How do I handle no-shows?
Q: Hi Simone, how have you been? After our first few emails in 2019 ( when I found your Olympians Lounge website while searching for historical facts) I visited your website again and found your other website! So I thought you’re probably a good person to ask and take up on the opportunity!
Today after preparing all my cupping equipment, heating towels, and everything else, my customer has not shown up. This is not the first time this has happened and I am getting quite annoyed. What should I say to this customer and how do you handle no-shows?
Your website ( Olympians Lounge) has come a long way. I found it more different and fascinating back then but I see how it is now adapted to suit the user. Fantastic work Simone.
A: Hi Lucas, thank you for your email. And thank you, we’ve been working long hours analyzing the website to make it user friendly.
Now, that’s a really good question, and thank you so much for allowing me to share. Please share your social links with us if you wish.
It’s natural to take this personally at times, and it really isn’t about your worth and importance, as I’m sure you know already. People don’t show up for a number of reasons. There may be a genuine reason as to why they don’t show up, or just plain old irresponsibility. People don’t show up for their dentist appointments, their doctors, for anything!
Frustrations exist in every profession, and we just get better at handling situations without it affecting our personal wellbeing.
You could see this ( very frustrating ) situation as something really good, because it is! It means you’re growing and overcoming obstacles and growing professionally.
This is how I handle these situations- and trust me I’ve been there a few times. Where there is a problem like this, there’s definitely a solution.
This is what has worked the best for me after trying a few ways. And it’s simple. However, it took trial and error to see what works best for me.
I take a booking fee! A small commitment of £20 ( Per hour)
Since I’ve been taking a booking fee I’ve seen an increase in my sales. People are more likely to show up when they’ve made a commitment in this way, and if not, there’s a smaller loss. It hasn’t been a big problem for me since, and if it does become one, I would find another way to handle it.
People who are serious about visiting you for a massage won’t mind paying a booking fee. You can easily take payments and please ask if you’d like recommendations.
An important aspect of the booking and payment process is the cancellation policy, of course.
What I’d like to emphasize is, the importance of using a customer-focused approach to maintain the trust with the people ( customers) you already have that with. If you decide, for example, to only take appointments via a system that takes payments, then introduce this to your loyal and trustworthy customers in a way that maintains that trust.
For example, you could send an informative message about your new changes. Let them know that the reason is to ensure good operation in your business so you can always provide great service. Make it personable so it doesn’t come across like there’s a problem.
As the saying goes: ‘ If there’s no problem, don’t fix it ‘
However, you need to make changes that may affect other loyal customers, depending on how you plan to take bookings.
So if your customer who usually texts you to make a booking, has to book via another system ( so you can also take booking fees) introduce this in a way where the trust and respect between you are maintained.
I hope this advice for taking a small booking fee ( deductible from the full price), ensuring you have policies in place, and maintaining customer focus, helps! Nice to hear from you Lucas, and I look forward to hearing from you!.