Last week was a little more challenging than most for my business. Everyone that has a service based business is familiar with the term “no show.” When a client doesn’t show up for a scheduled appointment it can throw a wrench in your day. Not only are you missing out on the income from the appointment, but also the time and energy that is wasted by being at work on time with no client. It can be discouraging because it feels that your time is not valued b y others, but it is part of being self-employed.
I had three “no-shows” in a week. Also, one client who communicated that she wanted to come in November 28th over the phone showed up on October 28th. When I tried to explain to her that over the message she left me she specified November, she left angrily and didn’t seem to want to communicate or reschedule her appointment.
I understand that these are mistakes that my clients have made, but I can’t help but think about what I could have done differently to avoid situations like this. I came up with a few ideas that I could incorporate into my appointment scheduling.
1) Get their phone numbers and ask them if they need a reminder call.
-Have the confidence to ask for their best contact number and offer a reminder call OR text.
2) Confirm, confirm, confirm.
-My business is very small, so I am my own receptionist and it is my responsibility to triple check the appointment time and date.
3) Be clear about your cancellation policy.
-Notify your clients about your cancellation policy. In my case, I request 24 hours notice but I don’t enforce it very strictly. My hairstylist has a policy that requires her clients to pay her 50% of the appointment before she allows them to reschedule. It may sound harsh, but it works. No one wants to pay for a service they didn’t receive.
As a business owner of any kind, it is important to stay positive and appreciate the clients you have. When you envision the kind of business you want, that’s the kind of business and clientele you will have.