How to increase bookings and reduce no shows

Whether you are running a salon, private classes, sporting clubs or any business which requires bookings to be made, ensuring you have a full schedule is key to your success. Standing in the way of this glorious success is the constant spectre of no shows, missed bookings and low booking numbers.

While building a base of clients is integral to a flow of work to keep your business healthy, repeat customers and a dependable roster are just as important.

Using modern booking software like BetterHQ, how do you go about reducing no shows?

The power of SMS

The power of SMS is strangely underrated in today’s maze of communication apps. Although effective emails can be sent from your booking software, it is often better to be using sms specifically for reminders.

An email reminder has a very low open rate – sometimes in the single digit percentile. SMS however has a virtually 100% chance of being opened and read.

Just jump into your software and set up automated, ‘set and forget’ sms reminders for all of your clients. It is estimated the quick and easy sms reminder can decrease no shows by 50%. After all, have you ever had an appointment you only remembered because of a buzz in your pocket? We all have.

Email confirmations and promotions

When you set up your clients initially, make sure to grab their email and of course their phone numbers.

Once an appointment is made, ensure you have setup an attractive and warm email confirmation complete with invoice and all the contact details they need.

It’s also a great opportunity to include discount offers, group offers, or provide links to your social channels, blogs and newsletters. All of this adds up to a more engaged and satisfied client, fully equipped and informed ready to show up to their appointment.

Appointment packages

Think forwardly and offer a package of appointments up front for a discount. With software like BetterHQ you have the option to offer, lets say 10 karate lessons or 5 nail sessions at the salon.

By doing so, you can not only lock them into a commitment which you can bank on, you also have the advantage of taking payment upfront in a single invoice. The no shows will be essentially eliminated and there is no penalty for you if they do stop showing up.

Furthermore, it’s a great chance to increase customer satisfaction by providing discounts on your services to save them cash. It’s a win-win.

Website savviness

Another great way to increase traffic and bookings is to dominate your website game.

Make your booking page the first thing your client sees on your website.

It’s hard to imagine a booking-based business that should not have their booking form or button link dead front and centre on their landing page.

The point of your site, if you take bookings, is to do exactly that first and foremost. Good UX means the least clicks possible to the end goal – a completed booking form. To boost booking rates, ensure you have the least amount of clicks possible to make a booking and make sure to craft a smooth and attractive experience.

Don’t worry about ancillary information like contact details, offerings, about us or customer success stories – these play second fiddle to the all important goal of getting those click throughs to your booking page.


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