4 Tips for Creating Above Average Customer Satisfaction for Your Placenta Encapsulation Clients.
Client Contact Prior to the Service
You've been hired. Now what?
Sometimes clients hire us early in the pregnancy. They need to know that we are still in business and ready to provide placenta services to them when they give birth. Make your after hire/pre-service follow up plan to reasure your clients that they have hired a professional.
Some clients may get concerned and reach out to you if they have not received any communication after the hire.
Here is a sample plan:
I do not recommend repeatedly contacting the client between 38 weeks and delivery. The client may be getting multiple emails and phone calls from concerned friends and family asking if the baby is here yet. Don't be one more person the client needs to tell, "I HAVE NOT HAD THE BABY YET!"
Client Contact After the Service
The client has had a baby. You have encapsulated the placenta and the client has the capsules. Now what?
Following up with clients after they have thier capsules boosts client satisfaction. Sometimes people are nervous about taking the capsules. It sounded like a great idea, but now the "EWWW factor" has set in. They may not remember how or when to take them. They could have a potential problem or question about the capsules. Don't be afraid to reach out and check in via their preferred communication method. Your clients will feel valued and potentially boost your future business from referrals.
Here's a sample plan:
Providing the Client with a Cooler
This can be a controversial topic. While providing a cooler is not a requirement, it is one additional step in providing excellent customer service to your clients.
I do provide a new cooler to every client for transport of thier placenta. If the client is birthing anywhere outside of the home, the placenta needs to be transported. The client knows the cooler is clean and new when it's shipped from a supplier like Amazon. Providing a cooler also helps maintain food handling safety by keeping the placenta at a correct temperature until it can be refrigerated or processed.
One word last word of advice on providing coolers for your clients: Make sure the placenta and the container from the hospital or birth center will fit inside the cooler. If you have a small soft sided cooler that is only large enough for a placenta inside a baggie, then make sure someone knows how to place the placenta inside the baggie. If the placenta and container can't fit and there are no additional instructions, it's a waste of money and makes you look less professional than not supplying the cooler.
Taste and the Capsules.
This is one of my favorite tricks of the trade!
I wipe the outside of each filled capsule with a dry sterile gauze. The process takes about 5-10 minutes of my time, but it invaluable to client satisfaction.
The number one complaint from clients who were otherwise happy with their experience was "The capsules taste bad." I researched the problem. Supplements, in capsule form, do not have a taste. The reasons that supplements are placed inside capsules are ease of consumption, a way to measure the consumption, and a way to avoid the taste of the contents. Some people will choose to use flavored capsules to help hide the taste. While this is an option, I prefer not to add additional flavorings, chemicals, or ingredients to the capsules.
In filling the capsules, either with a capsule machine or by hand, small amounts of placenta powder come in contact with the outside of the capsule. Clients report that since I have started wiping down the capsules, the "bad taste" complaint is nearly eliminated.
The differences between parchment, freezer, and wax paper and why it matters to the professional placenta encapsulator.
Why use a liner in the dehydrator for placenta encapsulation?
While it's not a requirement, most encapsulators use some kind of liner on the dehydrator trays to make clean up easier and to reduce sticking.
Here's a run down on choosing the correct liner.
Parchment Paper is a natural, high-density, non-stick parchment that is safe for oven use up to 425°F. Unlike similar papers, like wax paper, parchment paper’s non-stick layer is also heat resistant.
While our dehydrating temperatures are much lower, using a heat resistant liner for your dehydrator trays is an important detail for professional placenta encapsulators.
What is freezer paper? According to Reynolds Kitchens (a maker of all three types of papers discussed), Freezer Paper is ideal for wrapping foods for freezing and also for general household purposes.
The thick paper gives the product strength and durability. One side of the paper is plastic-coated and provides a barrier to air and moisture. This protects the quality, flavor and nutrition of foods during freezing. The other side is a durable paper which can be written on. This means it’s easy to write on the contents and pack date before freezing foods.
Freezer paper is not acceptable because the plastic-coating can melt in the dehydrator. If the plastic-coated side is face up, the plastic can melt on the placenta strips. If the plastic-coated side is face down, it will leave plastic residue on your dehydrator potentially breaking it.
The only acceptable option would be for using it strictly for the cord keepsake that will not be consumed, though there is still potential for damaging your equipment with melted plastic residue.
