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Dinky Geek
Oct 24, 2003
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I really need your opinions about a client i have...
The last two times she has booked it is for a monday morning as this is her day off, she has texted me a message late on sunday eve (last night it was 11pm...i was in bed!) to cancel for a reason she new was going to happen anyway and just didn't get round to letting me know earlier!!!!!
I only have a few regular clients and she know this...her mum also is one of my clients too and has cancelled appointments as well.
She also ordered two nail varnishes about 6 weeks ago but keeps saying 'next time' as she doesn't bring enough money with her!

Anyway after cancelling last night she also text me this morning at 8.30 to see if i had recieved her text from the night before! (i never answered both the texts).
Since then she has text and phoned saying she has changed her mind and she wants to come TODAY...
I am not answering my phone at the mo because i feel angry that i am being used this i being silly?

When it happened last week i asked her not to text me anymore with a cancelation but to phone at a reasonable time!

If i refuse to do her nails i will proberbly lose her mum too i guess...i just don't know what to do!!!

If you relyon the money for both mother and daughter you will just have to grin and bear it but the next time she calls to say she wants them done tell her that she must pay for the varnish otherwise you cant do the nails.

But if you have enough clients to do without i would say Good Bye.:cry:

Best of luck
i thought i should just add that the reason i haven't got many clients is because i only started charging clients in January and trained june 2003.

I charge less than anyone else around here and everyone that has had them done so far has been pleased...all my clients are from word and mouth!

This lady paid a lot more at a bar here and then came to me at first to have they made ok!!!! so she KNOWS she is getting a good deal from me!

Thats why i feel so hurt!

Sorry to moan right now girls but the ones that know me will understand that i like to give a good service but am i expecting to much from my clients?
I understand its really really hard to get clients in Dublin. The next time she calls tell her that you have an appointment at that time but you can push the other person back to fit her in and as you are doing her a favour she might be more considerate.

I know its lieing but a white like is nearly see throught :|
I sympathsise as it is very hard to put other feelings aside but at the end of the day you are a business woman and you have to start as you mean to go on no matter how hard this is....ermm I have giventhis pearl of wisdom ... I can tell you as much as I am trying working to this theory myself I still let my customers run the show as I am new and need the business right now....

Example one - My mobile phone rang a few weeks ago at 11:50pm for a nail art booking, now I was caught offside and answered the call but should really have let it go onto answer phone. The lady was a new customer and was attending a function that following day and really wanted nail art for the occasion, I took the booking but was relucant as I thought being able to turn up the following day made be look as if i'm not in demand - which I am not, but hey she doesnt know that does she..anyway did the design and she was really pleased and hopefully this will mean another new customer!

2 nights ago I was car less and walked to a local appointment, before I left I called her and checked she still ONLY wanted Nail Art and no repairs were needed, she confirmed this, and guess what I walked in the door and the first thing she did was show me a thumb nail which was cracked....I could have screamed I explained I had called before to check this as I was on foot - she said oh i didn't realise....Once client last week called an cancelled in the morning prior to her pm appointment - as she wanted to go to Bingo instead and rebook for the Thursday- I said fine, but then is started raining and she changed her mind about bingo & called me back an hour after appointment should have been & said could I come round anyway? My point is while I dont have a client base where I can pick and chose I put up with these problems, they are paying me and what else would I be doing other than sat at home and not getting more I understand and feel for you in your frustations but I beleive int he old saying 'beggers can't be chosers and right now i'm begging for clients (paying ones of course) phew I can't half yabber on....
I too have this problem with my clients. Because my contact number is a mobile number I get quite a few who text me to say they are cancelling rather than speak to me in person. Spineless but I guess that is fine. It can be annoying tho. At least they r betta than the clients who simply don't show !!
I've also learnt another trick - even if you are not booked up pretend that you have more bookings than you actually have. I've been known to say "well, I've already got a booking at that time.......but hey, leave it with me and I'll see if I can shuffle a few of my ladies around to get you booked in too" 10 minutes later I ring them back and say yes, I can fit you in. It makes them feel special and makes you look busy. It might make them try to keep their appointments if they think you r too busy to re-book for another time.
Why are you all not thinking about cancellation fees? How would these clients like if if their boss text them the night before and said they weren't needed in the morning and they wouldn't be paid?

