If you are a massage therapist, you may be wondering about the etiquette when it comes to accepting tips from clients. While you are always providing a service, there is a gap between that service being part of a spa setting or a clinical setting. Massage therapists have gone through extensive training and gained vast knowledge regarding the human body and its well being; for this reason, massage therapists are often considered part of the healthcare sector (like dentists or doctors), versus the pampering sector (like salons). If you view your massage practice as a health care provider instead of simply a service provider, then think about it this way – would you tip your doctor? Your nurse? Tipping health professionals is rare. Branding your massage services as health care can take the confusion out of tipping for both you and your clients. However, many people view massages as a luxury service and therefore might be confused as to whether they tip or not.
Like any situation where a tip is received, it generally means the client enjoyed the services provided to them and wanted to show their gratitude. There is no doubt that tips always make you feel appreciated and confident in your services, but what do you do when you are offered a tip? Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer – the decision to accept or decline tips is a personal preference and completely up to you. If choose to accept tips, make sure to express your gratitude for both the extra kindness and their enjoyment of the services they received. If you don’t feel comfortable accepting tips, simply state that tipping is not necessary and that their continued business is all the tip you need.
Some people will tip, and other will not. If you are worried about getting paid what you are worth, charge a few dollars more for your set treatment prices. Offering complimentary aromatherapy or hot-stone therapy with treatments will allow your clients to feel as though they are getting a great deal for the price, and you will feel justified by setting your prices slightly higher. In doing so, you won’t have to worry about receiving a tip after the massage.
If you are still unsure, go for the answer that works both ways! Tell your client that while tips are never expected, they are always appreciated, and that their choice is always respected! This should ease both your clients’ and your confusion in a simple and easy manner.