Reynolds Kitchen says wax paper is ideal for making candy or dipping strawberries, cookies or pretzels in chocolate. Foods lift right off the surface without leaving a mess behind on your bakeware or countertop. For gift giving or freezing, layer candies or baked cookies between wax paper sheets.
Wax paper is not heat-resistant and can not be used in a dehydrator. The wax can melt causing it to stick to the placenta pieces and the dehydrator.
Do you remember making crafts as a small child? You would shred broken crayons between two layers of wax paper then either iron it or stick it in the oven for a few minutes. The crayon would melt and the wax paper would fuse together creating the masterpiece.
Wax paper is an all around no for your dehydrator.
Just in case you want more information, here's Martha Stewart discussing parchment vs wax paper. She just doesn't know about placentas.
Watch more more "The Details Matter" posts in this series.
What a better way to honor pregnancy, birth, and a new baby than returning the placenta to the earth especially when it is planted with a living and growing tree.
Why bury a placenta?
Read about options for the placenta or placenta jewelry.
Why was the placenta buried in ancient times?
Placentas had three main functions in ancient times. In some cultures the placenta was seen as the baby's spirit guide helping the child navigate the birth and then returning and connecting after death. Placenta burial was also considered as a sacred connector of the child to his birth place or heritage. It was also to bestow blessing or protection for the child's future. An item representing the future calling, was often buried with the placenta.
Other cultures included trees into the burial ceremonies.
Read more about Celtic birth tree calendar here.
Why bury the placenta with a tree?
Trees can represent:
Fruit trees: nurturing, feeding, growth, energy
Oak trees: power and courage
Elm trees: intuition and inner strength
Maple trees: balance and promise
Cherry trees: good fortune when in bloom/ love and romance
Birch trees: new beginnings
Cedar trees: healing and cleansing
Palm trees: peace and flexibility without breaking
Ideas for choosing a tree for your placenta burial
While the symbolism of trees is meaningful, there are also climate issues surrounding tree planting. Check tree planting guides for trees that flourish in your climate.
Are you going to be living in the area long term? Is it a special area to you that you will visit frequently? If you do not own the land, check with the owners or proper authorities before planting your tree.
Moveable options include large planters with smaller trees/bushes, so the placenta tree can be transported with a move.
Detailed planting directions for the placenta and tree.
If you are having a home birth, then there is no additional work in obtaining your placenta. You can plan to bury your placenta when having a hospital birth as well. Discuss the desire to bring the placenta home after the birth with the health care provider.
Providers and hospitals have different policies surrounding placenta release. Many hospitals now will simply release it immediately. Others require signing a waiver stating that the hospital is not held responsible and that the placenta is a blood borne pathogen...meaning it contains blood that could contain infectious microorganisms that cause disease. Some hospitals request that the placenta be held until you and baby are released from the hospital and some require that the placenta be removed immediately.
Bring a container and cooler for the placenta. Occasionally, hospitals do not provide a sealed container. A few gallon sized ziplock baggies can be used if no container is available. Place the placenta (and container) inside a cooler with ice so that it remains fresh until it is home.
Freeze the placenta unless it will be buried within the first week after birth. You may need to wait 6 months or longer to plant your placenta based on climate. It can remain safely frozen long term. Some people wish to wait until a special time in the baby's life such as baby's first birthday, when baby starts eating solid food, the end of the breastfeeding relationship or it could be based on a return to fertility after the first postpartum menstrual cycle.
Place the placenta into a biodegradable container prior to burial. Options can include a woven basket, wooden box, unfired clay pot, or a cloth bag that can be decorated. Remove the placenta from any plastic containers prior to burial.
Choose the location and type of tree. Research specific planting directions for your climate and tree variety. Most will need to be buried 12 inches into the ground depending on type of tree, soil type and size of the tree. Bury the placenta 4-6 inches lower than the placenta and place soil between the placenta and tree, so that the placenta has time to decompose before the roots reach the placenta. To use a large urn or pot, place 6-8 inches of soil in the pot, then the placenta, then, 4-6 inches of soil, then the tree.
Care for the newly planted tree according to tree planting guidelines.
Adding ceremony to the burial process
Ceremonies can easily be included in the process. They can be as simple as re-telling the birth story and thanking the placenta for supporting life. They can be elaborate and include poems, stories, and planting additional items as symbols. Decorating the placenta container can be a family activity.
Pictures of the child and tree yearly create a special keepsake.
For more information on placenta history and information follow Placenta Training Company's Pinterest boards.