massage and bodywork professionals

a community of practitioners

I have recently been having a lot of clients cancelling last minute....I am curious what other therapists do to handle this. Every time this happens, I loose money, and this get frustrating! 

Views: 711

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

It really is frustrating!  What I tell my clients (up front) is that everyone gets one "free" cancellation per year.  After that, please cancel more than 24 hours in advance or I will charge the massage fee.  Of course, I will work with people who have significant issues come up - life happens!  I get a lot fewer last-minute cancellations now!

it is frustrating! I had 3 in a row yesterday. My husband wants me to take a deposit, but I feel horrible doing that...I feel that if they are trusting me as a therapist, i should trust that they will come to their appointment.

Danielle,

Cancellations are a difficult part of being in business. Here are a couple of tips; notify each client that there is a 24 hour cancellation policy when they call to schedule, post some signs in your treatment room, make a paper notice that each client signs when they fill out the intake paperwork, and stay firm with your policy. If you are not sure that a new client will show up, schedule them at the end of the day. You could also explore taking a deposit by credit card.  There is an excellent article by Irene Diamond in a recent article of the ABMP magazine. Good luck.

Jh

I would allow them one or possibly two cancellations a year as Therese suggested but after that, tell them they will have to prepay for future appointments or take a deposit.

When I had my pet grooming business, I noticed that it was always the same people that would cancel at the last minute.  You really dont need those kinds of clients as they will end up being detrimental to your bottom line in the long run.  Make them prepay or kick them to the curb in order to make room for the kind of clients that you do want, the ones that will respect your time and services.

thank you Jody. I am going to look into that article. :)



Jody C. Hutchinson said:

Danielle,

Cancellations are a difficult part of being in business. Here are a couple of tips; notify each client that there is a 24 hour cancellation policy when they call to schedule, post some signs in your treatment room, make a paper notice that each client signs when they fill out the intake paperwork, and stay firm with your policy. If you are not sure that a new client will show up, schedule them at the end of the day. You could also explore taking a deposit by credit card.  There is an excellent article by Irene Diamond in a recent article of the ABMP magazine. Good luck.

Jh

yeah! true that. I am a new therapist, so I still have a lot to learn. this is great feedback thank you so much!

Stacey Freitag said:

I would allow them one or possibly two cancellations a year as Therese suggested but after that, tell them they will have to prepay for future appointments or take a deposit.

When I had my pet grooming business, I noticed that it was always the same people that would cancel at the last minute.  You really dont need those kinds of clients as they will end up being detrimental to your bottom line in the long run.  Make them prepay or kick them to the curb in order to make room for the kind of clients that you do want, the ones that will respect your time and services.

It gets tricky. I had 2 cancellations recently with less than 24 hour notice so it was a sign to me that I needed to be clearer. I had "I require 24 hours notice for rescheduling/cancellation" in my appointment confirmation and reminder emails. I just updated that to the following (feel free to make use of it/tweak as you see fit)

My stay sane cancellation policy
Your time is valuable, my time is valuable. If necessary, you are welcome to reschedule your appointment as long as it's 24 hours before we're scheduled to meet. After that window has passed (barring illness or family emergency) I do require payment for the session.  Likewise, if I make a (fortunately extremely rare) scheduling mistake and need to cancel or reschedule your appointment with less than 24 hour notice (barring illness or family emergency), you get a free session. Knowing about appointment changes at least 24 hours ahead of time gives my other clients access to that appointment time and allows me to run a sustainable business.

Good luck!

Hello, Danielle.

My clients know they must cancel 24 hours before the appointment, or they will still have to pay for the session. This is in writing and they sign a form when they agree to our work together. Like anything else, the important thing is to enforce this, so when clients miss appointments, we do need to follow through on our (signed) agreement and invoice them. Some will be angry, others will dodge, others will be embarrassed. The important thing is that you and they know there has been a breach to the agreement and some kind of reparation is required. They may offer to pay or ask you if something else can be done to make it right. You can use your best judgement -- you can offer a discount, you can waive the fee if you like ... but please know that there must be an exchange. If they did not show up when you expected, they owe you a payment or some form of exchange. Not dealing with this can easily derail the relationship into an "elephant in the room" type of situation. What doesn't get named or made clear continues to pollute.  This is a great question, thanks for asking it ... I hope my 2 cents have helped.

Danielle,

Here is the article that Jody mentioned: http://www.massageandbodyworkdigital.com/i/78617/85

Hope it helps!

Jed

I, like a lot of others who've already posted, have my cancellation policy clearly stated on my website and posted at the reception desk in my office.  While I don't give an annual allotment of freebies like some have suggested, I will make exceptions in cases of emergencies, but barring those I do require full payment for sessions missed or cancelled with less than 24 hours notice.  

One thing you can do (and you might already be doing) to cut down on missed appointments is to do reminder calls or emails the day before the appointment.  

I don't charge the full session price but if they cancel thru email I respond letting them know they owe me that plus the amount of the next session when they come in. I allow one short notice cancellation. I can also make it on my scheduler that when they rebook...they have to pay. It has worked well.

After the consensus from my local LMT's.  I use the standard 24 hr cancellation policy. Having been in practice since Oct 2012, fairly new MT  

Today was the first time , I ever had to enforce it. 

I did so via email and was not judgmental but simply stated facts , the client will now know that IF/ When she makes her next appointment she will be charged for a 60 minute full price massage ( this was a social marketing voucher) . 

I believe it is important to not only make boundaries but stick to them as well. 

Good Luck ! 

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2019   Created by Lara Evans Bracciante.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service