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6 Ways No-Shows Hurt Service Based Businesses and What to Do About It

If you’re a service-based business owner, you are more than likely familiar with the infamous no-shows.

You know them well. The customers that schedule an appointment and fail to show up time and time again. Across industries, the average no-show rate typically ranges from 10 to 15%. That’s a whole of money wasted!


But why do no-shows happen and how can you put a stop to them in a way that doesn’t upset your customers?

While at plain sight no-shows can seem like a trivial business issue to deal with, it is eye-opening to learn the far-reaching impact of missed appointments on service-based businesses.

Simply overlooking no-shows is not the best business strategy; it can negatively impact your business, big or small, in more ways than one.

Before we can start applying smooth solutions that will make for more productive business and happier customers, let’s look at how exactly no-shows hurt your business— and how important it is to address them.


1. No-shows rob you of effective time allocation

One of the biggest problems with no-shows is the fact that they are an absolute opportunity vacuum and deprive you of the valuable chance to interact with your customer. The time spent waiting on a customer that never shows up, and simply hoping they do, is a precious asset for your business better spent on a customer that does show up.

As a business, it costs you five times more to gain new customers than to retain existing ones. What exactly does this mean for you? It means a good amount of time is best spent on keeping your existing customer’s attention and time to ultimately maximize your overall revenue.


2. Loss of productivity

An empty business with customers failing to show up is not the most productive setup—especially when there are fixed expenses that you’ll have to cover whether they show up or not.

On top of that, your employees can’t take care of your no-show customers, but you still have to pay them for their time. Operating at a loss doesn’t have to be the everyday reality for your business when you choose to integrate an automated scheduling system.


3. Loss of customer engagement 

One of the greatest ways for your business to grow is the ability to take in feedback, analyze, and rework your strategy—no matter the industry.

How can you do that when a valuable percentage of your customer base fails to show up in the first place?

When your customer fails to show up, you are losing the lucrative and important opportunity to meaningfully build the relationship between business and consumer. When attention is short-lived and your competition is just around the corner, the pressure on businesses to build solid customer relationships has never been greater.

Minimizing no-shows by implementing a system as simple as 10to8 can mean the gainful practice of engaging with more customers for longer and building those lasting relationships.


4. It’s an unnecessary loss of revenue

It almost goes without saying, yet it’s still a very important point to make, especially when a business’ measure of success is ultimately their bottom line.

Appointment no-shows can go as far as $26,000 in losses for small businesses with a $120,000 + yearly revenue. That’s over 21% of revenue that could easily be retained.

As you can guess, that number is more likely to go up in proportion to revenue, but not if you use the automated reminder and follow-up features that 10to8 provides.


5. No-shows hurt the rest of your customer base

Everything in your business, especially when it comes to scheduling, is interconnected. This means failure in one area can mean direct failure in another.

And this is particularly true for no-shows. Picture this: You have two to three (maybe more) no-shows a day. What exactly happens then?

You have to constantly work around those no-shows to cater to the customers that do show up and ensure that they get the best treatment and service possible.

But because of no-shows—Will you wait just ten more minutes for your customer to show up while your other scheduled customer waits? Will your previously scheduled customer come in late and throw off the whole schedule for the rest of the day? Do you or your staff know what to say to no-show or late clients? Will your waiting customers demand more effective treatment of their time and become upset with your services?

These and other questions are important to consider when you aim for absolute customer satisfaction, the best customer service experience you could possibly offer, and maintaining an overall positive brand outlook.

Without a scheduling system, while you or your staff try to navigate through all these overbearing issues with each no-show, your customers are inconvenienced by allocated time slots they could have used that have now gone to waste.

This can come as a heavy blow to small businesses and start-ups when customer retention and satisfaction are especially vital for survival and growth.

Eliminating widespread inconvenience and ineffective time-wasting can be as simple as sending a text reminder, the widely preferred method of appointment reminders, to serve your customers better than the rest of your competitors.


6. No-shows slow down your overall business growth

Growth is the ever-present goal on every business’s agenda. It’s always a strategic component of business success and outreach.

Business growth is clearly not helped by lost time, lost revenue, and lost customer engagement.

study published by the BMC Health Services Resource tracked and documented the negative effects of no-shows in the health industry over ten organizations and arrived at eye-opening results when they found the average no-show expense for a single customer was $196— which quickly adds up to millions of dollars in losses over time.

That’s easily salvaged money that can be used for strategic growth and new customer acquisition with an effective system that applies automation and supportive features to your advantage.


10to8 Makes Appointments Happen.

To minimize no-shows and maximize customer engagement, online appointment booking is one of the smartest moves you can make for your service-based business.

10to8 gives you the ability to send your customer not only email but SMS reminders to make sure their scheduled appointment is always fresh in their mental to-do list and decreases inconvenient last minute cancellations.

You can even take your strategy a step further by using the ‘read receipt’ feature that makes sure you, as the business owner, know that your customer has received and read the automated reminder. This is a unique feature that literally enables toprevent no-shows waiting to happen!


When you try to reach a customer the first time, and they fail to read the message, it’s always a good idea to persist in case they were busy, unable to answer at the time, or distracted. This is where the automated customer report feature is so helpful.

You are able to reach out to them manually, in a caring and personal manner, and make sure they make it to their appointments on time or reschedule promptly so as to not throw off other appointments by last minute changes.

In short, 10to8 can help propel you forward and put you a step ahead in your business growth goals by minimizing losses crucial for a thriving business, thanks to features such as a live dashboard, automatic reminders and online booking page. It empowers you to leverage your growth, grow your customer base, and increase your customer lifetime value.

Automation has never been as easy to use and available as today to fix scheduling no-shows or last minute cancellation problems that are easily preventable. Why not use it in your own business today, and see how no-shows disappear and efficiency settles in?

Bring your appointment no-show rate down to 1.7% today!

Businesses using 10to8 see 80% fewer no-shows than industry averages over 8-9% (based on usage data from 25,000+ businesses)

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