Tips to Stop Customers Cancelling
As time goes on, different trends appear to emerge. One of the things that we’ve been seeing is people cancelling a lot. I’ve got someone here that I’m going to be talking to from Perfectly Beautiful. Her name’s Sarah and I’m going to be talking about if she has any customers and if she’s frustrated with them cancelling on her. So Sarah, have you ever had anyone cancel on you?
Sarah: Yes, I sure have. Occasionally, we get people booking in for phone calls and when I call them up they won’t answer the phone call so pretty much that I suppose is cancelling on us.
Josh: It’s a bit annoying and I can imagine when they do that, it means that you’re left at a dead end. You’ve spent some time, put it aside. You’ve already diverted that chunk of your life and everyone knows time is money and we’ve only got time in our life and that’s the only thing that has value, really, so when they cancel that and you’re going to be on the phone to them for 10, 15, 20 minutes and then they don’t, what do you normally do with your time?
Sarah: Well first of all, I’ll usually start off by sending them a text message to say that we have called and if we can arrange another time to chat with them because usually they are interested in booking, so we don’t really want to lose them and just leave them alone. We do that and then usually I’m kind of in the office anyway, so I’ll just continue working and doing whatever I’m doing. Maybe sometimes they’ll call back because them themselves might’ve forgotten about it and be in a meeting or in the car at the time. We then just hope that in some way they respond back to us, which they usually do, which is good. Then we’ll just give them a call back at another time.
Josh: Do you think that the reason for people, maybe cancelling or forgetting to be there to answer the phone when you’ve booked that in, might be not as much because they’re millennials, but just because we have been put into a position where we’ve got too many things that we’re having to juggle. There’s so many distractions. We’re driving to work. Obviously, we’ve got Facebook here and we’ve got Snapchat there or what do you think the reason is that they’re forgetting the appointments?
Sarah: Well, I think because especially a lot of people I work with are brides, so they’re at a stage where they’re in the craziness of organising a wedding. They sometimes will organise so many appointments that they might just simply forget about it. I suppose they might be in their downtime where they’re sending out their emails and doing all their wedding planning and then forget that they actually just booked in an appointment. Sometimes it’s not always their fault. We know that people are always busy, but yeah. I think our life is just busy in general.
Josh: I absolutely agree, brides are busy people. That’s why people call them bridezilla, I guess. With business owners, it’s about the same so you’re also a busy person, so your time and their time is both valuable and lining that up … I know that you’ve got a couple of pretty cool tools that you use in your business to try and create calendar appointments and things like that. What have you found works and what doesn’t work?
Sarah: At the moment, I’m using Calendarly and in their email, they can click on that to organise a time so that will actually show my availability. If I’m, myself, busy with something, I make sure that it’s in there so they’re not wanting a call at that specific time. Then it shows that kind of when we’re both free to sit down and have a chat. I kind of usually will allow my days that I know I’m going to be in the office all day and my days are going to be quite freed up so then I can have a proper chat to them and take the time to actually talk to them and if they aren’t available, then organise another time during that time of the day.
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Josh: Cool and obviously in life, shit happens. Sometimes people cancel. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes it all works out well. Sometimes they don’t have reception or the kids are home sick and they don’t have the chance to to talk to you obviously. What do you find the trend is once they’ve got a deposit put down? Do you find that they cancel as often or have you ever had issues with people changing around or moving their appointments or adjusting things after you’ve had some sort of financial money come into the equation?
Sarah: No, so with our bookings we take a deposit from them so then we know that they’re secured and they’re locked in. I feel like this stops them from cancelling at the last minute because they already have money invested into it and they feel trust in us that we’re definitely going to be there because they’ve also got money invested into it. We don’t really get any cancellations when people have put a deposit down because they know that it’s all locked in and secure and we actually get people adding on people, which is actually more of a benefit than a loss.
Josh: At the moment, I know your business is still in its infancy, but in one way or another, you’ve been in business for awhile and you’ve really just gone gangbusters over the last 12 months, but at the moment you’ve had no cancellations whatsoever after they’ve put finance down?
Sarah: No, I haven’t. Been lucky enough. No one’s had a wedding been cancelled just yet so I’m lucky that I’ve had to do every wedding.
Josh: Cool. Okay. So I guess that goes to say that the way that you should structure your business to make sure people are not cancelling is to make sure they’ve got some hand in the game, make sure that they’re in a position that they have something to lose so that they don’t cancel.
I know myself, I’ve had had speaking events, we’ve had 140, 180 people registered and we’ve had 80 rock up and I find nearly every time it’s only the free events that have such a terrible ratio as opposed to the events where someone has to put down even something small like $10 and they’re going to rock up because they don’t want to see that money lost and they wouldn’t have registered for the event anyway. I definitely think making sure that they’ve got some sort of finances in there that they’re holding up their money makes a big difference and it all comes down to the person. I’m sure if something terrible happened to a bride or something like that, that you’re doing makeup for, you’d be understanding of that and help them out.
Yeah, I think that’s interesting stuff. Did you have anything else to add?
Sarah: No, that’s all.
Josh: That’s wonderful. So that was Sarah from Perfectly Beautiful and hopefully you don’t have any frustrated customers cancelling on you and these tips have helped a bit. Make sure that they’ve dropped some finances down. Use some tools such as Calendarly, and you should be pretty good. I would love to hear how you stop customers cancelling on you and make sure to leave some comments there in the iTunes and leave us some feedback. Stay good.