Creating Client Policies

Every business requires at least an informal set of guidelines, or policies, in order to function efficiently and to ensure fair treatment of clients and employees or contractors. Every business owner must judge which policies are necessary, how detailed they must be, and how strictly they must be enforced. Policies that affect a massage therapy business may fall into one of three categories:

  • Client policies

  • Business policies

  • Employee policies

This lesson focuses on client policies.

Types of Client Policies

Client policies are those that have direct impact on the client, such as:

  • Cancellation policy

  • Client intake forms

  • SOAP notes

  • Acceptance of insurance clients (third-party payments)

  • Professional boundaries between client and practitioner

  • Acceptance of new clients

  • Referrals to others outside your practice (this could be other massage therapists or other health professionals

  • Customer service philosophy

All policies your business policies and employee policies included could be construed as client policies, since how you operate your business in general has an ultimate impact on your clients.

Strict vs. Loose Adherence to Policies

The reason for setting client policies is to have a set of consistent rules that direct how you relate to your clients. The policies are intended to motivate your clients to become repeat customers, as well as to protect your business from clients who would inadvertently exploit your business (for instance, through frequent cancellations).

When you establish a policy, do so with the idea that you believe the policy will be beneficial to your clients and your business. Plan to revisit all your policies on at least an annual basis to decide whether some require modification to serve you and your clients better.

"As a professional member of AMTA, I have found comfort in knowing that all the effort I put into obtaining my massage certification is recognized and protected. AMTA standards validate the profession."

Kim K., AMTA member since 2003