We’re onto the final piece of our “Busy with Booking” monthly mini-series, and we’re excited to round this one out by talking all about following up with flakey guests.
Over the past few weeks we have covered everything from where to include booking opportunities on your website, to promoting pre-booking after each appointment, but what’s the use in booking appointments if your clients can’t even remember to show up?
Tip #5: Always Follow-Up With Flakey Guests
We all have them, know them, and still love them… well, most of them. That’s right, I’m talking about our flakey guests! The one’s who often forget their appointments, but always reschedule. The one’s who spend more money on our cancellation policy than they do on actual services. The ones that are faithful, yet incredibly forgetful, but we always forgive them.
Well this week, we want to dive into following up with our favorite flakey guests, because what’s the point in booking an appointment if the client can’t remember that they’re on the schedule in the first place!
Of course, we want to continue to focus on getting people on the books, but in the end, the clients that show up are the ones that actually count for something. So, here are our favorite tips and tricks for following-up with flakey guests.
Send Out Automatic Appointment Reminders
If you aren’t already, you should absolutely be sending out automatic appointment reminders to all of your guests. Almost every POS system has am automated notification function, and this takes some of the stress off of your front desk team, since they won’t have to go through the work to make sure that everyone has confirmed their upcoming appointments.
Whether you choose to send out email blasts, text reminders, or leave automated voicemail messages, make sure you’re staying on top of it. We recommend setting your system up to send out your salon’s reminders at least 48 hours prior to each client’s scheduled appointment in order to give your guests enough time to reschedule if need be!
If They’re Particularly Forgetful, Reach Out to Them Personally
Of course, there are some clients that appear to be immune to all automated appointment notices—and if their business is worth the big bucks—it might be time to reach out to them personally.
There are a couple of ways to do this depending on just how personal you’d like to get. You could have your front desk team look at the upcoming, unconfirmed appointments two days prior and have them call each client, even leave a voicemail with those that don’t answer.
Or, you could even have the stylists do this themselves, since they’re probably even more in tune with which clients tend toward forgetfulness. The stylists could take matters into their own hands and text, call or even direct message the clients that need it the most.
Crack Down on Flakey Guests With a Cancellation Policy
Finally, the last line of defense against flakey guests is initiating a cancellation policy. While to some, a cancellation policy might sound like a harsh form of punishment for one person’s forgetfulness, in the end it helps you and your team in more ways than one.
A cancellation policy helps to weed out the guests that will never learn and reminds your stylists that their time is truly valued—because it is. Time is money, and we can’t be reserving appointments for people who are too negligent to show up for them when a present, paying client could have taken that spot.
Your cancellation policy could be anywhere from 24 to 72 hours depending on how serious you are about cracking down on those nasty no-call, no-shows. Of course, it’s true that “things happen,” so if you’re already hesitant about enforcing a policy like this, 24 hours is a safe place to begin.
Let every client know that if they cancel within that 24-hour window they’ll be charged half of the cost of the services scheduled, and if they completely miss their appointment without any warning, it will be the full cost. A policy like this will require you to keep a card on file for every client, and even then, you’ll run into situations with expired cards or those that are no longer active. It will never be foolproof, but it’s a start, and your best clients will understand.
We’re big on booking and retaining clients here at Meet Your Stylist, which is why we created this amazing marketing tool, and more importantly, why we decided to share it with all of you!
If you are interested in learning more about Meet Your Stylist, you can sign up for free demo here