„Unfortunately, I cannot make it to our class today, see you next week!” texts one of your clients right before the training, without any specific explanation. Sound familiar, right?
Unfortunately, it often happens that your client cancels the previously booked training in the last second, or just simply forget to show up at group sessions. This could be fairly embarrassing – should you be informed about the cancellation ahead of time, another client could simply book the vacant spot who had been previously denied to attend due to a fully booked training.
Is there an efficient way of avoiding such situation? And if so, how could you handle last minute cancellations effectively?
How to be a pro at handling embarrassing situations?
Even though losing profit and wasting your energy are frustrating results of late cancellations, you should learn how to handle such situations with a cool head. It can happen to any of us – an unexpected, impossible-to-postpone kind of event just ruins our daily schedule. In this case, you have to show empathy and acceptance towards the client who cancels their class too late, or simply miss to show up at your training. Naturally, you should show compassion only if your client is not making a lame excuse nor these cancellations repeat week after week.
Notorious latecomers and those constantly cancel their classes in the last second are an entirely different kind. Still, there’s no need to worry – situations like these can also be solved with a little bit of foresight.
If you have a client who constantly cancels their trainings, or just happens to miss classes because of their congested schedule, sit down and have a chat after your session. Try to learn more about the cause of the tardiness. If you are able to discuss the situation together, you’ll find a solution that can efficiently handle your client’s schedule or tardiness related problems, which can also help both of you to avoid unexpected or embarrassing situations.
So, in order to handle such situations all you need is a little compassion, clear communication, a few tricks – old and modern but above all, highly efficient. What are these tricks? Read on to find out.
There are several solutions used by many trainers, and it’s safe to say that they are all very efficient. There solutions are usually based on practical things like administration or foresight, both of which strengthen the trust towards you. Let’s see two examples that demonstrate how these tricks work.
- Don’t just give – ask in return!
It’s very important to make your clients be aware in the very beginning that even though your main task is to help them progress as individuals towards their long-term goals, you also have expectations towards them. These expectations do not only protect your own business interest, but also helps their development by making it clutter-free and more efficient.
Apart from discussing these expectations in person, it’s worth making them official as well, for example by creating your very own guidelines or house rules. These guidelines serve and protect both sides’ interest – and you can easily include a few points about your cancellation policy. By signing the guidelines, your clients agree that by registering to your classes, attending them is obligatory, and not showing up might entail with extra fees for them.
Most people like to play by clear rules, which is another reason for creating a comprehensive policy. And for those who still tend to disobey the rules, Spomoco’s scheduling assistant helps you a great deal.
- Do the maths!
If you are able to phrase your guidelines well, it can become steady foundations on the road of having less and less clients not showing up at your classes. However, such policies do not necessarily make up for the financial loss created by notorious tardiness. This is why it’s important that you calculate your tariffs with eliminating the random factor of cancellations.
One of the easiest and most efficient way of doing this is by asking your clients not to pay for each occasion, but rather in advance for a week or even a month. This way you can get the full sum of the classes ahead of time, which can also motivate your clients to cancel their previously booked classes only when it’s inevitable for them to skip.
A modern solution
Apart from the traditional tricks, thanks to the technological advance, you have the chance to apply modern solutions that look less rigorous but equally efficient. Naturally, you can utilise these combined with the classic tricks, thus increasing your efficiency in handling issues.
One of the greatest advantages of modern smart devices is their mobility, and their ability to install a wide range of applications. Nowadays, you can find an application for basically anything, which helps you making your daily tasks easier and quicker to manage. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the fitness industry also has its own selection of productivity apps.
The market has been literally swarmed by different applications measuring your performance, keeping you motivated, or just helping you with managing your schedule. Some of these applications offer perks that are useful for trainer and trainee alike – you can easily organise your class or keep motivated to attend trainings.
Spomoco’s application follows the same concept. It does not only make trainers’ lives easier, but also helps your clients have a more clutter-free schedule – it is basically a personal assistant for both sides.
- Creating a schedule efficiently
Spomoco’s main aim is to make organising classes easier. And how? Well, the answer is just as simple as the way it works.
Spomoco helps your clients book a training for any vacant slot with the preferred trainer with a single click, plus they can cancel or modify their bookings with a similar quickness and efficiency. All this can be done without the need to get in touch via phone or email. Moreover, the application does not only make reservations and their modifications easy as pie, but it also takes off the administrative duties from the trainers’ shoulders in the blink of an eye.
- Managing the waiting list
For clients who have a tendency to cancel classes, or for those who prefer deciding about their training in the last second, Spomoco’s waiting list function provides an excellent solution. It can always happen that someone cancels their class in the last second. If another client of yours is on the waiting list, they can get into your class – so everyone comes out well from the situations: you, because you don’t miss out on the income, and your client, too, because they finally make it to the class they wanted to get in.
- Constant motivation
If you truly want to avoid clients cancelling classes (or even dropping out) because of being demotivated, you have to think about a way to sustain their motivation level. The energy and momentum you display at your classes is pretty much the best motivational force you can provide, but many of your clients need smaller, but equally useful things that keep their motivating to work out even when they aren’t at your classes.
Let’s take Spomoco’s application for instance – as it’s a virtual assistant, it does not only making signing up for classes easier, but it also provides constant motivation for your clients. It sends out various reminders to notify them about upcoming trainings, and it also reminds them if they haven’t booked a class for a longer time. This way they gain more motivation to do sports and work out regularly.
Thanks to Spomoco, event the more forgetful or disorganised clients can be regulated, so that their weekly schedule becomes clutter-free and they can always find a free slot for your trainings. This application is just another tool to build a tight-knit, sports community founded on trust, which will also help you deal with the money and free time you’d potentially lose due to late cancellations or skipped trainings.
To sum up
All in all, it’s safe to say that cancellations do not only harm your business, but they also damage your relationship with your clients. They decrease the trust between you, creating embarrassing situation, which both lead to a loss of professionalism and efficiency. So, the less cancellations you have the more certain you cab be that you’re building a perseverant and loyal clientele around for your business. Bu if you truly want to make this work, you have to take control of the situation and work on avoiding these problems from the get-go.