If your massage therapy business experiences no-shows that disrupt your schedule and your cash flow, you aren’t alone. Almost every personal service business has felt the pain of no-shows at some point. But, you don’t have to accept a continuous stream of no-shows as your status quo. If you want to put a stop to your clients failing to keep their appointments, attack the problem at its source.
No-shows are the symptom, you need to treat the cause.
Why do people fail to show up for their scheduled massage therapy appointments?
While everyone has their own reasons, there are some commonalities when it comes to no-shows. For example, some people fail to show because they fail to recognize the impact their lack of commitment has on you and your business. In other words, they don’t take your business seriously or aren’t aware of your no-show policy.
Other clients may realize they need to cancel, but can’t find an easy or convenient way to get in touch with you--so they just fail to show instead. Nervousness and concerns about the cost can also get in the way of your clients showing up for their scheduled appointments.
And, it should come as no surprise that if your client has a bad experience with your business, they may decide not to keep a future appointment.
One of the top reasons people fail to keep their appointments is that they simply forget! If your reminder system isn’t designed to reach your clients how and when they are paying attention--you may end up with unexpected holes in your schedule.
Treating the causes to cure your no-show problem
Now that you know why people fail to arrive as planned, you can execute your plan to prevent no-shows.
Follow these steps to keep your schedule full and your clients coming back:
- Create a no-show policy and make your clients aware of it. Make sure they understand that keeping their appointments is part of their commitment to you.
- Use online scheduling tools so that your clients can cancel or re-schedule an appointment at any time day or night. The more channels of communication you make available to your clients, the easier it will be for them to get in touch with you.
- Get to know your clients and talk to them about the benefits of their treatment plan. Involve your massage therapy clients in setting personal wellness goals and explain how your treatment schedule will help them meet those goals.
- Allow your clients to pre-pay for appointments, purchase discounted packages and pay for treatments using a credit card. Work with your clients to develop treatment plans that are within their budget.
- Ensure that your clients have every reason to want to see you. Make sure every step in their journey from setting their appointment to post-treatment check out is a positive experience.
- Implement programs that help your clients remember their appointments. Integrate calendar links in your appointment confirmation emails and send reminders via email and text to make sure they get your message.
- When you follow up with clients who have missed an appointment, ask them why. This will help you uncover hidden problems that could be affecting other clients too.
What if you still have no-shows despite your best efforts?
What if, despite all your best efforts, you still have no-shows? How can you protect your revenue? Be prepared. Build a list of clients who prefer to make decisions on the fly or don’t mind grabbing a last-minute slot. Then, when you have an opening, start making calls. Use this list to fill those missed appointments. You can even sweeten the offer by giving clients who accept a last-minute slot a discount or added perk.
You’ll find more no-show prevention strategies, including how to create a bulletproof no-show policy, in The No-show Prevention Playbook. Download your free copy today and discover how to keep no-shows from ruining your plans.