How to Handle and Prevent Client No-Shows with SolaGenius
Posted on August 17, 2021
It can be frustrating when you’ve blocked out your time for an appointment with a client and they cancel last minute. Or worse, they just don’t show up.
We’ve chatted with business coaches, professionals and clients...and want to share simple steps to deal with no-shows, and hopefully make sure you never have them again!
If you’re using a solution like SolaGenius, then customizing your settings to incorporate these tips is a breeze. If it’s another solution, make sure to check and see if some of these features are supported, since not all solutions offer these settings!
HOW TO PREVENT A NO-SHOW:
STEP 1: Are you requiring a card for appointment bookings?
- By requiring prospective clients to put in a card when they book, you ensure that clients see their appointment with you as a more serious commitment and can more easily reinforce your cancellation policy, and charge cancellation fees if you wish. When you don’t have a card on file for the client, there are no consequences for them!
STEP 2: Are you clearly stating your cancellation policy?
It’s important to communicate your cancellation policy to your clients before they book an appointment. Clearly state your terms and add it to your About Page on your booking site. Here are a few tips for writing an effective cancellation policy:
- State how much your cancellation policy is. For example, “I charge a 30% cancellation fee for any no-shows or cancellations”.
- State the timeframe and rules around your cancellation policy. For example, “I charge a 30% cancellation fee for any no-shows or cancellations within 48 hours of the scheduled appointment.”
STEP 3: Are you sending notifications before appointments?
Save yourself a ton of headaches and help your client by automating communications! You can adjust your settings to remind your clients 3 days and/or 24 hours before their appointment to ensure they don’t forget it.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A NO-SHOW
Inevitably though, no-shows do happen.
Take a deep breath. Don’t take it personally. Here are 3 simple steps to take for handling the situation without ruining the relationship.
STEP 1: REACH OUT TO THE CLIENT
- Ask the client if they received the notifications or reminders that you sent them before the appointment. Sometimes a no-show may have been due to a miscommunication (e.g. a time that was mixed up, an email address that it was input incorrectly, etc.).
- Ask the client if they would like to reschedule the appointment. If they say yes, you can ask them if they would like to put the appointment in their calendars or if there’s any way for you to directly reach them to remind them of the appointment. This way, you make sure that they won’t miss the appointment again.
- Remind them of your cancellation policy. If your cancellation policy is communicated clearly when the client books an appointment, they should know that if they cancel or fail to show up, they should not be surprised to be charged a cancellation fee.
STEP 2: DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT YOU WANT TO WAIVE THE CANCELLATION FEE
As yourself these questions:
- Are they a first-time client? If so, you might want to give them a second chance! Let them know that you do have a cancellation fee but you’re waiving it.
- Are they a chronic no-show client?
- Have they missed 2 or more appointments? You might want to consider enforcing your policy.
- Is this the first time they’ve missed an appointment? Waive the fee at your discretion.
REMEMBER: You can use cancellation fees at your discretion and waive them at any time when it comes to extenuating circumstances.
STEP 3: NOTE THE CLIENT AS A NO-SHOW FOR FUTURE REFERENCE
With SolaGenius, you can mark a client as a no-show in one tap so you can keep track of past appointments -- including cancellations. At Sola, you are in control of your client list, and it is up to you whether or not you want to book an appointment with someone you feel does not respect your time.
STEP 4: GO ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS
Remember that there are a million reasons why a client might cancel last-minute or be a no-show; don’t take it personally. Client’s might cancel because unavoidable situations pop up. Or they don’t show up because they’re disorganized. None of these reasons have to do with you.