We all hate it, but no-show clients and last minute cancellations happen to all of us. Whether plans change last minute or clients have a change of mind, it falls back on the business owner.
While we may never know what life has in store, there are several things you can do to avoid no-shows and last minute cancellations. Even if they do happen, you will know that you’ve done everything you could to prevent them.
Sometimes it comes down to the booking process and how organized it is. With a professional booking system, it shows the clients how serious you are when it comes to your business. If you’re filling appointments with pen and paper, miscommunication can happen.
We recommend using a digital system to organize and optimize your booking procedure. It will make your booking procedure easier to manage and help you save time.
Your business should have a strict scheduling policy in place. At the time of booking, let each client know of the policy that you have. The policy should state what should happen in the case of a no-show, last-minute cancellation, and lateness. By stating your policy right from the get-go, your clients will understand that it is their responsibility to show up for their appointment on time.
Example of scheduling policies you may implement include:
With a scheduling policy in place, you’re optimizing your booking procedure and reducing both no-show clients and last minute cancellations. Lisa, Master Artist and Business Owner of Brow Theory Studio, enforces her policy on her website and at the time of booking. Under a tab, it lists the policies for the non-refundable deposit, cancellation and rescheduling, and lates and no-shows.
She only had one complaint about her policy within the 5 years of enforcing her $100 non-refundable deposit for new clients. “We told the client that we understand and want her to be 100% comfortable with her decision. We thanked her for her time and wished her the best,” says Lisa.
“Most clients respect our time and services so they don’t have any issues with our policy. “
Building these boundaries will help clients better respect your time and services. In the service world, time is money. For example, Uber has rocketed to become the highest-valued private startup company in the world. They don’t sell rides, but they sell time—the single most valuable asset you have.
Your can clients pay for their appointments or a deposit ahead of time. This can help reduce the risks of no-show clients and last minute cancellations.
Deposits are a more popular option with service-based businesses. The deposit is usually non-refundable and will be used to hold their appointment spot.
This deposit fee also works as a cancellation fee. If the client cancels under the 24-hour window, then you can remind them that the deposit is non-refundable.
A simple reminder the day before the appointment never hurts, especially if the appointment was made far in advance. It will remind your client that they have an appointment with you the next day. If they need to reschedule or cancel, they will still have enough time to do so.
Whatever happens, remember to stay calm and professional because you are the face of the business. Any problems could lead to a bad review online. No-shows and cancellations can happen and you just have to remind yourself to get over it.
Policies are there for a reason. If a client is upset about the cancellation fee, remind them of the policy that was stated at the time of the booking. They should understand that you have a business to run and it would be unfair for you to waive the cancellation fee.
Things can suddenly come up and that’s alright. Ask the client if they’d like to reschedule with you. Maybe they would like to book a new session with you at another time.
No-show clients and last-minute cancellations can be frustrating, but you can definitely avoid it from happening. By having a professional booking procedure, a strict policy, and deposits enforced, you will likely experience fewer client absences.
How are you optimizing your booking procedure? If you are a business owner or beauty pro, we’d love to feature you in our upcoming blog posts. Just shoot us a message!
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