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Risky Business – What Do Your Product Choices Say To Your Customers?

February 10, 2015 5 min read

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 It is the same across the board; in all industries and services we aspire to have the best quality products. It’s common sense to a certain extent. We all want to get the highest quality products at the cheapest possible price. But as always, you get what you pay for. Of course there are exceptions, bargains to be had, and when you are starting up a new business and need supplies, there is more often than not a budget to be adhered to. However, cutting corners in the massage industry simply means cutting profits. Anyone who has been for a massage before knows that quality is paramount. If you don’t make a proper investment in your equipment then it may not bring you the return you are hoping for.

If a customer goes to one massage therapist and is put on an extremely comfortable massage table that is the right width and with the right accessories to enhance the experience, as well as high quality accompanying products (e.g. massage oils and couch covers) then they are obviously going to view the experience as preferable to one where their massage therapist laid them on a too-slim table that smelled strange, felt unstable when they climbed on and had flattened foam or splits in the upholstery. Potent smelling, cheap massage lotions and oils might also put them off, or worse – give them an unpleasant skin reaction or dragging feeling on the skin during the therapy. We really can’t afford to cut corners with this kind of thing if we want to provide an efficient service. It is certainly not all about the massage therapy skills under your belt – the whole experience has various facets to consider.

Navigate the nonsense

When parting with your hard earned cash, it is wise to apply your critical thinking skills. There are people out there who are either extremely trusting or plain naïve – usually because they themselves are good natured – so they take things at face value and don’t like to think they’re going to be conned. It isn’t necessarily that sellers are out to con anybody, but of course it makes good business sense to talk a good game. The highlights will always be highlighted, and anything less will likely be brushed under the carpet. So if everybody is talking up their products and burying any weaknesses or flaws that could put you off, how are you to be sure that the product is what you want it to be?

It isn’t so difficult really. Cutting through the hype and find out what is really going on with the products we are interested in is as simple as finding out about the company’s reputation. Again, it’s common sense, but when we are excited and like the look of a product, we all too often forget to do any digging. We want to believe that what we see in front of us is exactly what we were looking for.

Find out who and what you are dealing with

Reviews are there for a reason, so look for them. Customers aren’t going to over-exaggerate their experience of the product – why would they? If the majority of them are telling you it’s not worth it, the chances are it isn’t. If you want genuine quality, you will need to make a some degree of investment; so it pays to be sure that what you are investing in is going to live up to your expectations. It’s not just the product reviews you should be reading about either – what are customers saying about the company itself? Did they appreciate the customer service? Were any complaints handled to their satisfaction?

Any reputable company will make it easy for you to find out what customers are saying about them, so look around the websites. If there are a lot of happy customers then the company will probably be going out of their way to show them off. The products should have clear ratings and sections for customers to give full information about their experience with it. Not only will this give you a clear idea of the quality, but it might highlight issues or benefits that you’d not even considered. Check the warranties too - good products will always have reasonable warranty periods. This is the company’s way of saying ‘we believe in our products and so can you.’ Of course if you look after it well, you can probably expect it to last well past this period.  

Choosing budget products is merely postponing the costs

If you buy a cheap massage table on Ebay, the photograph isn’t going to give the game away. What’s more, customers are asked to leave feedback very early on, so the 100% score you see is not necessarily relating to the product quality itself, but the fact that it arrived quickly and in one piece without any obvious signs of poor quality. The issues tend to manifest in under a year with such massage tables. If they don’t smell of chemicals or feel like cheap plastic in the first place, that’s fortunate.  What you won’t have been prepared for is when splinters or cracks appear in the wood, aluminium or metal tables start to squeak, buttons can snap off, the table can start to move around when you apply any pressure during the massage, the foam can flatten and the customers can feel the wood underneath… this list is not exhaustive – we have heard more than enough stories of tables collapsing mid massage! As a company that speaks to many customers about their previous experiences every day, we are confident in saying that these are common problems. The warranties will not be in place to cover issues like this, so once you’ve hit the payment button you’ve probably said goodbye to your money if something goes wrong.

Your customer is the person best placed to evaluate the quality of your massage therapy equipment as they are the ones making the closest contact with it. However, they are probably not going to complain about the equipment or products unless you ask them for honest feedback. At this point, though, the damage is done to your wallet and your credibility as a massage therapist. It would surely make more sense to have invested in something reputable, comfortable and reliable – your customers will assume that you are a serious therapist and feel more comfortable giving you their repeat business. Have you ever had an uncomfortable massage due to poor quality equipment? Have you made mistakes in the past as a new therapist, unaware of the pitfalls? What is your view on the importance of quality and have you found that you’ve ended up spending more after taking risks with massage products? Please share your experiences with us. 

 


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