There is nothing worse than going to a SCHEDULED residential cleaning appointment only to find out upon arrival that “something came up” and they don’t need you that day.
That used to light my fuse when I first started out, and it was a major reason why I expanded into the commercial cleaning market (who tend to never cancel service for any reason).
When a customer cancels unexpectedly this means a wasted trip, wasted money because “time is money” (not to mention the gas to get there), a GIANT HOLE in the schedule plus if you have employees performing the work it just complicates things further. They lose hours, and money they probably desperately need too. Nobody wins.
This can also happen (and DOES HAPPEN) to first time cleaning customers as well. So the question becomes… HOW DO WE PREVENT THIS? Well, there is no fool-proof method, but there is a way to greatly reduce how often this occurs. Whenever you acquire a new account or book an appointment of any kind just ask them one amazingly simple question.
Do you prefer a verbal phone call, an email or a text message reminder the day before the cleaning?
Yes, it’s one more step for you to do the day before, but it sure beats driving out to the job and being disappointed. Now this may not work in every single case, as the client may claim they are “unavailable” for one reason or another, but it will work the vast majority of time.
To make this technique work even better, it’s a good idea to ask for a “reply to confirm the appointment”. This is especially true for a “non verbal” text or email reminder (or when you call but have to leave a message). A lot of doctor offices use this approach to reduce missed appointments (it’s actually where the I got the initial idea).
Now if you happen to have any customers that don’t want to agree to be contacted the night before (normally the serial abusers) you can always “make up” an excuse from time to time. Calling and asking if it’s OK to be 30 minutes early (or late) gives you the excuse to call and get that confirmation you seek.
If anyone out there uses this approach, or has another one they would like to share on how to reduce missed appointments I would love to hear what you have to say. Simply leave your thoughts in the comments below and get the conversation started.