Have you ever been “stood up” by a potential client or customer?
If you’ve been in business long, you probably have. People change their minds and somehow “forget” to let you know. Polite people call and cancel, but others simply don’t have that much respect for your time.
So there you sit, unable to get started on other work because the people will show up any minute. You do want to give them the benefit of the doubt. They could have gotten hung up in traffic, had a flat tire, or received an important phone call as they were going out the door.
And if the appointment was for a real estate showing, how long do you wait before you start making those calls to homeowners and/or other agents to let them know you won’t be there?
Thankfully, “No shows” are not a daily occurrence, but when they happen they’re a problem.
As you can imagine, this is not just a problem for real estate agents.
The restaurant solution:
It’s also a huge cash flow drain for busy restaurants. When they have empty tables that they can’t fill because someone has reserved them, they have to turn away customers who want to spend money. Not good at all!
Well, one restaurant hit on a solution. They changed just two words in their conversation with customers making reservations, and their no-show rate dropped from 30% to 10%.
Reservation agents had been saying “Please call if you can’t make it.”
When they changed that sentence to “Will you please call if you can’t make it,” and then waited for a response, it made all the difference.
It seems that once people make a verbal commitment to do something, they are much more likely to follow through.
Now you have to make a decision. If you follow the script and your customers agree to call if they aren’t coming – but they don’t – will you make another appointment with them?
I vote no, unless their apologies are effusive and their reason is compelling. You know, something like: “My son fell out of a tree and broke his arm, and all other thoughts just flew out of my head. I’m SO sorry that I left you waiting like that.”
Those clients deserve a second chance. The ones who say “Oh, we decided to take the kids to the beach instead” do not.