One year at Christmas, a client of mine said that she would like to purchase a gift certificate for her boss to get a massage as she was so stressed out. (Now there’s a smart strategy!).
However she wasn’t sure if her boss would use it as she had never had a massage before. So I told her that I would put a 6 month expiration date on the certificate, and if her boss didn’t use it, it would revert back to her to use for herself or gift to someone else. She loved the idea so much that she bought more certificates for family Christmas gifts that year.
So that inspired a new policy with gift certificates in my practice. When someone purchased one (or more), I’d ask for the name and phone number of the recipient (if that information was available). After 6 months I’d call the recipient to remind them it was about to expire. I would always extend that if they asked.
They were also free to transfer it before it expired. If it still did not get used, I’d call the purchaser and they could schedule a session, or I’d re-issue them with a new certificate. Because of this policy I have sold a LOT of massage certificates.
Do note that in some states, (for example, Washington) it is illegal to put an expiration date on a gift certificate, so do check your local laws.
How have you used gift certificates successfully in your practice?