When it comes to deciding where to book a massage, consumers are becoming increasingly dependent on their handheld devices—especially when using online review sites such as Angie’s List, TripAdvisor and Yelp. On Yelp, for example, about 68 percent of all searches happen on mobile. As of the last quarter of 2014, consumers called businesses through Yelp’s mobile app 200,000 times a day, and the app provided consumers maps and directions to businesses 250,000 times a day.
With this information in mind, it’s important to pay attention to how your business appears on mobile. Start by focusing on the top three mobile apps your target clients are likely using to find a massage or spa treatment. Once you’ve pared it down, make sure you catch the eye of potential clients by following these four easy steps:
1. Polish your image.
Beautify your virtual storefront by taking advantage of the free tools available. Make sure you provide as much information as possible for consumers to help them make the most informed buying decision possible.
Imagine you’re a potential client, and think about what you need when you’re in search of a massage therapist. You’d likely want to know when a business is open, the services it provides and what the treatment rooms look like. With this in mind, help potential clients find your business on online platforms like Yelp by taking advantage of the free tools available:
Add business information: This is the section on your Yelp page that allows you to tell your business’s story. You can include basic information such as your hours of operation, address, website and phone number, as well as more detailed information—up to 3,000 characters—about what services you provide, the history of your business and a biography of you, the business owner.
Upload photos: Businesses on Yelp that have between one and five reviews and 10 photos get 200 percent more user views than businesses with the same number of reviews and no photos. So upload at least 10 photos that show off your business. Include an external photo of your business to help first-time clients find you, in addition to a few photos of your friendly staff and treatment rooms.
2. Create exciting promotions.
Consumers can use their mobile devices to search for massage therapists who have created a check-in offer; for example, 15 percent off a treatment when the client checks in to your business upon arrival. When customers check in to redeem a check-in offer, it’s a clear indicator that they found you on Yelp, and they can also let their friends on Yelp, Facebook and Twitter know which businesses they frequent. Plus, the next time they use Yelp’s desktop platform, they are reminded of the businesses they recently visited and are asked if they’d like to write a review.
3. Make booking incredibly easy.
Make it easy for clients to book reservations offline and online. The faster clients can schedule a service with you via a handheld mobile or tablet device, the better the chances they’ll book with you. There are dozens of affordable, online booking systems for spas and massage therapists that you should consider if you don’t currently have a way to capture online customers interested in booking a treatment with you.
Choose an online booking system that goes the extra mile. Spas that use cloud-based booking services, such as MassageBook, Booker, Vagaro and Demandforce are able to accept appointments online via their business website and can also take appointments directly through Yelp. Nearly 10,000 appointments were made at spas through Yelp in August of 2015.
4. Reply to reviews.
Treat all clients like your number-one priority—even after they’ve left your business. After receiving a service at your business, consumers turn to sites like Yelp to share their experiences with other consumers. Once massage therapists claim their free business owner profile, they can tap into a free suite of tools to join these conversations. One of those tools is the ability to respond to reviews, either privately or publicly.
All reviews are worthy of a reply. For positive feedback, try sending a private message to simply thank the client for stopping into your business and sharing her experience. You can also use the private message tool to gather additional details from any reviewer who leaves a less-than-positive review of your business, or use the public comment feature to respond to a reviewer’s feedback.
Interacting with your online reviewers shows all potential customers who come to your listing that you care about your clients’ comments—and about providing them the best possible massage therapy services.
About the Author
Morgan Remmers is senior manager of local business outreach for Yelp. Through informational sessions across the country, she addresses how business owners can best approach the ever-growing world of online reviews. She also hosts webinars on subjects relevant to business owners, and regularly contributes to Yelp’s Blog for Business Owners.