It is hard and it makes you feel like a money grabbing b*~@h, but we are all business women trying to earn a living here. I've realised the hard way that I need to act like a professional business in order for my customers to treat me like a professional business.

Have a clear cancellation policy displayed or put it on your client record card and get them to sign it. Explain to your customer that it is no problem if she cancels giving you enough notice because you can then re-book the time with another customer.

Hopefully, as your business is building up via word of mouth, you will soon have enough customers to let these two go and stop messing you about.

Gigi was talking in another thread about getting too close to your staff. This can happen with your clients too. I get on well with all my clients, but you must know where to draw the line. I let a regular client write a post dated cheque - it bounced and it took me three months to get the money out of her - never again. You can't post date a cheque in Safeways etc. so don't expect to do it in my salon :mad: !!

I'll stop ranting now
i can relate to this one too, ...but i agree with most all the advice given must present your self as having a full schedule , regardless of wether you are busy or not ...your clients will respet your time more and think twice before canceling if they know they will not be able to get in right away ...i say if they continually do this may want to put them off a day or two or if thats to long ...just a few hours ..dont be so quick to give them the time slot they request right away ...i allways book my clients before they leave ..telling them it is better this way i can save a spot for them in advance ...with people calling at the last minute for appointments ...i tell them this will assure that they get the time slot that they choose ..i am not busy either as i have just opened up my salon , however i have run into many of theese problems and knew something had to be done ...and i tell you it is working great now ...i feel a bit guilty letting on i am busyier than i am but it has helped me gain the respect by the clients that i deserve in setting aside my time to do a service for them ....this is a buisness and i try my best to keep things that way ...friendly but buisness like ! good luck ! as for not returning her text message ...when you calm down and finally call her back ...tell her you are sorry you didnt get back to her sooner but you have really been busy ....buisness is really picking up .....proms??? dances ? whatever you must say ...but from this day forward ..remember are busy !!!
There are some long replies here but I have my 2p to add!! Firstly DON'T EVER NOT RESPOND to your clints - I totally understand the Sunday night thing but you should have been on the phone to her next morning sorting it out. Number 2 - start taking deposits!!! Marco Benito in Birmingham take a £10 deposit from EVERYONE!! They get walk ins leaving cash, or chqs, or a visa down the phone - BUT IT WORKS!!! Cancellation fee is a must for our industry!!! Hope this helps for you to the nail enamels (this really bugs me) - tell her you have sold them (even if you haven't) - it will make her realise you don't have time to mess about. If she insists on having them again - sell them to her the next time!!!
Samantha is so right, never ignore a client, because that gives them ammunition...
Now in her mind you don't care about any appointments..........
You should have called her back in the morning and told her, sorry but your appointment has been allocated to another client............(little white lie, but then she knows she is not your only client and that your time is money).
But if she would like to rebook fine, but make her pay a deposit....Tell her this secures her appointment.....
Have a deposit system or a cancellation fee asap printed on your leaflets.........If you cant reprint get some address labels, print it off on there and stick them on your leaflets...............
Deposits, I find work better, you have the money up front and you can tell your clients it is not refundable...............
We use this system in our Salon. It never fails!!!!!!!

As for goods ordered and not picked up, well make clients pay in advance and tell them the reason for this is uncollected goods...........But don't go into detail of which clients have let you down.............
In her case make her wait like Samantha said..........
Inform clients about this on you fliers or brochures also...........

You can have something like this on them..........
A deposit of XX£ is required on booking your appointment.
We ask for 48 hours notice if you need to cancel, after this time all deposits are non refundable. We kindley ask you for a 50% deposit on all product orders.
This helps to keep our prices low.

