But you can easily prevent them, and this article covers the 3 most efficient ways to avoid no-shows.
1 – Charge Cancellation Fees
Although it may not suit all businesses and it may not be for you, charging a cancellation fee remains the most effective option. But it also requires important efforts on your part, and it may scare clients away. This method has proven to be effective for businesses that have a long waiting list to get an appointment with those.
We are basically talking about asking your client’s credit card via the phone, or via online appointment booking (if you use an appointment management solution). You can request a deposit or a full payment.
The customer will show up for sure, and if he does not, you still get paid.
Not all clients will be comfortable to give your their credit card number over the phone, and many will not book online because a credit card is required.
Let them book online, and ask their credit card in the confirmation email; using a secure payment method. Some appointment management solutions supports this. This way you do not have to ask the credit card over the phone, and the client will complete the online booking as no credit card will be asked at this time. If the payment is not completed, at least you know that your client wants an appointment, and you can contact him to complete the transaction. Make sure to make it clear that a prepayment is required.
2 – Reminding Your Customers
If we combine the efficiency with the customer experience factors, reminding your clients is truly the best option. Although if you plan on doing this manually by calling each client, it represents a huge time investment; while there are simple ways to automate this.
Some appointment management solutions automatically send email or SMS reminders a few hours or a day before the appointment; no matter if the appointment was taken online, or by phone. This means you cover almost 100% of your appointments, leaving you with only a few calls to make, or very few no-shows.
You have nothing to do, or little efforts; your clients love reminders, and they show up.
You have to quite using a paper calendar and work more efficiently. Solutions are not free, but some starts at $9 per month which is nothing compare to the hours and hundreds of dollars you lose every month because of no-shows.
3 – Follow Up After a No-Show
You can develop the habit of calling back clients for each no-show, so they have to explain themselves, and feel guilty enough to double their attention next time they have an appointment with you. This method will help prevent some no-shows, but is far from being as efficient as the other two methods.
Some appointment management solutions will send automatically an email to no-show clients reminding them of your cancellation policies, so you do not need to call them.
Helps sensitize your clients about no-shows.
It does not help preventing no-shows.
Clearly the best solution that fits all businesses is a combination of #2 and #3, which requires you to use an appointment solution.
We recommend booxi as it is the easiest solution to use, and one of the most affordable one, plus clients love its online appointment booking.
Try booxi for free during 30 days and delete all your no-shows!