No-shows and repeat cancellations can have a negative effect on your bottom line. There are a variety of reasons a client or customer may miss an appointment. But, how a company handles them will determine if it’s lost income or a potential opportunity? Does your business have systems in place to prevent and recover from no-show appointments?
How to Prevent No-Show Appointments in Your Business
There are systems and process you can implement today that will help prevent no-shows. The features and processes I am about to discuss can all be handled through your scheduling tool. And, if you are not using a scheduling tool…that’s problem number one! Before you read any further, sign up for one now! My favorite is Acuity Scheduling – you can read more about it here.
Now let’s get started by taking a look at the reasons why no-shows occur
“Oops, I forgot my appointment was today.”
Shame on you for forgetting, but we get it. It happens! Your business should be sending out reminders to every client that schedules an appointment. A good rule of thumb is 3 days before, 24 hours before, and 1 hour before. This is especially helpful if you have clients that book their appointments weeks in advance.
How should you send these reminders? By email or text message, but only use the forms of communication that you have permission to use by your clients. So if your client did not sign up for text message reminders, please do not send them a text!
“Nothing will happen if I miss this appointment anyways.”
Besides being a red-flag of how the client sees you and your business, this statement is why I stress the importance of having a no-show and cancellation policy that is visible to all of your clients. Your services are important, and your time is valuable. A no-show and cancellation policy will reiterate that the coveted spot that is being booked should not be taken for granted.
I have seen no-show policies that include charging a fee whenever a no-show occurs. Your no-show and cancellation policy should be tailored to fit your industry standards and what you and your business are comfortable handling.
You can also collect your payments or deposits at the time of booking. When people have paid (in full or partially) for a product or service, they will want to experience what they have paid for. By collecting some form of payment, it lessens the chance of the client not showing up, because in their eyes they have made an investment.
Steps to Prevent No-Shows
- Implement reminders leading up to the appointment so your client does not forget the appointment
- Have a no-show and cancellation policy in place to stress the importance and value of your appointment
- Collect payments or deposits upfront (depending on your industry) to deter clients who may not be qualified or ready.
3 simple and easy things you can implement right now and within your scheduling tool to prevent no-show appointments.