Manage your clients’ expectations and get the most out of the post-COVID rush with these tips.
COVID-closures have caused mass devastation to the aesthetics industry. But if past lockdowns have taught us anything, it’s that clients won’t be willing to wait too long until they’re back in for their treatments. With Melbourne out of lockdown since yesterday, we’re sure Victorian spas and clinic staff’s ears are burning from the many phone calls they’re getting at the moment.
It can feel really overwhelming trying to answer everyone’s queries and making your clients feel confident that you’re prioritising their needs. The last thing you need in the rush to get everyone rebooked and serviced when you’re able to open is the headache of admin and disorganised appointments. So, we’ve put together some tips that you can start working on now that will make dealing with the rush of rebooking a bit more manageable.
Keep your waiting list organised
Getting your client rebooked when there is a little more certainty about your reopening dates will be a priority and if you’re on top of it and able to contact your clients before they reach out to you, you’ll save yourself a lot of phone time.
Sort your waiting list into levels of priority with clients who were booked and had an appointment cancelled at the top, then those that have made post-closure inquiries. Then, keep the clients name, contact number and email, date originally booked or enquired, and if possible, the days and times of the week that work best for the client when you reopen so you can begin rescheduling with a bit of the bigger picture in mind.
Be diligent with sending appointment reminders
Last minute changes to appointments or having to book too far in advance can cause a lot of confusion and it’s easy for clients to forget their appointment or get the time and date mixed up. You’ll avoid a lot of late or no-shows by being on top of your appointment reminders. An automated text system works well if your business is big enough to afford the investment, or you can simply allow some time every few days to text or email clients yourself ahead of their appointments.
Reinforce your cancellation policy
Uncertainty in the first few weeks of reopening can lead to a lot of cancellations so to be fair to yourself, your team, and your other clients who are desperate to get in, you need to have a cancellation policy in place and reinforce it when necessary. You can decide on the cancellation period that works best for your business. It should at least be 24hours notice required but don’t be afraid to ask for more if you need it.
Consider booking deposits
If history is anything to go by, you should expect a lot of cancellations. Hopefully your cancellation policy and organised waitlist allow you to fill cancellations last minute so you’re not losing income, but you should feel empowered to ask for a non-refundable booking deposit if you need one. The amount should reflect the value of the appointment and it’s up to you whether the client loses the deposit altogether when cancelling last minute, or can hold it as credit for when they rebook.
Create a system for managing follow-ups and check-ins
Your relationship with your client shouldn’t end when they’ve walked out the door after their appointment and taking advantage of the post-COVID rush can see you develop significant business long-term. So, plan for following up with clients and checking in with them in the days after their appointment. A great idea is to check-in a few days prior, a few days post treatment, and again when it’s coming up to the time they should be re-booking.
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