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What do you tell clients when you have to cancel?

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  • What do you tell clients when you have to cancel?

    Bad thing happened on the way to work today. We've only had the trailer a month and had a power failure, no breaks on the trailer. So we had to cancel new appointments and take it in. What do you tell customers? I felt so bad canceling. Looks so bad when youre trying to start a business and you have a problem like this. The one customer was very understanding and rescheduled. The other I could not get ahold of and did not call back. I left two apologetic messages and no response. I just told the truth, that we had just purchased the trailer and had to get an unexpected adjustment with the brakes. Did I do the right thing? or did it make us look unreliable? or is this something that customers just have to expect upon occasion with mobiles, so they should understand?.....

  • #2
    I think you handled it properly. A few times, my van had to go to the shop for repairs and I just call my customers to reschedule. Life happens ... good customers will be understanding.


    • #3
      This has happened to me on occasion. My clients are very understanding. I am usually booked out 4-6 weeks and when these situations come up, I work them in on my next (what would have been anyway) day off, even if it is a Sunday. I want my clients to know I feel their business is important to me and that I value their time as much as my own. Since I am the one having to change their appointment, I feel it is up to me to find room for them ASAP. This way of thinking has kept my clients extremely loyal and appreciative of the service I offer them.


      • #4
        If you lose 'em, you don't want 'em

        Life happens. If I have to reschedule, which happens rarely, I get them in as soon as possible. If it's a whole day that gets bagged I try to add a groom or two to the end of each subsequent day. If I am too booked to do that I just move the day to Saturday, a day I don't normally work. Mostly this happens in the winter due to snow. Saturday is my snow day day.

        In March I had a rare sick day on a Tuesday and got everyone rescheduled and finished by the end of the week except for one. This was my first appointment with them, or would have been anyway, and apparently the husband had taken the morning off to be home for me. He gave me such an earful about it. I had just spent the entire night vomiting and more and my head was splitting so bad I could barely see to dial the phone to call them. I got off the phone as politely as I could and told him I'd call back to reschedule as he was just in rant mode by then and I figured I'd try talking to the wife.

        I ended up leaving a two of messages over the course of the next week, then just gave up. (I never leave more than two messages; I figure there's always a chance they did not get the first one, but if they ignore a second one the ball is in their court. I won't call and call and call and sound like I am begging.)

        I am busy enough and I don't need a client who is going to be like that. Everyone else just told me to take care of myself and that if I still wasn't feeling well when the new day came up to just do what I needed to do.



        • #5
          You did what you should have done: You told the truth.

          I also like how you handled the breaks situation. It would possibly frighten a client to think of breaks "going out," so the wording you used sounds a little less frightening. In my mind if the breaks could "go out" with my dog in it, I'd be a little hesitant, so I think wording things like that very carefully can make a difference in a client's eyes.

          Tammy in Utah
          Groomers Helper Affiliate


          • #6
            Hi you did the correct thing from time to time things are going to happen.You may need to reschedule because of car problems,sickness or just something important has came up.As long as it's not a reaccurring issue.When I have to cancel I will do my best catch up on my own time.I try my most not to inconvience them.Clients are usually very understanding.


            • #7

              Thanks for all your responses, makes me feel better knowing I said the right thing.