But on another thought, be flexible, because emergency's do happen at short notice...........let your conscience be your guide then ...........
Thanks to everyone that has replied to my questions...
When i said i didn't reply to the text last night and first thing this morning it was because i was in bed and busy getting my children to school so i think that is reasonable.
Yes i do agree with you guys about not answering messages etc and i thought about it and cooled down this morning then text her at lunchtime to say i could not fit her in because i had another client and said sorry. (a little white lie!)
I have gone out of my way for these two people cancelling and re-arranging appointment nearly every week! and they are really nice too but i guess because i am a busy mum and have to re-arrange my room as we use it for the computer when i am not working etc and make sure my home is spick and span for a client to come into and i rushed to do it all the night before.. i went to bed then the dreaded text...ahhhhhhhh.
Had to have a moan about it to someone girls ...i am soooo glad i have you here to discuss it with and for support.
Thanks once again.
Mmmm, I really empathise with all this. I haven't had *really* bad problems with cancellations etc, but it is very hard sometimes.
I think it is ironic that when you really need to charge a cancellation fee and get tough with clients that muck you about - you can't b/c you really need their custom. Then (when...if....!) you become mega sucessful, when you're not desparate for the custom or the money, you can be tough cos you're not terrified of losing them!
Gah! :rolleyes:
I have serveral clients that do this, i let them off the first time, but from then on i wont make an appointment for them, i just tell them to call the day before they want the appointment and try their luck, 9 times out of 10 i cant fit them in when they want to come and they have to re-arrange there schedule lol.

I find that after a few times of doing that they soon realise the importance of making an appointment and sticking to it.

Kerrie :)
Just thought i would let you know that my client text me today and told me she went somewhere else to get her nails done! :rolleyes:
Not being funny here, but how do you impose a cancellation fee? If a client doesn't turn up, oh yes I can phone her or write to her stating she owes me £££. However, I can't impose this fee and therefore does it make any difference?

If the client (as in this case) is a re-offender, then yes I can say 'I'm sorry but you didn't give me sufficient notice and therefore I will have to charge you £££ on top of my usual service fee'. And in this case yes I can enforce it. I've only ever had one re-offender (ssshhhh!!) and the 3rd time she tried to book with me I stated that she would have to pay extra......well she still booked, and guess what she never did show!!

As for taking a deposit, I think this is only practical when you are fully established and have a good lot of clients on your books. I personally think this would put a lot of clients off, unless you have that 'supremo' status, which I guess Marco probably does:) .

I don't pay a deposit when I book to have my hair cut, book for beauty treatments or book to have my BMW serviced therefore I certainly wouldn't pay a deposit to your average (but extremely good....phew!) salon nail technician. I do however believe that it is incredibly rude not to make the person aware that you can't make an appointment........I think we all agree there!!!

When you have a client like this, why not ring the night before just to make sure that everything is still ok for the following day, that way you give her the chance to spill the beans, and you know whether you're going to have a bum on the seat for that appointment.

Having said all this (and by golly it was alot!) if you can implement a deposit system and enforce a cancellation fee and your clients are willing to follow it.........then that's brilliant...........;)

I agree that if the client never comes back it is impossible to collect the cancellation fee. When they ring me for another appointment (or when they ring late to cancel) I make sure that they understand that it will be added to their next bill.

I have a memory like an elephant :D and I always remember those who owe me - even months later when they assume I've forgotten and they try to re-book!!

For those who have cancelled late twice (so they never get to pay the fee), I insist on a £10 deposit before I will book them in again. Most have been prepared to do this.

I realise that I am in a very fortunate position of having a large client list, so I don't mind losing the odd time waster here and there. When I first started I was much more lenient. My customers know that if they lose their 'slot' there is very little chance of me getting them in again for a couple of weeks.

I have come across this problem too ............. who hasn't!!.......
One "offender" in particular was a waxing client, her appointment was for an hour and a half, so quite a lot of lost money. Very regular she either didnt turn up or cancelled 20 mins AFTER her appt time.
Well one day i just blew my top!! I told her that if she wanted another appt then she had to come in, in the next two hours and pay a 50% deposit or no appt.
Bear in mind that i put up with this for 11 yrs from her so i have a lot of patience and guess what she came in paid her deposit and hasnt missed an appt since....
I wish i had gotten tougher sooner.............
Ah well you live and learn.....
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