Well maybe they have a good reason or maybe they are just an inconsiderate pile of cow dung. Either way, it can offset your schedule for the ENTIRE day! This one trouble maker should be the only one punished not the rest of your clients. So, how do you keep everyone happy while staying on time?
- The first thing I do is verbalize the fact that they are late. I know this sounds like you’re scolding them but they may not even realize they’re late and need to know. I usually say something like “did you have trouble finding the place?” or “was there bad traffic today?” First and foremost, make it seem like you are concerned for them, not that they’re in trouble.
- If you don’t have anyone scheduled after their appointment, you still need to set the tone for future expectation. In that case I would say, “Luckily, the client after you cancelled so I have some extra time and won’t need to cut anything today.” This implies that they should not make a habit of being late and if they are late again, you will more than likely have to cut something in the service.
- If your schedule is booked solid, you must cut something. Otherwise you’ll make all the rest of your on time clients unhappy resulting in deflated tips and clients will be unlikely to return. The first thing I cut is the massage and can usually get back up to speed. I still apply lotion and hot towels but skip the added luxury. Check out: How To Perform The Money Making Manicure
- In order to keep clients happy even though you are skipping steps; act like you are doing them a favor! Say things like, “I’m booked solid today, so let’s hurry and get your color picked out. Don’t worry you won’t have to reschedule, I can still make this work for you but I’ll have to skip the massage.” Also try using sentences with the word “WE.” Implying that you are working together with him or her to take care of the mess. “Don’t worry we can get you taken care of but we will have to get straight to it!”
- I usually do not offer a discount even when services are cut. For one thing, they still used the same amount of my time, and on top of that, added stress to my day. When you act like you are doing them a favor they will be grateful and be happy to pay the full price. In the end say, “I’m so glad I was able to get you taken care of in time, I hope the rest of your day is less stressful for you” – again, showing concern. If they say something or persist, of course you could choose to give them a couple bucks off, but only if they are unhappy. I would never offer it to them freely.
- After years of building my clientele, I have the fortunate privilege of being able to charge late or “no show” fees. Since my time is valuable and my days are jam packed, my clients agree to the fees when they book their appointments online. Check out Get With The Program & Get Online Scheduling. This has immensely reduced the amount of late and “no show” appointments. However, I rarely ever actually charge the clients the fees. I typically only charge someone if they, don’t call and don’t show up after attempts from me trying to contact them.