As a small business with a local base of operations, we know we have some clients that go out of their way to come to us (and we appreciate it very much!). Unfortunately, as we’ve grown, we’ve also noticed that we are getting more no-shows for appointments than usual, so we’d like to explain why that’s so hard for a small business to absorb.
Since our no-show policy is available to read when an appointment is made, when our clients don’t show up, our first thought is that they’re running a bit late, they got stuck in traffic, etc. Then we start to worry that maybe there was an accident, or something else out of their control. Without a call or some kind of contact, our staff are unable to leave (in case of a late arrival), and must wait around without any guarantee that they will get paid for the time. As you can imagine, this is frustrating when it happens once, let alone several times a day. It removes our ability to do our jobs, gain repeat business, and make our living.
To help combat this, we have a cancellation policy in place, which we recently changed to make it a bit more lenient for our clients. As with the vast majority of service industry companies, all we ask is 24 hours’ notice if you cannot make your appointment – that gives us enough time to rebook the slot or reorganize our schedules without much trouble. Even if it’s less than 24 hours, let us know you can’t make it, by phone or email – that way we won’t be wondering if you’re running late from home, or not leaving at all. We check our messages over the weekend, so don’t worry about yours being lost in a pile of others. And, if you’re someone who needs a reminder for your schedule, you can even opt in for text or email reminders. Long story short, we’re counting on you to come in for the appointment you chose – so help us out and drop by for your visit.
In our cancellation policy, we’ve changed the terms so that the fee for a no-show is only $25 instead of the full amount (which many of our competitors will charge automatically to the card they have on file). We try to be as understanding as possible, but we also have to consider our employees, who are spending their time waiting for a client that may never show up. We want them to be compensated for that time, too. We also have other clients we may have turned down, thinking that there was no space in our schedule, when we could have otherwise booked them in to that time slot. All in all, these no-shows affect the business, the staff, and the other clients – so a small $25 fee to cover those expenses is the least we can ask for them. It may be inconvenient, but it’s meant to help minimize last-minute cancellations and absentees, which cause an inconvenience for everyone else.
To those of you who have stuck with us through the transitions and growth of the last few months, we can’t thank you enough for your support and for telling all your friends to check us out. Every business will have some growing pains, and given that we generally have a great clientele, we know our growing pains could be worse! We know it may be tempting to think of us as just another business, but remember – behind that, we’re people too, and when we all work together and respect each other’s time, everyone will come out feeling (and looking) better than ever!