The Business of Rain
In Melbourne its that time of year. The temperature drops, the rain pours, the layers go on and it’s hard to drag ourselves out to be social. It also means that our customers are slightly less likely to always follow-through on appointments.
It’s the time of year when the number of no-shows starts to increase. So what do you do when people don’t turn up? Can you charge them? What happens when people become serial cancellers? What impact does it have on your business?
Herein lies one of the many dramas for small business in some industries. Many professions have trained their customers on the ramifications of not showing up for an appointment or a late cancellation – you pay the full fee. You didn’t turn up – but you still pay.
Late cancellations (24 hours) can incur a full or part fee. More and more professions and industries are using this approach – and they should be. While there are always circumstances that can’t be avoided we’ve all heard the same excuses – and we’ve probably used them ourselves! When you know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of a no-show, we tend to be more considerate in turning up ourselves.
The hairdresser / masseuse / nail technician / business coach / trainer hold their time open for their customer. If they don’t turn up – someone else could have filled that space. A paying respectful customer. When someone doesn’t turn up there are sales and ultimately cash flow implications.
Not all customers are good customers. If you build your business on the notion of ‘any sale will’ do rather than wait it out for the right customer – your short term gain could lead to long term pain. We want to work with people who ‘get us’ ‘respect us’ and value the products and services we provide.
However we tend to want to be pleasers, even when people can’t be pleased. We don’t say no, when we really want to. We don’t ask for a cancellation fee, because ‘they’ might not come back.
The theory of attraction suggests the more you bend over for people the more they will expect you to do and the more friends they will bring of the same type. And then you get trapped in a cycle of working with customers you don’t really want!
You need to train your customers to respect you and your time. There are no refunds if you don’t turn up, there is a cancellation fee if you don’t show and serial mind changers will go to the back of the queue. You up for it?
PS: Here’s some advice from the legal people: