Handling Common Mistakes in Your Massage Business
As business owners (and humans) we are imperfect. Mistakes happen in communication and scheduling. It can be challenging to figure out how to handle errors and other customer service issues, so we put together some ideas to recover from the most common ones.
Incorrect information in your marketing
If you use email marketing at all, you've probably made an error at some point. if you send an email with an incorrect date, price, busted link, or any kind of mistake, it's pretty easy to fix.
As soon as you discover the glitch, fix it, and send out a new email. Be sure to put CORRECTION: in the subject field, and then whatever the first subject was. You don't need to be longwinded, just open with a note saying "OOPS! Our original email gave you the wrong time for our Spa Day event! The correct time is Sunday December 4 at 4pm." And include the original email content (with corrected information) below.
If you're really mortified, add a picture of a sad or embarrassed cat or baby. That'll get you some goodwill and a giggle.
If you had incorrect information on your website or social media, correct it immediately, and make the corrected information as obvious and bold as possible. Announce and re-announce the correct information a few times, too.
If anyone is inconvenienced by your error, apologize wholeheartedly. Don't gush, but be clear by saying something like, "I'm so sorry you were inconvenienced. I never want to be disrespectful of someone's time, and I'm sorry that happened."
Even very unhappy people are usually diffused with a genuine apology.
It's a special kind of mortification. When you get a phone call from a client who is at your office ready for their massage. And you're not there, because what appointment? Or when a client walks in, but they are not the client you are expecting, because you have someone else booked.
Oftentimes, you can figure out what went wrong right away. Maybe your client misread the date or time. It's pretty easy to resolve that if they got the email or text reminders. It's their error. You don't have to take the blame, just confirm the correct appointment time or reschedule if necessary. Throw in an "I'm sorry for the confusion" to be polite, but don't assume blame if it's genuinely and obviously their fault.
If the error is yours, or due to a problem with your scheduling system, you've got some choices. Apologize, get them rescheduled, and make amends. In the few times this has happened in my practice, I've gone all-out to make it better. I've fit the client in as soon as possible, and offered that next appointment at no charge. Not in a gushy, guilt-ridden way, but in a professional and structured way. "I'm so sorry this happened. I never want to be disrespectful of your time. Obviously, sometimes mistakes happen, and I want to make it up to you. Let's get you scheduled for as soon as possible, and that appointment will be on the house, no charge."
You may choose to do the same, or offer something else. Keep in mind, it's less of a "I'm pathetic and sorry" and more of a "Thank you for understanding, your business is important to me" gesture.
In the course of running your business, you will make plenty of mistakes. Own it. Embrace it. Accept it. If you recover from them well, the clients who matter will understand and respect you even more.