Successful customer service with massage clients is built on communication and trust. An integral piece of building this trust are the basic courtesies of how to offer feedback at the end of a massage session. A good massage therapist will quickly discover that clients enjoy a brief discussion at the end of the massage about how the session went, anything that the therapist discovered, and suggestions for a continued treatment plan. However, many therapists can be unsure of how to initiate the post-massage discussion or grow to feel uncomfortable about it.
The reason for this discomfort is that the way that kind of feedback is offered can, at times, be awkward when we skip the basic courtesies that we would normally use in other areas of our life. While therapists have very useful observations to be shared, for example, “this muscle appeared to be adhesed,” or “that muscle group is very tight,” it’s important to remember that this is very personal feedback.
For example, if you had a friend who wanted to comment on how you were dressed, they probably wouldn’t just tell you “that shirt clashes with those pants.” They’d say something to the effect of “Do you mind if I give you a little feedback on your outfit?”
Yet, when we walk into a massage room and we have some information to give to our client, we can tend to skip that courtesy and jump right in, as in “by the way, I observed that your quads are really tight and you probably need extra work.” That can be just as off-putting to a client as if somebody gave you unsolicited wardrobe advice. We are, after all, talking about their body, and that’s about as personal as it gets.
The best practice is to take a moment before you jump into providing information, and simply ask the client,
“I observed some things during our session; do you mind if I share them with you?”
This simple courtesy will make your client feel comfortable and will open up a pathway to comfortable two-way communication.