Guest Blog Post By: Harper Reid

service based business
Image Source: Unsplash

If you are running a service-based business, you will undoubtedly be all too familiar with the frustration of no-show clients. Clients who book appointments with you and then fail to show up are costing you money in more ways than one. And no-shows don’t just affect your bottom line. They affect your business in a variety of other ways too. It is wise to take proactive steps to minimise the number of missed appointments. But in the inevitable event that no-shows do happen, you need strategies to minimise their impact on your business.

Here are five ways in which no-shows can affect your business, along with some nifty ideas for mitigating their negative impact.

Loss Of Revenue

The most obvious way in which no-shows affect your business is in lost revenue. If a customer is nowhere to be found at their appointment time, you can pretty much wave goodbye to the fee that they would have paid. One way to mitigate this is by implementing a cancellation policy that means no-show customers are charged the full fee or a percentage of it. This, of course, necessitates requesting a customer’s card details ahead of time, which some customers may be reluctant to provide. Another possibility is to offer a small discount or other incentive in return for paying the full fee upfront. You can automate the entire process by using a scheduling software which allows you to take full or part payment from the client when he/she schedules an appointment.

Wasted Expenses

All businesses have expenses that have to be paid whether the customer shows up or not. When you are already paying for premises, utilities and staff wages, the last thing you want is for those expenses to be wasted due to no-shows. Charging a deposit upfront upon booking is one way to ensure that no-shows don’t lead to negative cash flow. Another option is to operate a waiting list so that customers who are available at short notice can fill up the vacant spot.

service based business
Image Source: Unsplash

Wasted Time

As the old adage goes, time is money. When clients fail to show up for appointments with you, it’s easy to feel like your valuable time is going down the drain, along with your profits. Setting up an effective appointment system with automated reminders can reduce the drain on your time. Send an automated confirmation upon booking, and follow up with a reminder the day before the appointment. These strategies have been shown to significantly reduce no-show rates, particularly in this internet-enabled age. And in the event that a client does have to cancel, reminders prompt them to contact you to let you know, instead of just not turning up.

Reduced Morale

Aside from the more direct impacts on productivity and revenue, no-shows affect workplace morale. It is demoralising to feel that your time has been wasted and that the client does not respect you enough to call and cancel. It goes without saying that it is difficult to maintain job satisfaction when you aren’t able to do your job as planned. Try not to take no-shows personally, and instead be proactive about mitigating their impact. By implementing an automated reminder system, you can prevent no-shows before they happen and keep spirits riding high.

Impact On Your Other Customers

No-shows don’t just impact you and your business. They can also affect the lifeblood of your business: your other customers. Waiting for customers who aren’t going to show up can throw off your schedule, meaning longer waits for clients who do arrive on time. If a client repeatedly no-shows without contacting you, it might be prudent to ban them from your business going forward. Consider ways to reward customers who show that they respect your time. Offering a discount on a future appointment or setting up a loyalty card system are just a couple of ways to do this.

More About The Author

Creative writer Harper Reid hails from the beautiful city of Auckland, New Zealand. She has written content for blogs and local Kiwi sites, including Sea Containers. You can check out more of her published work on Tumblr.

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