I’m wondering because I read a newspaper article on missed bookings in restaurants, and one of the points they made was that it only takes one table of five to not turn up and they have lost their profit margin. The implication of the article was that missed bookings are a trend and it’s not just bad manners, it really matters to small businesses.
I wonder if this is also happening in private healthcare services, such as the ones that our clients supply. A customer who fails to turn up for a booking means lost income, (and a waste of time, you generally wait a bit and then its too late to get on with anything before the next customer arrives). We don’t “see” at this end, whether customers turn up so we can’t tell if this a big problem. We always remind customers routinely that they should give at least 24 hours notice of a cancellation, and several clients get the customer to sign an acknowledgement of this. But its no good if this is the first appointment, (see my blog on young men time wasters).
So my question is – Is this an increasing problem? Are the public more inclined to book something and then drop it?
If you think this is a problem there are several solutions:
- reminder texts and emails
- reminder calls
- prepayment by credit card. (At least you don’t lose income)
Several of our clients have mentioned it and requested we take a prepayment deposit or full fee. Contact us if you’d like further information on any of these.