Once and Once Only!

So the subject of this blog is going to be about what I see as the ‘three deadly sins’ of clients. I’ll publish this info once, and then hopefully I’ll never have to speak about it again. I am happy for all massage therapists, body workers, beauty therapists and spa managers to glean whatever they can from this as well, since these are problems which we all seem to encounter and none of us seems to have found a good way to deal with it yet. Some therapists have terms and conditions which their new clients have to read and sign. Some spas have a set of steps called ‘Spa Etiquette’ which also addresses this. But whether or not we have put measures in place to try and avoid this, it happens to all of us at least once a year (but usually more often), and can be very annoying, draining and time-wasting.


The first offence:

Please try to be on time for your treatment. I mean, you’re paying for the treatment (or someone who loves you is) and surely you want your full 60min, right? (or: however long your treatment is going to be). Why be massaged for 55min when you can get 60? I know, it sounds ‘out there’….who would pay for 60min but consciously choose 55min? Do they not want everything the therapist has to give them? I completely understand that there may be ONE occasion during the year when your geyser burst and your nanny didn’t pitch up and you had to do all the school runs, and so you were late by 5min for your appointment. In the normal scheme of things, when your therapist knows you well (see the article I posted in my first newsletter about getting more engagement from your therapist: Newsletter) and you are late for an appointment, they can take it in their stride and it doesn’t rock the boat too much. That is part of the normal give and take of a relationship. After all, there might come a day when your therapist might need to be late for you! But when your lateness is consistent, and a pattern, it’s very disrespectful. Not only towards yourself, but also towards the therapist who has made efforts to be on time for you. Especially if she is doing a house call. I really can’t understand clients being late for their treatments when it’s a house call. But this happens way more often than you might think. I always ask myself silently inside my mind in that funny tone of voice when a client is late for a treatment in their own home: ‘What is up with that?’ Because really, if you can’t come and lie down on the massage table when your therapist says: ‘I am ready to begin your massage now’, then you must ask yourself if you really actually want the massage. Keen clients usually hang around watching the therapist set up, and talking to her while the towels are being laid onto the massage table and whatnot. The main point is: if you have a massage appointment, be on time for it. You show your higher self that you really do care when you are on time. If you really can’t be on time, even if you’re only going to be 2min late, rather text your therapist. It just softens the way, and makes it easier for them to not be cross with you. Then when they actually are massaging you, they will give you a ‘nice’ massage, rather than a ‘let’s get this over with because I don’t feel like engaging with you now’ massage. Yes, sadly we all wear masks and your therapist won’t tell you that they are upset with you for being late. So if you want a better quality massage, be on time.


The Second Offence:

Please pay for your treatment either before it occurs (your therapist will love you for this) or DIRECTLY after. Always think to yourself: ‘At a spa, we have to pay at the reception desk as we leave’. So what would it be any different in a private setting? Therapists really hate it when you say; ‘I’ll eft you’ and then they have to chase you with 4 whatsapps and 3 emails before they get their payment. This is very disrespectful and arrogant. The therapist has performed the treatment! Pay them. They deserve it. If you pay late once, they can forgive you. But if it’s consistent, the quality of engagement will suffer. They might even eventually drift away from you, then you will have to find a new therapist.


The Third Offence:

If you make an appointment with your therapist and then need to reschedule it, that is fine. Life happens and sh*t changes. We can’t be exactly perfect all the time. So your therapist does understand it when you are sick or when your child is sick, or when you have to fly to JHB for a meeting, or any of the myriad reasons for rescheduling an appointment. What tarnishes the relationship, though, is constantly being a rescheduler. If you take up more than 2 slots in a therapist’s diary without her having earned anything, it really begins to eat away in the background. Even if you rescheduled well before the “cancellation fee” period. If you need to reschedule, please do so. But then please ensure that you can make the second arrangement. This might require slightly more self-honesty from you, but hey that is a good thing and can only grow your soul. So please, try not to reschedule too much.


Now I have talked about what pisses us off about clients, and why the quality of your massage might suffer over time if you are consistently offending. And while that might not matter to you, since there are now so many therapists in CT to choose from, eventually if you therapist-hop too much, you will end up only being able to book with the bottom-feeders, because none of the well-established therapists will take your booking anymore. And yes, we do talk amongst ourselves about the clients that piss us off.


Having said all of that, I would like to laud the clients who lie nicely on the massage bed receiving their massages and generally making it easier for the therapist to perform the massage. We love the clients that don’t take too many whatsapp’s to set up an appointment, who arrive on time, who don’t talk the whole way through the treatment, who pay as they leave, and who stick to their next appointment. And there are many of them. It’s always been the case (throughout history) of the few messing it up for the many, so when I talk about the “three deadly sins” of clients, it’s only because something happened recently in my own practice to trigger me. The majority of my clients are lovely people whom I feel privileged and honoured to treat.


A friend pointed out that my second blog was not very interactive, so I say now please feel welcome to comment, to criticise, to ask questions, to generally INTERACT. That’s what the comment section on my blog is for! And thank you for reading, And please stay tuned.

Lots of Love,

Cate xx

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