An Overflowing Schedule
With Sara out on leave, her clients have moved onto Pallas and Ashley's schedules. This means all clients that prefer a female massage therapist need to book at least 3-4 weeks in advance or hope for a cancellation. To get in sooner, we encourage clients to try Will, if they haven't already. He has gotten many 5-star reviews since joining us in July.
We track which days clients request and will be making adjustments to the schedule to create availability where it is needed. Some of these schedule changes are temporary, until Sara either returns or another massage therapist gets hired.
We have a meeting scheduled with Sara to determine when she will begin accepting clients again. We also have an interview with a potential new massage therapist, in the event that Sara needs to extend her leave.
CPT & New Services Paused
Due to the hectic pace of the schedule, we have not had time to finalize forms needed for the new services. Pallas needs to set aside time to work on these items, but that takes away available appointment times. Adding these services will wait temporarily, until the schedule can support the addition of services without displacing regular clients.
Clarification for Gift Certificates
Many people have brought in older gift certificates, purchased when our services were priced differently. There has been some negative feedback regarding price differences. To prevent any future confusion or upset moving forward, we want to clarify how we process gift certificates. This is determined entirely by how it is written.
If the gift certificate says a specific service, we comp the price difference. Most of the time, the difference is $1-$5. An older gift certificate, sold when our rates were lower, we end up comping up to $30. This is not ideal because we actually lose money by providing the service at the lower rate; but it is the cost of doing business.
If a gift certificate says a specific amount, the client is responsible for paying the price difference. This method will be the only option for gift certificates moving forward. All gift certificates will be assigned to the recipient, meaning the funds will automatically be put on their client account. This shouldn't ruin surprises since the recipient won't receive a notification unless you choose to email the gift certificate directly to them. Gift certificates can be used towards both services and retail items. (Because we can no longer process gratuity through our software, gift certificates cannot be used for this purpose.)
Over the years, we have experimented with various retail items. Some make sense, others don't. In an effort to overhaul our retail offerings, we will be discontinuing (and discounting!) some items. We look forward to offering new items in 2023. Discounts are only specific items only and cannot be combined with other offers.
Cancelling Appointments Online
We have tweaked settings in the backend of our software to allow clients to cancel their own appointments online. The window for online cancellations is 48 hours. Our cancellation policy requires 24 hours notice to cancel. Please call to cancel with less than 48 hours notice.
We know that some services aren't available to book online anymore. This is temporary. We want clients to book confidently and our staff to provide quality services every time. To do that, we need to be very specific on what each service entails. The biggest confusion we are seeing is between Swedish and Deep Tissue massage.
Swedish massage is a full body general relaxation massage. Think of this like ordering a bunch of apps at a restaurant; you get to try a little of everything. Asking your massage therapist for a full body massage but with extra time on xyz, is setting them up for failure and yourself up for disappointment. We simply do not have time to do both quality focused work AND a full body massage in only 60-minutes. The time has to come from somewhere so something will get skipped or rushed.
Deep Tissue massage is that focused area or targeted work. Think of this like ordering an entrée at a restaurant; you get more of one thing. Targeted work means the massage therapist spends 15-30 minutes on one area. (For example, the left shoulder is one target area; the left and right shoulders are two target areas.)
A full body massage cannot be accomplished in 30-minutes therefore, we will be discontinuing 30-minute Swedish massages. However, because we recognize what clients are asking for, we will be adding a 90-min Swedish/Deep Tissue combination; this will be a full body massage with focused work on one target area.
Effective today, the discount percentages for our client loyalty programs has changed. This change is the first step of phasing out gratuities. There will be price increases in January and July 2023; after which we will no longer accept gratuities.
Many people have expressed displeasure at all of the paperwork we require. We have streamlined all of our required paperwork into three primary forms: General Information, Massage Intake, and Health History.
The first two forms only need to be completed once; existing clients won't need to complete them at all. The health history needs to be updated annually. To make this easier, we have added additional lines for clients to sign, indicating that they have reviewed their previous form and made any changes.
There are two other forms that apply only to specific types of clients: Pregnancy Intake, and Minor Release. In the future, we will add a Lifestyle questionnaire that includes questions about sleep, stress, exercise, and eating habits.
Download forms online!
We'll get the less fun stuff out of the way first... Sara is taking a leave of absence, effective as of 9/8/22. We will reach out directly to anyone who has appointments scheduled with her. Unfortunately, this also means that we will not be offering Reiki services for the foreseeable future. When Sara is able to return, we will revisit offering Reiki services.
Many of our clients know Alaina, the owner's youngest daughter, from when she worked as a receptionist for us during her high school years. We are thrilled to share that she has passed the 13-week boot camp and is set to graduate as a Marine on Sept 16th!
We have a congratulations banner at the office this Friday and Saturday. Anyone who wishes to sign it, please stop by during our open hours (9am-7pm). Pallas will fly down to South Carolina with the banner on Sunday, Sept 11th.
The discounts for our client loyalty programs will change effective October 1st. Anyone who wants to purchase a series or sign up for the program prior to this date will get the current rates.
We are following this virus as new information presents itself. Symptoms overlap with those of Covid, flu and other known viruses, with the addition of skin blisters. At this time, we can honestly say that our existing cleaning protocols and screening should protect staff and clients from exposure. As always, we ask that clients call to reschedule if they are feeling unwell or if they have an unidentified rash. For known skin conditions, such as psoriasis or eczema, we can safely provide massage while avoiding the affected area.
Summary of changes
When processing credit card transactions, our software does a pre-authorization to see if there are funds available. This does not do a balance check, meaning that we have no way of knowing if the funds available will cover the entire transaction until the transaction settles at the end of the day. Sometimes, when we reach out about these issues, clients are willing to provide alternate payment method to pay the difference; sometimes they are not. The business has unfortunately had to absorb losses from credit card transactions not processing for the full balance. We can correct this problem by deactivating the pre-authorization. The downside of this is that credit card tips must be disabled.
Oasis Massage is primarily a pain management massage practice, not a spa. This makes it a logical extension to eliminate tipping altogether, as tipping in a clinical setting is less ethical. Pallas personally disagrees with tipping culture as a whole and would rather pay her staff a livable wage, not have them depend on clients to pay more than the advertised rates.
How do we determine the price increase?
We are currently researching the current rates offered at other local massage practices to see how we compare. To remain competitive, we don’t want to be the most expensive but we do need to be able to meet the increasing overhead expenses. After doing an analysis of at least 10 local massage practices, we will determine how much our rates need to increase. By eliminating tipping, we may need to increase even further. The average client tips 15-20%, so the price increase will likely be in this range.
The rate increase will be done in two phases, spaced six months apart. The goal is to have two smaller price increases instead of one bigger one.
written by Pallas Hutchison
This week, we updated how we organize our services in our booking software. This has already spurred a lot of discussion among the staff as well as clients. Yes, I just created hours of work for myself to update the backend of our software. Yes, I expect some confusion and maybe even some pushback. This will take some time to get used to. New clients will probably find it easier to adjust than existing clients.
Why did we bother doing this?
Pricing current as of Jan 1, 2022 ; subject to change without notice.