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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Putting a Positive Spin on Cancellations and No-Shows

Cancellations and no-shows can be a nightmare for service based businesses anywhere in the world. But with SpaBooker it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a number of steps that you should be taking, which will minimize the number of cancellations and deal effectively with the inevitable no-shows that you just can’t avoid.

First, make sure you confirm all appointments. The very best way to do this is to call each client, but you may not have a receptionist with the time to do that, so use SpaBooker’s automatic email confirmations to do it for you.

It’s crucial that you have a clear cancellation policy and that your clients are aware of it when booking. SpaBooker provides the platform to create the policy and will also ensure that it is agreed to prior to your clients booking online (which will also help you fight the inevitable charge backs).

So, how should you set up your cancellation policy? Luckily SpaBooker has built in tools that will guide you through setting the rules in terms of who it applies to, when to apply the fee (X hours before appointment), how much the fee is, if there is a different fee for no-shows, and any class cancellation fees.

Next, you will need to write the text that your customers see during the online booking process and in your email communications. For example:

Spa del Tranquillo values your business and appreciates your understanding with regards to our cancellation policy. Please respect our schedule by honoring your appointments. If you do need to cancel, please provide a minimum of 24 hours notice. If you are unable to provide at least 24 hours notice, please contact us. If we cannot rebook the appointment, you will be charged 100% of the service cost.

For a detailed step-by-step guide to setting your cancellation policy up in SpaBooker, click here to read our Tuesday Tip. Tuesday Tips are SpaBooker’s weekly email to all our clients, which cover support hints and advice. Next Week’s tip will look at how to charge for cancellations through SpaBooker.

Finally, SpaBooker’s built in social media features can help you rebook canceled appointments. As soon as the cancellation happens, use SpaBooker to post to Twitter and to your Facebook page and your clients will hear about the availability – you could even offer an incentive or promotion to accompany the appointment. For a more detailed look at SpaBooker and social media, don’t forget to sign up for tomorrow’s webinar: Social Media and Your Business II: The Next Level.
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