If your business functions on appointments, certainly you’ve had a few clients that are suddenly no-show clients. These types regularly show with no issue, until one day…poof! They just stop showing up. In these cases, it’s possible they had a bad experience that you’re unaware of, but how would you know if you don’t see them? In other cases, they simply get too busy or forget to cancel an appointment.
Unless your client chooses to answer the phone, respond to your messages, or leave you a review, you may never know why they didn’t show up. You’re just left to wonder if it’s something you said? Or something you did? However, if you can solve their problem or get them rescheduled, you may be able to return them to your regular customer rotation. So here are three tips on how to reach out to those clients and regain their business.
Be mindful of your tone.
Before we start talking about ways to reach out to these no-show clients (or patients), it’s important to be aware of your tone. It’s easy to get frustrated with the cost or inconvenience they’ve inflicted. Not only that but in small business, time is money.
The important thing to remember is you don’t know why they didn’t show up. It could be a negative perception of your business, but it’s more likely to be completely unrelated. They could have forgotten, or they could have had an emergency come up. No matter the situation, your staff must handle it with grace and professionalism.
If you are willing to listen to your clients with a focus on their perspective, you may be able to improve your client relations.
Make an effort to find out.
It’s important to understand why a client doesn’t show up. If you’re a dentist, for example, maybe they lost their insurance and could no longer pay. Perhaps they are unaware of your payment or credit options that you could offer. Most likely, if they made the appointment, it’s not that they’re not interested—so let’s do some digging.
Additionally, you can really find out a lot of information by listening to your clients. Especially the ones who may have had a bad experience with you or your company. If they are willing to share with you, you should really listen! Most likely they are not the only one to have experienced it. Whatever the issue is, could be affecting many of your clients. Maybe it’s something like the front desk person is rude. Or, parking is hard to find. You may learn about issues that affect many of your clients and were previously unaware.
If you can get them on the phone, ask kindly if they’d like to reschedule. If they say no, gently inquire their reasoning and see if you can help them. If your staff struggles with what to say to no-show clients, create a list of common reasons that people cancel appointments and set up a few canned responses. An outline can be a very helpful guide for everyone to follow.
Send a follow-up email to no-show clients.
An email is a nice way of contacting your customers a bit more passively. If it is a financial or emergency situation, chances are they won’t answer the phone. The follow-up email should be friendly and simple – ask if they’d like to reschedule and if there is anything you can do to help them.
If you have a feeling that the customer was frustrated with your services before they ever came in the door (or if they’ve been a long-time client that disappeared), try sending them a survey. This allows them to express their frustration in an anonymous way.
Again, the more insight you can gain into why a client no-show occurred, the better off you will be!
Eliminate no-shows with better appointment reminders.
The absolute best way to communicate with no-show customers is not to have no-show customers at all. While that’s virtually impossible, you can seriously cut down on the number of ghost customers you get by making sure they’re actively reminded of their appointments. Automated appointment reminders have been shown to decrease no-shows by as much as 80%! A simple tool can directly impact your bottom line.
If you use a calendar for managing bookings, it’s easy to integrate reminders to go out to your customers. An SMS text confirmation can ask your client several days before the appointment to confirm. This not only reminds them; it lets you know ahead of time if they’re at risk of no-showing. We provide an easy interface to connect Google Calendar into our service. Once it’s integrated, you can do everything right through the calendar without the need to even log into our site.
If you automate your reminders, you can customize text messages, phone calls, and emails with their appointment information automatically. You don’t have to lift a finger. Start now by signing up for our 30-day free trial at appointmentreminders.com.