So much has changed over the last few years, from my availability to demand for massage. With the beginning of 2022, it is time for me to update my cancellation policy.
Let's get candid about cancellations for a sec.
2022 will mark my 12th year as a massage therapist, as well as my fourth year with Evolve. During that time, I have very rarely had issues with cancellations. And if they do happen, it is not usually a problem to fill an open spot, especially if I know a few days in advance.
I am also quite lenient about cancellations. I always have been because for the most part my clients are respectful of my time. And I completely understand that sometimes things happen that are outside of our control. Illnesses, accidents, unexpected responsibilities, etc. But... these haven't been majority of last minute cancellations- and is why I have taken note. Many of my last minute openings have been because of reasons that have been known for a while (such as vacations, appointment conflicts, work schedules, etc) and could have been taken care of weeks earlier.
But over the last 2 or 3 months, I have started to feel like my leniency has been taken for granted at times. Most everyone knows that I work alone and do not have a receptionist, so if a last minute cancellation comes in, it is almost impossible for me to fill (I can't be massaging one person and be on the phone with another, after all!). Considering I book out about 3 months, this means there are new clients or people in pain who are unable to schedule, who otherwise would have been able to! It is not fun to turn away someone who is in need, especially if I could have scheduled them if I'd known about an open spot sooner.
Therefore, I am updating my cancellation policy to the following:
-Cancellations are required 48 hours in advance: Everyone receives a reminder text 48 hours before their appointment. This is not something I do manually- my software automatically sends texts (and indicates to me that they've been received). This is the point where a cancellation needs to take place. This will give me plenty of time to go through my waiting list and contact someone who is trying to get in.
-Cancellation Fees: Since opening Evolve I have, technically, had a cancellation fee in place- but honestly, I have only used it on ONE occasion (and that was when it affected someone working for me, not just me). Going forward, cancellations less than 48 hours in advance with be subject to half the charge of the scheduled appointment, which will be added on to the next appointment.
No shows will result in a charge of the entire appointment cost, which also will need to be paid before scheduling the next appointment. Repeat no-shows an frequent cancellations may result in a credit card needing to be on file in order to schedule.
Please let me be clear- I DO NOT want to charge cancellation fees. And I also do not want to require cards in order to book. But I also recognize that I am quite a pushover when it comes to last minute cancellations and there is a need to put my foot down (even if I don't want to!). I am hoping that going forward, these new policies will clear up any cancellation issues I have been experiencing and we won't have to go on to the next steps. I don't anticipate having to do that, considering this is the first time in 12 years I have felt the need to update these policies.
One more suggestion from me as to how to avoid these unwanted and last minute changes- before leaving my office put your scheduled appointments in your phone or planner. Many times, we rely on the reminder texts. But if we rely on only those, that sets us up to overbook ourselves and then have to cancel last minute. Plan ahead, and don't rely on the text!
If there are any questions, please feel free to contact me any time!
Happy New Year- I look forward to seeing all your faces (hopefully soon unmasked) in 2022!
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