Dealing with no-shows and cancellations as a tradie can be incredibly frustrating. You’ve taken time out of your busy day to get a job sorted, and then surprise – no one’s home. Of course some cancellations are understandable if something urgent crops up, but sometimes you know people are just taking the p*ss. So how can you prevent no-shows and cancellations from happening?
Ask for a deposit
If you already do this, you’re on the right track, but sometimes it can be hard to gauge just how much the job will cost, so how do you even work out what the deposit should be? Regardless of how much the job ends up being, you should charge an amount that would mean you aren’t ridiculously out of pocket should someone cancel at the last minute. When a client pays a deposit, they’re less likely to flake on you as they’ve already paid money to secure the job.
Keep up the reminders
It’s understandable that people just get busy sometimes and forget what time and date they’ve asked you to come. Reminding them a week out and then perhaps the day before really gives them no excuse to cancel on you. Send them an email reminder first, then call a day or two ahead to make sure that they are still expecting you. This also shows them that you are invested in the job and you’re taking it seriously.
Schedule specific times
It can be a good idea to schedule a specific time or window when you and the client are both available. A client is less likely to forget that you’re coming when they’re given a specific time, rather than ‘somewhere between 9 and 3’ that day. They might not be as co-operative if they need to take the entire day to wait around for you, and they may end up giving up and heading out when you’re almost there which is not ideal.
Have a solid cancellation policy
You might like being the tradie who’s always flexible and making things work as best you can. But to save your business and your sanity, it’s important to have a cancellation policy in place that covers you should someone bail when you’re already out of pocket. This policy could include a fee that the client would need to pay if they cancel (if they had a good reason, you could always waive it which makes you the good guy again).
What kinds of things do you have in place to stop cancellations and no-shows?