If you have a physical location, you can only see as many people as the space and staff allows.  No shows are costly, but sadly all too common.  Here’s some great advice on how to get less no show appointments.

Everyone tries to call the day before to remind people of their appointments.  This requires time and effort.  Not to mention, it can make people expect it and no show if you don’t remind them thinking they have an out because of it.  So if you do it once and can’t because you’re too busy, you could have another no show to deal with.  In fact, calling to remind people of appointments only decreases no shows by 3.5%.  That’s a lot of effort for not much results.
how to get less no show appointments
So what’s a better way?

How To Get Less No Show Appointments

The Appointment Card Trick

You know those little appointment cards you get with your follow up appointment information?  The best way is to hand a pen and a black appointment card when someone is making their appointment.  Have THEM write down the day and time of their own appointment.

This acts as an unconscious contract, has a better chance of being committed it to memory, and makes it more official.

So next time you’re about to hand someone an appointment card, hand them a pen…and make sure that card isn’t filled in.

Automated Text Message Reminders

There are also text message services for appointments that require people to text a reply when the reminder is received.  These automated tools don’t require the time of important staff and can be more cost effective.

Add them along with the appointment card technique and you’re lessening your changes of no shows :D

A note on this!  Some services allow people to text back a cancelation or the message sounds like you only need to reply if you intend on KEEPING your appointment.  Do not purchase a service that allows anyone the ability to cancel via text or the message sounds like not responding could in some way be canceling the appointment.  Be sure the message informs people to call to cancel or reschedule!

Consider Implementing A No Show and Same Day Cancelation Fee

This one may be scary, but if you go over it with new clients/patients during an initial visit and site good reasons why you have the policy, they are likely to understand.  You do not want to tell someone about it after they have cancelled, this needs to be done upfront and requires an explanation.  Simply saying that you had to implement this policy after you calculated how much no shows cost your business is reason enough.  Do make sure you explain it, give reasons for it, and have them sign off they understand and will allow for fee charges.

What Not To Do To Decrease No Show Appointments

  • Don’t put threatening signs up about no show and cancelation fees (this needs to be done tactfully and with a face-to-face explanation)
  • Don’t be late to appointments or cancel last minute and expect anyone to value your time
  • Don’t be unkind if they had a real emergency

What Works For You?

Hope you found my tips on how to get less no show appointments helpful.  Do you have any tips you or your business uses to lessen no show appointments?  Get to the comments and share your tips and insights!

xo, Kat