When it comes to consumer options, most people are going to do their best to find the service provider or product that give them the most “bang for their buck.” That means that if a person has an issue with his or her car, that person is going to want to take the vehicle to the mechanic who has the most tools at his or her disposal, the most expertise and the best customer service.

Consumers searching for a massage therapist or bodyworker are not much different from consumers of any other service or product. They will strive to find the practitioner of healing touch who can offer them the most “bang for their buck.” That means a massage therapist or bodyworker who not only has the hands-on skills, but also provides the best overall experience.

You may be wondering what it means to provide the “best overall experience,” for that could be perceived as a fairly vague phrase. However, achieving this goal is anything but vague. It requires an incredible attention to detail throughout your practice, including your session space and every aspect of every massage therapy or bodywork service you provide.

Creating the best possible client experience will mean having the most comfortable massage table, face cradle and linens. It will mean making sure your session room is always kept at a temperature that is comfortable for each individual client. It will mean ensuring the lighting is just right, the music is appropriate and not too loud, and that you provide a presence that is both relaxing and professional.

One of the key components to create the optimal client experience every time is listening. Listen closely to your clients, so you can find out what they are seeking from the massage therapy or bodywork session. Ask the right questions, then listen with full attention.

If you do not hear and understand what a client is looking for, there is a good chance that client will leave the table feeling slightly frustrated, because the main ache or pain that brought him or her to the appointment may have been left untended. This is one of the fastest ways to lose clients.

Fortunately, if you do take the time to listen to every client, every time, you stand a great chance of becoming the massage therapist or bodyworker that client comes to with each ache, pain, stress or strain.

As you listen to these clients, you should attempt to discern which type of massage cream would be best for the session at hand. After all, massage cream is one of the main details that can take a massage therapy or bodywork session from satisfying to superbly unforgettable.

Figure out if you might want to use a massage cream with lavender, for that client who is battling emotional stress and insomnia. Decide whether a massage cream with a pain-relieving agent might better serve that client whose shoulders are throbbing with aches from painting her home all weekend. Listen to hear your client when he says he is sensitive to fragrance, so you will know you need to use a massage cream that does not contain any aroma.

–Brandi Schlossberg