We are adapting to the post covid-19 lockout and back to work realities.
The walk-in haircut is temporarily on hiatus. The world of appointments is very new for some of us. Managing appointment traffic is a bit different. Some of us are, for the very first time, having to contend with the no-call, no-show client. What do we do about this little challenge? It disrupts our schedule. It derails our productivity. It compromises our already challenged income.
I do not believe it is good business or good practice to charge ahead for appointments. I do not believe it is a good idea to take deposits for spots either. I also am not in favor of missed appointment charges. I really think that if you try to charge ca client for a missed appointment you lost the client. Some might say that losing this particular client is A-OK with them… But… things happen. People make mistakes and appointment can be missed. Of course, it is easy to call ahead. And, of course sometimes this does not happen.
The baseball fan in me likes a three strikes approach.
On the first no-call, no-show you get a warning. “C’mon buddy. You are killing me here. I cannot recover this time. I lost money. Please do not do this again.” Strike one.
On the second no-call, no-show you get a second and final warning. “I cannot have you missing appointments like this. We have discussed this before. It throws off my whole day and has a big financial impact on my business.” Strike two.
Upon the third no-call, no-show the client is out. Strike three. The client is no longer allowed to book with you. If you can accommodate walk-ins or call-ins they are welcome to do that but they are off the book for six months. After six months of “good behavior” they are invited to begin booking again.
Good clients will straighten up and fly right after just one or two strikes. Repeat offenders find them selves on the outside looking in.
No one can claim that you have not been patient and fair with such a system. It is a great way to have a clear, and familiar way to manage this small challenge. Three strikes and you are out.
Let’s play ball.