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YOUR BOOKING POLICY COULD USE A TEMPORARY ADJUSTMENT

business covid-19

Let’s get real about what securing an appointment time means

Nadia books in for the ABC skin treatment on Thursday at 10am. The ABC skin treatment is $145 and it takes 1 hour to perform.

By taking the appointment, you are committing to serving Nadia at 10am on Thursday and not give that appointment slot to anyone else. You ask Nadia for a $50 deposit in exchange for that commitment. At the bare minimum, you can expect $145 in revenue, minimum.

On Wednesday, Paula calls and says she wants to book in for a Micro Needling treatment at 10am the next day. That’s the only time slot she has available. A Micro Needling treatment is $299 and also takes 1 hour to perform. For that time slot, you could be making an additional $144 minimum if you took Paula instead of Nadia.

Would you kick Nadia out and give the time slot to Paula? Of course you wouldn’t. You made a commitment and Nadia secured that commitment with a $50 deposit. You wouldn’t dream of kicking Nadia out, regardless of how much more you could potentially make with Paula.

What happens if on the day Nadia doesn’t show? You lose $145. Well actually, you lose $299 because you could have given the appointment time to Paula but didn’t. Less the $50 deposit Nadia paid, your net loss is a minimum of $249.

That hour is lost forever. You can’t make it up any other time. Opportunity, gone.

Nadia’s loss? $50. Minuscule in comparison. And if the same situation happened with another three clients that day? You’ll can potentially lose $1,000 but Nadia and any other client will still only lose $50 each.

But COVID is throwing a spanner in the works
If a client has COVID or has been a close contact with someone who is infected, the government has mandated that they isolate for 7 days. That means they’ll need to cancel their appointment with you, even if they’re testing negative.

Now there’s a dilemma.

The number of daily cancellations are high. What do you do? As much as this is not your fault, it’s equally not the client's fault. It’s one of those sh*t happens situations that can’t be helped. As I highlighted above, the loss to the client is nowhere near as high as yours, so common sense dictates that the deposit is forfeited but these are unusual times and EVERYONE needs to be more giving than normal.

My solution for you
I suggest you announce an “Amended Booking Policy Until Further Notice” that sounds something like this:

We’re currently living in times where compassion needs to be prioritised which is why we have decided to adjust the rules of our booking policy until further notice.

As you know, every appointment booking needs to be secured with a $50 booking deposit. Your deposit will be applied to your booking or refunded if 24-hours notice is provided. However, if you are unable to provide us with 24 hours notice or you fail to turn up for your appointment...
1. You can send a friend or family member in your place, and the booking deposit will be transferred to that person
2. If you are unable to send someone in your place, instead of forfeiting the full $50, until further notice, we will apply a $25 credit to your account to be used within 30 days.

Here’s what’s important about the wording. It’s put in a way as though you’re a bit of a hero. You could send an email to your database with a subject line that that puts a positive spin on it like 'We have some good news for you'

I would also suggest you.
• Add it to your website (adjust what you already have there)
• Create social media posts
• Design an A4 poster to go on your front desk, back of toilet door, waiting area/room and even in every treatment room
• Verbally tell every client

I hope this helps you. You are more than welcome to use my exact wording or use the strategy and write it in your own words.

If you like this strategy, do me a favour and let me know by clicking here and commenting on my Instagram post. I'd really like to hear from you.