No shows, i.e. customers who have made an appointment but rather than rescheduling or canceling, simply don’t show up, are not only a huge drain on a businesses’ income, but also result in customers who may have wanted those slots losing out, as well as disrupting your schedule for the rest of the day.
Small businesses are often the worst hit, with many afraid to set boundaries in the fear they may be turning away customers who may be loyal in the future.
While it is important to handle these situations carefully to keep your customer service reputation high, when you add up the cost of no shows over the course of a month or a year, that’s a lot of money out of your business’s pocket.
Of course, there are times in which no shows cannot be avoided, for example, if your client has a calendar mix up or an emergency they simply can’t get out of, but for the most part, they can be.
To reduce no shows and reclaim some of that lost revenue, here are some of our top recommendations.
Automate Your Appointment Confirmation Process
Electronic confirmations can reduce no shows by up to 80% and automating this process makes your whole system easier and more reliable. While a lot of no shows are unavoidable, many clients simply need a date in their calendar if they’re going to remember to show up.
Reduce No Shows Through Electronic Reminders
As well as automating your confirmation email, sending out an automatic reminder email, say a week before the appointment and an automatic text reminder 24 hours before the appointment, is one of the most effective ways to reduce no shows.
Although calling someone to remind them they have an appointment is more personal, it tends to be less effective since voicemails are often not heard.
Create A No Show A Cancellation Policy
The best way to prevent no shows with minimum effort is to be up front about your terms and properly communicate them in the first place.
Your no show and cancellation policy should be prominently displayed on your website to remind clients of it when booking and to demonstrate that your time and the services you provide are valuable.
Don’t Let Confirmations Fall Through The Cracks
While the hope is that most customers will book online, there are still many customers who will prefer to book by phone.
Ensure you confirm on the phone and don’t forget to add the appointment to the calendar so the client will receive their automatic confirmation and reminder.