If you run a services business, you know customers miss appointments all the time. For example, no-show rates at healthcare practices range anywhere from 12 to 50%.

Do no shows and missed appointments cost you money? They don’t have to. Here are our top tips for reducing and eliminating no shows to your business.

Get ahead of them (how to reduce no shows).

  • Confirm appointments right away. When an appointment is booked, follow up via text or email, reminding customers to mark their calendars.
  • Send appointment reminders closer to the appointment date. Include an option to cancel or reschedule, so you have a chance to fill the open slot.
  • Call them the day prior. This works great for healthcare practices and salons that experience some of the highest no-show rates.

Work around them (how to make them sting a little less).

  • Require a deposit or credit card number. Patients are less likely to miss appointments when they’ve got something on the line. But if they do miss, you don’t go unpaid.
  • Use a wait list. When appointments are cancelled, have someone on your team contact the first individuals on your wait list, so they can fill those appointments on the spot.
  • Be willing to dump repeat offenders. Customers who repeatedly fail to show up for scheduled appointments cost you money. Consider refusing to book clients who miss appointments more than twice.

Now you’ve got some really effective ways to protect your business from no-show clients. But, do you have the time to manage every step?

There’s not enough time in the day to do it all. Consider a software like Thryv, that helps automate and schedule appointment confirmations and reminders, and even manages payment before, during or after appointments.