You have been there: you are happy that your schedule is full, but you get several cancellations throughout the day. It is a challenge to keep your schedule busy, and with each cancellation, you not only lose money but also get annoying gaps in your workday. Some customers call to reschedule; some don't even show up. Let's go over the top 5 reasons for client cancellations.
People are getting busier and busier. Trying to balance work, family, friends and beauty appointments can be challenging. If your client forgets to read their appointment card or write down the date on their calendar, they might forget to show up.
How to prevent it: Appointment reminders. Have a system that sends clients an appointment confirmation when booking and reminds your clients that their appointment is coming up.
Did you know? Personal Beauty and Wellness has automated appointment reminders with your account. PBW simplifies your life and minimizes your time confirming appointments. Your clients can cancel, reschedule and confirm their appointments straight from their phone.
Not enough options
One of the main reasons customers miss appointments is not having the time that they need. If they ask for an appointment in four weeks from their service, and you only give them the two choices available, they might pick one that is less than ideal. Not giving your customer enough options (the day before, the day after, asking what time they prefer) might cause your customer to choose a time that they won't be able to commit to when the time comes. You might even lose a client to another spa or salon that has the time that they need.
How to prevent it: Give your customer options and communicate to see what days and times are perfect for them.
Did you know? Personal Beauty and Wellness lets customers book several appointments with the "repeat booking" feature. Before they go to their appointment, they can pre-book with you, ensuring a time that they want.
Are you making your customers wait? For people that have limited time, waiting for 15 minutes past their appointment time might be disappointing and cause them to cancel their appointment since they have another commitment right after. It is important to value your client's time and plan your buffer times to ensure you have enough time between clients, so there are minimal chances of delays. It is better to have four happy customers than five angry ones.
How to prevent it: Adjust buffer times between appointments. If a manicure service takes fifty minutes, schedule the appointment time for one hour. That way, even if your client is 5 minutes late, you still have time to finish the service and clean up before your next client. You should also have a policy regarding clients that run late. Make sure your clients know that you won't be able to perform the full service when they are late. Don't make a mistake to accommodate clients that run late and end up getting your entire day running behind.
The Classic: "Stuff happens."
Everyone goes through situations in which you have to rearrange your entire day in the face of an unexpected event. People get sick; their kids get sick, they get injured, have a flat tire, and other unforeseen situations that can't be helped. In this (and any other appointment-based business) you will need to accept that things happen that are beyond your client's control.
There's nothing you can do to prevent this from happening. However, you should be mindful of a few things:
* Don't charge cancellation fees for emergencies and that your client could not prevent. Be understanding, especially if your client comes in often as has never canceled their appointment last-minute before. Always call your clients that missed their appointments the next day and ask if they would like to reschedule at their convenience.
Tell us your experience in the comments and how these tips have helped your business!