If you’ve been in practice for any length of time, you’ve probably had a client scheduled in your calendar, and … they never come in.
These people who do this are what we lovingly refer to as ‘No-Shows’.
You Know How It Goes:
You’re all ready, and waiting on them, and you’re wondering what went wrong…
Scenario #1: maybe it was a mistake and you wrote the appointment date down wrong, or did they just forget… you wonder if you should call them, or wait longer…
Or maybe you’ve had clients who are running late, so they call and tell you they won’t be to you for (10, 15, 30 minutes…), and then they proceed to ask if you’ll be able to give them their full session time…. YIKES!
Third scenario – They simply call to announce they can’t come in for their appointment that is scheduled for later that day. (Lovingly referred to as “Same Day Cancellations”.)
What’s a girl (or boy) to do?
This post is the first in my new 3-part series to help you manage the common occurrences we all struggle with when we work in a service business and have appointments with clients.
Part 1- “No Shows”
Part 2- “Same Day Cancellations”
Part 3- “I’m running late, can I still get my full session?”
Don’t Be Rude But Don’t Be A Push-Over:
Over these three posts, I’ll be sharing my exact words (scripts) that we use in our wellness center. My experience with coaching, is often practitioners get stuck on what to say and how to say it, for fear of coming across rude, or pushy, and not wanting to possibly lose the client, for good.
My hope by modeling our approach, is it will help you know what to say, and more importantly how to handle the situation as gracefully as possible, where you stay in integrity, honor the client, and create and keep boundaries where you stay in control of your business. (I refer to this concept as “Who’s Running Your Biz?”.)
I did a brief FaceBook survey:
Many of you know you have lost money from these missed appointments. In fact, Laura Allen, educator, fellow WIBB Blogger, and clinic owner told me she figured she lost around $8000 in the first year she was operating her practice just from the visits that never happened!
When you set an appointment in your calendar, there are many things you can (and should do) in advance to avoid missed appointments in the first place.
But if it does happen, let’s get on to My Exact Words To Say To “No-Show” Peeps & How to Handle The Situation:
Once you’ve realized they are late for their appointment, here are the steps to take.
(This is the scenario for an hour session):
You’re going to make 3 Calls to the client:
(You still don’t know if they will be a ‘no show’ or if they are just running late, so we assume they are running late, and we also assume there is no emergency on their part, like being in an accident or something…)
Call #1. 5-8 minutes after start time:
Call them and say something like this:
“Hi X, it’s Irene from Diamond Wellness Center. I have you scheduled today to see me now, your appointment was set for 3:00 and now it’s about 10 after 3 … I’m calling to see if you’re on your way. Please call me as soon as you get this message so I can know where you’re at and when you’ll get here. My number is 415-921-1290. Hopefully you’re just parking, and you’ll be walking in the door in a moment!”
Call #2. About 35 minutes after start time.
Call again and say, “Hi X, I’m still waiting for you, so hoping everything is OK. I’m worried about you, since I know how much you were looking forward to this session. Please call me as soon as you get this message, ok? The number again is 415-921-1290.”
Call #3. After session was supposed to happen, later in the afternoon, (but before the day ends)
“Hi X, Gosh, I’m just calling you one more time. It’s a shame you were not able to come today, I really hope you’re alright. I’ll wait to hear from you about today’s missed session with me. My number again is 415-921-1290.”
Note: You can also text or Email them with the same message #3.
You can click here to read the rest of the post and see an example of the email I’ve provided that we use that you can copy to send to your own ‘no-show’ clients: