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Tips for last minute cancellations?

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  • Tips for last minute cancellations?

    I have been doing house call grooming for 10 years and find it quite frustrating that some people think it is ok to cancel an appt with a couple hours notice due to ridiculous things like "it's going to rain today" or " they forgot and need to go shopping or golfing". Then expect you can just fit them in when it's convienient for them in the next day or two. I have tolerated this as much as i can in past years due to the need for money. I have just gotten so busy lately i just do not have the convienience to tolerate the BS anymore! This is a good thing but i was just curious at how others handle these types of cancellations. I understand if there is a unexpected unavoidable problem. These things due happen in life. It just seems sometimes some people can be so inconsiderate of others time and livelyhood! I have one client in particular who is fairly new I've groomed her dogs for almost a year and they need to be done every 2 weeks as they are havanese's and she likes to keep them in a dust mop kind of look. Way too long in my opinion for a pet. Anyway if it's going to rain when we have a scheduled appt she expects me to cancel and fit them in within a couple days. I have had to explain to her that i am busy and do not have the ability to do this anymore. She pitches a fit and proceedes to whine and acts in disbelief that i could really be so busy i wouldn't have a single moment to fit her in. When I am not the one who chooses to keep the dogs coats so long they need this kind of maintenence and god did not give me the ability to stretch time! My patience is wearing thin with this one. Would love to hear anyones advice or experiences in dealing with similar situations.

  • #2
    sounds like you helped

    as I understand you wanted the business and got them used to getting away with it. I let them know that NOPE cannot fit them in till - - - -. They carry on, NO, cannot do it. There is a wonderful time in the business when one can eliminate the really difficult customers, and it looks like you are there.

    There are charges for too short notice cancellations, but I would let them know. I had a "no show" first time customer, and said that usually I charge a partial groom for that, but I understood they did not know that and I would let it slide. Their guilt lead them to give me that much of a tip, saying they felt they should pay it.
    Money will buy you a pretty good dog but it won't buy the wag of it's tail.


    • #3
      It's your business, you can change policies any time.
      Time to implement a less than 24 hour notice cancelation fee.
      Have it stated on your reciepts and reminder cards and stick to it, those last minute cancelations cost you a lot of money!


      • #4
        make up a policy to your liking and give a copy to each of your customers including consequences for last minute non emergency cancellations. you may want to check with an attorney for any state restrictions. i personally let the first one go and explain the concept of no work no pay to them most people get it when you phrase it like that. habituals are either let go or are charged the full fee before rescheduling. whichever is the least headache for me.
        Certified Master Pet Tech Pet CPR, First Aid and Care Instructor
        "Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation." Henry Ward Beecher US Congregational Minister 1813-1887


        • #5
          It's easy,you don't deal w/it.Habbitual offenders are not rebooked,they will just have to go elce where,this woman you have reffered to has no respect for you,your time or your business.To put up with it only sends the message that its ok and you dont care either.


          • #6
            If YOU are going to THEIR house, why are they cancelling for rain??
            Tell them you can't fit them in for at least a week or 2 and start charging for the late cancellations.


            • #7
              I've had clients like this too and when I finally had enough, I made up my 24 hour cancellation fee of $25, this includes the no shows (the I forgots, even with the reminder call the day before thing). I had to, fuel is expensive. Now, emergency's are totally understandable.

              One client of mine did this to me several times before I really had enough. I am a very giving, patient person, but finally, that was it, I just could no longer do it anymore. I told my client that I--my business can no longer afford to give services on a no show-I forgot and also the last minute cancel thing. They actually paid me double the next go around and have not since done that to me anymore.

              So you just have to be honest, firm but tactful at the same time, to gain respect from the public. In all honesty, none of us can afford these types of clients and if after your honestly is expressed, they continue to treat you in the same fashion without change, then my dear, it is time for you to make a change. Believe me, let that one go--if they don't make up for it and you'll get another one before you know it and they will be a good one. That is just how it goes, trust me. Take a breath, relax, speak your honesty and if need be, make a change. You'll feel great when you do too, loll.

              I've also done this too with clients that would rebook and change on me a lot. I don't rebook them, just hand them a card and tell them to call me two weeks out. If I'm booked, I put them at the top of my book to fill in in case of a change and book them further out if I have to. But, for some strange reason, that works, they keep their appointment. Strange, but dealing with the public is like art. We not only are creative with our pets that we take care of, we have to be creative in our thinking too, (Big Grin).


              • #8
                I give them a two strikes and your out rule.
                20% of my people book the year in advance. 40-50% make an appointment before I leave and the rest are either new or returning clients of more than 8 weeks If they want an apt.for more than 8 weeks out they have to call for the next one. I dont want to take up the good spots with the people that don't get done as often as the 4-6 weekers
                The biggest offenders are the ones that book one when I leave. If they miss two appointments in less than a year because they either forgot or something comes up the day before, I'm done with most of them. Especially the ones that are just not home when I show up.
                I do 8-12 dogs a day I work 8-12 hours a day and do not have time for this. I do not cancel my clients the day before unless my truck is down. Not when I am sick or for any other reason than I just can not get their. Or GOD forbid I have an emergency. If I have to move dogs a few days out for some reason I do every thing I can to give them as much notice as possible and to make it up ASAP even if I have to work one of my days off. I work hard for my people I expect them to at least be there. The best ones are the ones who book a year in advance and leave the house open, check on the table and I never see them. While I love talking to some of them it tends to get me behind and I don't do well with that either. Thank GOD I still Love my job.


                • #9
                  What's your policy statement say? It's a new year so have everyone sign one. State that you groom "rain or shine" & your cancellation policy & fees (if you want one).

                  If she cancels, tell her you don't have an open slot until her next scheduled appointment.