…Or sometimes does your entire week literally fall apart, messed up by no shows and last minute cancellations?
This can be so frustrating! Even though this can feel like it’s totally out of our control, we do have to step up to the plate and take some responsibility for this.
I don’t believe for a minute that there’s a bank of clients out there trying to disrupt our appointment system and our business. Instead I believe that we have help our clients to remember and respect their appointment bookings with us.
Nowadays we all have extremely busy lives with so much to remember every day, while also juggling work and family commitments. Although our treatments and appointments are a huge focus to our businesses, remembering a facial appointment can easily and unintentionally pale into insignificance in the hectic world of your client. So we need to do all we can to ensure our clients have their appointments with us in the forefront of their thinking by keeping in contact with them to give them gentle reminders.
Historically, most businesses will just sit back and hope and pray that the client will remember an appointment time, which could be anything up to 6 weeks away. Does that now sound rather unrealistic to you? No wonder our clients forget.
Here are some tips to help reduce this problem:
- With existing clients it is essential to re-book their treatment before they leave you. This not only improves your client retention and appointment planning, but it also means that you can confirm correct details on an appointment card for a client’s safe keeping.
- If a client telephones to make the booking then you must reiterate all of the details back to the client. Then either text or email a confirmation.
- You must have contact with clients at least 48 hours before their appointment. This can be a friendly phone call or a quick text or email reminder. Many software programmes now can automate this process for you.
Staying in touch with salon news and updates also keeps your business in a position of importance to the client.
- Make sure you have a written cancellation policy in place as a deterrent. Having said that, it can be difficult to impose a cancellation policy unless your services are very unique. You can easily lose a client if they think they have incurred charges on their account, and they will simply move to another salon. My advice would be to give your client the grace of forgetting or missing one appointment, and then if it happens again, simply explain how you love offering treatment but that you would need to take payment in advance. If they refuse, then they would likely re-offend. So let the client go.
- A pre or part payment booking system is a fantastic way to eliminate no shows. This is easily implemented if you have an online booking system.
- No Shows can be a thing of the past with consistent action.
I hope you have a fantastic Easter.
Here’s to your great business.