I know that in today’s world a 24-hour cancellation notice seems to be common. However, I personally have never felt compelled to have a cancellation policy. I believe that our industry is so relationship driven that you have to be careful with how you approach items like this.
I can remember that I once had a Massage Therapist that I absolutely loved. She was so good that I pre-booked every month for the year. So, let’s do the math. Charging me at the rate of $80 per hour plus tip times comes close to $1,200 per year. I was never late and never missed. Keep in mind, she knew she had $1200 dollars that I was guaranteeing her annually with my business.
As life would have it, I had an emergency. My dog became very ill the night before my appointment with her. The following day I called to let her know that I would not be able to come and that I would like to reschedule. She wished me luck with my dog and then proceeded to inform me of her cancellation policy stating that she would be charging me. Well, the rest went down in history. First of all, it would take her more than a year to get her money and would cost her a lot more than $80. Plus, she lost a loyal customer.
I have always ran my business by building relationships. Also, I never felt that my time was more important than anyone else’s. Keep in mind that you never know what’s going to happen in someone’s life. Kids get sick, cars breakdown, last minute things can just come up in life that a person may have no control over. Because of this, I always wanted to remain flexible for my clients.
Now, we all have those clients that have been notorious for cancelling at the last minute. I understand the frustration this can cause but instead of trying to chase their money, I just politely declined booking them.
Sometimes last-minute cancellations can be a blessing in disguise. A cancellation would force me to take the time to clean my suite, pick up products, or run to the grocery store. Sometimes it would just allow me a break which we all need from time to time in this industry.
My point is, make the best of a cancelled appointment. Allow your customer the benefit of the doubt, especially if they’ve been a good customer. You’ll be happier for it and you’re sure to create a loyal customer base when you show grace for a missed appointments periodically.