To start getting repeat clients you need to know their expectations. Ask specific questions, invest in your equipment, and provide treatment options.

Five-star service means customizing your treatment to exactly what the client needs. This means not only meeting their expectations, but exceeding them.

Ask Questions

The first step to exceeding clients’ expectations and getting repeat clients is knowing what those expectations are.

Before the session, ask your client open-ended questions that allow them to speak freely about what they’re looking for.

“What made you decide to book a 60-minute massage with me today?” is a great question to start, and an opportunity to possibly upsell or extend their service.

Another great question is, “I see that you’ve booked a deep tissue or sports massage. What exactly does that mean to you?”

As you’re listening, determine if their answer provides everything you need to tailor their session. If it doesn’t, ask more specific questions about pressure points, stretching or massage techniques they prefer.

Take Notes

Keep track of information your client shares about their massage preferences, or even their personal interests and hobbies. Did they mention a special occasion?

Taking notes and remembering these important tidbits can seriously impress a client and make them feel valued and important. It can also increase your chances of acquiring a good review and a repeat client.

Invest in Your Equipment

While the proof is in your massage technique, it’s also important to have a great presentation. Here are some essential tools to invest in for a next-level massage experience:

• A high-quality massage table that fits your particular needs. Aluminum tables are the lightest to carry, while a wider, more cushioned model provides the utmost comfort.

• A table warmer. Even in the summertime, when air conditioning can make for a chilly massage table, warm up the table before your session.

• An oil warmer. An oil warmer is a wonderful way to warm up cold hands.

• High-quality sheets. Clients notice a higher thread count and love elements of luxury. You can even include a soft blanket in your efforts to increase comfort.

• A luxury face cradle. If your clients are fidgety and constantly turning their heads, chances are they’re not comfortable. Opt for a memory foam cradle that seamlessly forms to the shape of their face. Make sure you purchase a comfortable cover for your face cradle—it can make all the difference for your client.

The best way to know what your client is experiencing during your massage is to test it yourself.

Try lying down on your table, taking note of how your equipment and linens look and feel. If you don’t feel truly comfortable, it may be time to make some upgrades.

Provide Options

Oftentimes you won’t know what a client prefers before the session begins, so it’s best to give them a choice. Here are some things you can diversify to make a great impression.

• Skin products. Offer a choice of oil, cream, and lotion and give them the option to choose. Keep potential allergies in mind and always offer a nut-free option.

• Aromatherapy. Offer to fragrance the face cradle with essential oils like invigorating peppermint, soothing eucalyptus, energizing orange or lavender, a crowd favorite. Letting the client smell each one will guide them to which is best.

• Music. Give clients a choice of music genres and keep note of their preferences for future appointments. Be sure to use an ad-free version of your favorite music streaming service. If you provide massage on-site, always pack a speaker and charger.


Delivering five-star quality service means speaking in a certain way. Clients value professionalism and are expecting spa-quality care, whether they are in your session room or in the comfort of their own home.

Instead of saying, “Are you ready?” before a massage, try knocking first and asking, “May I come in?” When you are ready to have the client turn over, ask, “Is everything to your liking?”

Before the massage, double-check that the client is completely satisfied with the temperature of the table, volume of the music and lighting. Encourage them to tell you if the massage pressure needs to be adjusted, even after the massage has begun.

Be sure to keep conversation to a minimum, follow the client’s lead, and always monitor the quality and tone of your voice.


Sheri Herskovits is the New England regional recruiter for Soothe, the world’s largest on-demand massage app, available in over 60 cities worldwide. In her 25 years as a full-time massage therapist, she has spent three years providing on-demand massage and loves teaching therapists how to be successful in the industry. Read “Massage on Demand: The Complete Guide for Therapists” at