Maintaining a Robust Cancellation Policy in Your Service Business


It's an all too familiar scenario for service providers. A client calls to cancel their appointment just minutes before, requesting a refund for their deposit. The question arises, should we refund and lose the booking slot, or hold onto the deposit and risk client dissatisfaction?

Why is a Cancellation Policy Crucial?
Regardless of the industry, any business that trades time for money should have a cancellation policy in place. Much like an airline seat, our service slots are limited, and in demand, and once the time passes, the slot can't be resold. In such a setup, the client's commitment is essential for sustainability.

Crafting an Effective Cancellation Policy
Cancellation policies should be tailored to the needs of your business. Some businesses may require a 50% booking fee that's movable or refundable until 24 hours before the appointment. Others may demand a 100% fee that's only movable and non-refundable. The ultimate goal of a cancellation policy is to protect your business and set the terms of commitment with your client.

Enforcing a Cancellation Policy and Making Exceptions
Enforcing the cancellation policy can sometimes be challenging, as clients may not fully understand its significance. Therefore, it's vital to be transparent and clear about the policy from the get-go. Online booking software such as You'reOnTime, visible policy outlines on your premises and website, frequent communication about the policy, and verbal reiteration to new clients can all help in reducing policy violation incidents.

Deciding When to Make Exceptions
The decision to make exceptions to your cancellation policy depends on various factors. These may include the client's booking history, frequency of visits, and the nature of the cancellation reason. Being firm but fair is crucial in making such decisions. Remember, the cancellation policy is there to protect your business and to foster a commitment to self-care from your clients. In addition, a backup plan for those rare occasions when last-minute cancellations do occur can help ensure your time is always positively utilized.

Book a DEMO today to see how you can implement Cancellation policies with You'reOnTime.