demonstrable result that forms a part of the overall treatment reinforces a sense of trust and satisfaction to efficacy of reflexology as a therapy, and also to your personal skill set. This enhances the client’s engagement, as they are able to relax more in your experienced hands, often improving the treatment results.
In my clinic, I’m looking to show a change or create a release by demonstrating a difference in the first fifteen (15) minutes of the treatment, which sets the healing foundation for the entire session. I do this through my unique Structural Release Technique, which involves using reflexology, acupressure, and reiki, to release musculo-skeletal mis-alignment. Once the client is re-aligned, generally my traditional reflexology treatment is able to be more effective, and this often produces a very positive client experience.
A satisfied client will sing your praises and potentially be an advocate for you, referring their friends, family and even acquaintances to you. One happy client might actually result in many more happy clients, through valuable word of mouth referrals. Building your business in this way is authentic, and also much easier for you – there is nothing to spend on marketing, and no extra time required from you.
The ability to create this positive customer experience is a balanced mix of personality, clinic setting and therapy results. What is the thing you do better than any other therapist, that makes your customers keep coming back, and talking about you to their friends and family? If you get stuck answering this question yourself, maybe ask a couple of repeat clients why they choose to keep coming back to you? Their insights will be a valuable key in identifying your unique selling point.
Having a fully developed, unique, clinical difference, allows you to highlight your point of difference across all of your marketing material and promotions. Placing an emphasis on what’s special about your therapy service will make a huge difference to the way you approach treatments, and will revitalise your clinical results through a refocused starting point for all sessions.
For example, where I might have once said “I offer 75-minute reflexology sessions”, now I can say “I offer 75-minute reflexology sessions that are underpinned by my unique Structural Release Technique, allowing your muscles and skeleton to release, relax and return to balance”.
Once you have formulated a succinct sentence or paragraph explaining your unique selling point, it might be wise to gather feedback from your established business network partners or existing customer base to gauge whether or not they feel your explanation suits their experience of your sessions. This can be achieved in a number of ways, for example:
Online surveys through Facebook or Survey Monkey (for example), that are distributed to your clients and or network partners. These are often free, and the data is available in writing immediately for you to review.
In-clinic feedback questionnaire. Ask every client you see for a period of a couple of weeks to a couple of months to fill in a short survey after their treatment. You can do this on paper or have an online version available on an iPad or similar. If you really want to take it up a notch, you could ask them to fill in a short survey both before and after their treatment (questions like ‘how do you currently feel?’ so you can compare before and after effects of treatment).
Feedback surveys require time from both yourself in the set up and analysis, as well as time from the survey participants, so keep this in mind when you are creating questions. Be really clear exactly what kind of data (questions) you want to find out, and don’t ask anything unnecessary. Once you have feedback, you can fine-tune your unique selling point.
Another useful component in research is investigating therapy businesses within your local area. The purpose of this is both as a way to understand your competition, as well as see if there might be potential network partners near you that you could refer to or work with. For example, I network with midwives within local hospitals that might be likely to refer pregnant women who are looking for a non-invasive therapy.
After you’ve conducted research about your business, it’s also important to gauge how much awareness there is about reflexology (or your chosen therapy) within your local area. Even after seventeen (17) years of professional practice, I find reflexology is still building its exposure and worth within the broader community’s understanding of the therapy effectiveness and benefits. If this seems true within your area, then it becomes even more important to hone your skills in providing a tangible physical difference within your therapy session.
Where you can demonstrate this difference in the shortest time frame possible using reflexology, you have not only impressed a new client but also lifted confidence in your complete therapy session. This helps clients see the physical benefits and value in regular visits, as opposed to a once-off session just for relaxation.
Now that you have your unique selling point, and have done a local market analysis, you will have the foundation on which to build a strategic marketing plan. Perhaps this might include offers for partner referrals, highlighting client testimonials or success stories on social media, or putting together a monthly newsletter that provides helpful information about your therapy plus perhaps a special offer for your database to prompt them to book an appointment.
Generally, you should aim to achieve a business growth rate of 25% pa to provide your business with a continually growing client base. This helps to balance out those clients that move away or cease using your services.
Being continuously proactive in the marketplace with your business profile reinforces your brand recognition and value to the community. When your service is valued for the delivered results, you will continue to grow.
This article forms part of a 3-part series. Two (2) previous articles Effective Networking and How do customers find you online? (Reflexscene December 2016 & November 2017, Footprints December 2016 & January 2018) focused on the importance of personal presentation and accessing your services. These articles outlined how you can attract clients, both in person and online.