It is common that some clients may forget their appointments. When they do not show up for an appointment not only do they waste your time, but they also generate economic losses for your company that may be difficult to recover from.
To reduce no shows, there are tools that can help you remind your clients by sms, text, phone calls or email, but first you must have a clear no-show policy that communicates to customers the importance of attending each appointment.
Your no-show policy should be expressed in a clear and concise way, letting them know their duties and rights when scheduling. This allows you to maintain a good relationship with your clients while maintaining an economic balance that does not affect the income of your company.
Prepayment for Services
In reality, thousands of people who have requested an appointment do not attend on the established day and time; therefore many companies require clients to pre-pay some or all of their fees at the time of the appointment creation.
Having a prepaid appointment plan helps to ensure that the cost of your service is covered, and will also serve as an incentive to decrease frequent forgetfulness. Have a clear payment policy in place, and that will help decrease your no shows.
Cut-Off Time for Canceling Appointments
Things come up and people have to cancel sometimes. Having a concrete cancelation policy (most have a 24-hour policy) will keep the communication clear.
When you set a reasonable deadline for cancellation of appointments (e.g., requiring that you cancel before noon on the day before the scheduled appointment date), your clients will be more understanding.
If a person cancels their appointment within a certain time frame of their appointment, they must pay a fee. This allows you to recoup some of the money you lost if/when you are unable to backfill the appointment. This is a way to encourage clients to attend and avoid financial loss.
There always tends to be repeat customers who cancel or miss appointments over and over again. You can help them eliminate their no shows by sending them reminders for their scheduled appointments with SMS messages, e-mails, or phone calls. GReminders is a service that can do all of this for you, with very little work on your part. If your client is still missing appointments on a regular basis, consider marking them in your system with a lower priority to schedule new appointments.
You should ensure that this policy is included in any material you provide to them so that they are clearly aware that they will be assigned a lower priority if they are repeatedly missing their appointments.
Communicate and Enforce Your Cancelation Policy
Once you have established your own policy, it is necessary that you communicate it to your clients. Sending appointment reminders, you can regularly communicate and reinforce the no-show policy to clients, and establish the consequences of no-shows or late cancelations.
Make sure you keep your policy visible to everyone. We recommend placing it on your website and at the reception of your business so that your clients are well aware of the policy. At the same time, you should include it in writing on any document to be signed by clients.
Another option to reward good behavior by people who attend frequently is to have some type of a rewards program. For instance, consider a small discount or preferential rates for a client who accumulates more than 5 appointments in a row. When it comes to a good customer it is important to reward their loyalty to your business.