Do you get days where another client has cancelled less than 24 hours or worse still, not showed up at all? Arrrrrgh! Wtf. It can leave you annoyed, angry, stressed, fed-up, disheartened, self-doubt and worried. It is not what you want or need in your business.
So what can you do to stop or minimalise this from happening?
Clients will cancel especially if they or their children are ill, or life happens. But, you need to have things in place so that you are your business do not lose out but also that your clients value you.
Your skills, time and business
This might be a new idea to you, you might even be very unsure of asking for this…..a deposit when they book. This shows that you value your time and skills and the client values you and what you do. Do you have a cancellation policy in place and do you enforce it? Have this cancellation policy on your website and in your marketing/brochures. Less than 24/48 hours’ notice and they lose their deposit (unless of course a real emergency which they rebook straight away or earliest allows) Then if they do cancel you will not be out of pocket. If you do not take a deposit and you get a late cancellation or no show do you enforce your policy? Do you invoice them? Most regular clients will happily reimburse you, if they don’t do you want to rebook, do you want them are your client, are they your ideal client?
Don’t focus on that cancellation
How much do you want or need to earn this week/month? How many clients do you need? How many clients and appointments do you have in your diary already booked in? In the time that has become available use that to market your business – can you send any texts or social media posts out about availability? What marketing can you do to bring clients in? Look at the bigger picture of your business, don’t keep it small looking at the next client, see what you have coming up, so these cancellations don’t really affect you. This is not really the time to slouch off and eat chocolate while watching tv!
Client referrals and incentives
Do you have a client referral system set up? Are you asking your clients for referrals? Is word of mouth working, if not can you do anything different? Offer an incentive that if they pay for 4 appointments they get the 5th for free. They then have already paid for their appointments up front and you know they will be attending (or have the money if they make a late cancellation) This is great for credit card payments or bank transfers as this makes it easier for the client and you know that you have earned money for the next few months. It means you do not have to stress so much and you may find that more people book this way for convenience.
Have you considered or thought of a way to create a membership such as a VIP where your client pays a monthly standing order directly into your account which guarantees them a monthly appointment and special VIP packages. More and more therapists, salons and clinics are creating these – not just spa’s! Do a research and brain storm. Be different and stand out from others in your area.
Don’t panic or have a melt-down!
I know it’s really hard. The more you dwell on this, the worse you feel. That client obviously does not value you or what you provide. They are not your ideal client. As before, use this time to create some awesome marketing by using testimonials from clients that do value you, show you are the expert and why people should book with you.
Don’t take it personally like an unsubscribe from your newsletter, it just happens, but change the way you handle it, don’t let it affect you or your therapy business.