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Encourage Timely Cancellations And Avoid Appointment No-Shows
We all know the difficulty businesses can experience with no-shows. Due to recent events around the world, we have seen that businesses have an increasing amount of appointment no-shows. Let’s not make this the new norm. Find out how 10o8 can help your business have cancellations rather than no-shows.
Why are cancellations better than appointment no-shows?
1. Timely cancellations mean less wasted time
An appointment no-show often means wasted time, as preparation time is needed for the appointment. If you run back-to-back appointments (like a consultant) it also means that you won’t have the time to start working on something else.
2. Cancellation can help avoid loss of business
With an appointment no-show, you lose out on not just the business you could have had from that client, but also miss out on another client who could have booked this specific time slot.
Appointment no-shows hurt service-based businesses in several ways, but many of the damages can be avoided if you encourage customers to cancel instead of simply not showing up.
How to avoid unpredictable appointment no-shows?
What can you do to prevent no-shows and encourage your customers to let you know when they won’t be turning up for their appointments?
1. Spot potential appointment no-shows
1. Communicate with your clients
Try to get in touch with your clients and check if they are able to attend or not. You can do that over email, SMS or by calling the customer. With 10to8’s 2-way chat feature, checking in on clients is a piece of cake.
3. Reduce the notice period for changes
Consider reducing the notice period your clients need to give when changing an appointment. In crisis situations such as the current COVID-19 outbreak, a lot of things are uncertain. It might be worth letting your customers cancel or change their appointment on short notice. This not only helps you avoid the much more damaging no-shows but also represents a more positive business that understands its customers and tries to help them.
You can edit your notice period under “Set Up” > “Services”:
4. Non-refundable deposits – are they worth it?
With customers potentially having to self-isolate or having to look after or help family members during difficult times, it might be worthwhile rethinking your policy about non-refundable deposits. Non-refundable deposits might put customers off booking your services on the first place, as well as damage your business’ image.
Alternatives you could try
- Make deposits refundable if the client informs you of their cancellation in a timely fashion. If you rely on deposits as a business, you could always offer a 50% or 25% refund.
- If you use the deposit to purchase resources for the booking that will not be reusable for other clients, perhaps you could offer a gift voucher for your business so your customers can use it when they are able to return to you.
No matter what your policies might be, make sure you communicate them towards your clients. You can link to these policies from your online booking page and put together a specific crisis communication plan too that you can turn to on occasions such as the current COVID-19 outbreak.
5. Run virtual appointments
Running virtual appointments is, of course, not an option for every business, however, there are so many services you can provide online in a safe, remote environment. From simple consultations to online personal training, taking your services or just a few of them online can be something of a solution.With the 10to8 and Zoom Video Conferencing integration available on all our plans, you can run virtual meetings with ease. So why not try taking your group event online too? Organize classes, staff meetings and even e-concerts and webinars with 10to8.
Start Taking Bookings Online
Create your branded online booking page, benefit from automated SMS & Email reminders, rid your business of wasted time, and reduce appointment no-shows by up to 90%.
No credit card required; free & easy setup.
Marcel is the Customer Service Manager here at 10to8. He joined in 2016 and is working on a day to day basis to resolve customer questions/issues.
Marcel is currently also studying for a degree in management so he can help with growing the support team at 10to8.
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