First you must acknowledge the issue, and only then can you tackle it head on.
Ensure you work out exactly how much you are losing out.
You can do this by tracking the effect no shows have on the business for a period of 3 months and work out an average:
If I have on an average 5 no shows a week x 52 weeks in the year = 260 no Shows a year
260 x £30 (work out your average treatment price) that is £7,800 potential loss a year.
No shows are not only a potential cost but you could have had someone else in that appointment so ultimately, it’s a double cost.
Here are 5 points you must acknowledge:
1. Decide on the cancellation policy and communicate it clearly. Is it 24 hours? 48 hours? it is important that your message is clear so your clients know exactly what your policy is. Put the policy in all emails, social media, at reception and on the website. If customers don’t turn up will they be charged the full price or will you let it go? If you don’t charge them, what will the policy be?
2. Engage your team by showing them how much they are losing out. They will then help to reinforce the policy with their own clients.
3. Obviously we all want to be nice but you must have a cut off point if a client keeps not turning up. After 3 no shows, have a conversation with your client, after the 4th time, get them to pay in full for further appointments.
4. Create a No Show list that you and your reception team manage daily. It's important to have the facts. Consider having a list of customers who are interested in last minute appointments.
5. Only create a policy if you are going to be consistent. I cannot emphasise this enough. Make it a priority and consider it as a way of training your customers to behave the way you expect. The point is that if you implement the policy then not bother with the follow up, no one will take you seriously..