The massage client is on a path to an envisioned destination, usually either relaxation or relief from pain. Most will have different ideas on how to get to their desired outcome. On the way to their destination, they have hired you to help them. One key to your success can be found in the following quote, “Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” Greg Anderson. It can be more effective to focus on the techniques used along the way than to focus on the expected result.
A couple years ago I helped a company implement a customer satisfaction measurement program. I listened to hundreds of customers comment on their experience. Time and time again I would hear customers complain that the person they interacted with was not listening to what they were expressing. They perceived that employees had personal agendas, when actually the employees were only doing what they were trained to do. We changed employee procedures to accommodate this “listening” problem. As a result satisfaction scores improved. For massage practitioners it is important to set aside personal objectives for session results. To encourage loyalty, establish early what the destination really is and then solicit client input to help select experience elements assisting them in reaching their nirvana.
If a client indicates they want to relax, it might be in error to assume they want what the last client wanted. Clarify with them what you can do to encourage their relaxation. Examples being; do they like soft music/natural sounds or do they prefer silence; Would they enjoy a relaxing scent like vanilla, lavender or bergamot; Would they like for you to communicate with them during the session or should you rely on them to communicate any needs. After the session is complete you can check-in with them to gauge their satisfaction. Ask them if there is anything different they would like to see during their next session to help them relax even more.