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:
This lesson focuses on client policies.
Types of Client Policies
Client policies are those that have direct impact on the client, such as:
Client intake forms
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.