By Joey Villani, CEO of Intergroom International & VP of World Dog Expo
No, I am not crazy! Yes, reminder calls are important! No, you don’t need to spend your time doing them. Yes, there is a smarter way to get it done.
First, let me emphasize the importance of reminder calls. Reminder notices reduce no-shows. No-shows are expensive, dragging your profits down. You lose money by not filling the appointment slot with a paying client. There is no way to recoup the lost time. Not to mention the risk of losing a client because he/she called for an appointment, and, since you were booked, you turned that client away, potentially losing a new client or having a regular call another salon. No-shows cost you money and clients.
Did you ever calculate your no-show rate? Take the total number of no-show appointments divided by the total number of appointment slots. Multiply the result by 100. Consider doing this every month and monitor your trend. How do you combat the no-show dilemma?
Some salons post signs that there is a charge for no-shows or last-minute cancellations. Others set up a prepay feature when an appointment is booked. Some reward the regulars who show up. Here is a tip – if you aren’t going to enforce your policy, don’t have one. Lest you are starting to feel frustrated, know that pet salons are not alone. Many businesses battle the no-show issue – hair salons and doctor offices alike. In human healthcare, no-show rates run between 15% and 30%1.
Take a guess, which of these specialties in the healthcare industry (Dentistry, OB/GYN, Dermatology) has the lowest no-show rate? It is dentistry, at 15%. What does your dentist do differently from other specialties? In most cases, dentists set up repeat booking (booking your next dental visit while you are still in the dentist’s chair), and they call or text to remind you. I’ll save the discussion on repeat booking for another blog – for this one, I want to focus on reminder notifications.
In my experience, I have seen a 25% higher appointment show when you remind clients about the appointment. This isn’t rocket science; even the human healthcare industry produced studies documenting the lowering of no-show rates when patients are reminded of the appointment. So why do groomers fail to make those important reminder calls? In one word — TIME.
There just isn’t enough time in a day to do everything. At the end of the work day, a critical decision must be made – stay and make reminder calls or go home. I’m telling you that home life and family should not suffer. So instead, automate your reminder notifications.
BizBark automatically reminds your clients, saving you precious time and money. Stop making reminder phone calls yourself. Stop paying someone to stay and make those calls. Don’t spend money on postcards. With BizBark’s automatic reminder feature, you can keep on doing what you love – grooming pets — while BizBark handles the reminders. Reducing your no-show rate will only improve your profitability.
Show clients you care, you are interested in the pet, and you are ready to see them – do those reminders and increase your appointment fill rate. Here is another tip – do the reminder calls smarter, not harder, and automate your reminders. More importantly, think about your personal life and your family – set up automatic reminder notices to secure daily income and give yourself more personal time.
1 Boyer, Lori. Which Wins? The National Average No-Show Rate or Yours? June 12, 2018. Solution Reach. Available at https://www.solutionreach.com/blog/which-wins-the-national-average-no-show-rate-or-yours