If your policy is not to charge as long as they give you 24 hour notice, then you must honor it. You can stop this from happening in the future, if you put an end date for the number of sessions someone buys. This way when they purchase a package of sessions they know there is an expiration date. Another option for you would be to charge a monthly fee depending on the number of sessions someone buys. I hope this helps.
As a personal trainer I have 3 primary business activities: training/classes, paperwork, and marketing. I have set hours each day/week that commit to those activities. If a client needs to reschedule it must be withing those set hours; this way it doesn’t interfere with my personal life. I simply swap training sessions with other business activities when a client cancels. For clients who cancel regularly I have sessions expire so they have to finish all their sessions within a certain period of time.
This actually allows me to have a 12 hour cancellation policy; clients know upfront that I have limited availability and they have to complete all their sessions within a reasonable time period, but I am reasonable about cancellation requests. This has helped me with the flip side of this issue: clients that won’t cancel even if they’re incredibly sick because they don’t want to lose a session.
Hi Meryl. I agree with Jonathan and Harris; the best way to handle the situation that you describe is to have a ‘expiration date’ on purchased sessions. Of course, one of the drawbacks to having that policy is that you may find that your clients no longer purchase any of your longer packages for fear of losing money. So if selling those types of longer packages is part of your marketing plan that may be something to think about 🙂
I hope that this helps.
I would change my cancellation policy to 48 hours in advance
I would also enforce a expiration date of sessions along with payment upfront.
I would also not be overly accomodating to get that person back in the schedule. If you are constantly accommodating them they have learned that it works and will keep expecting it.
You’ve received great answers so far, the flip side is to have a conversation with the client at their next session. It doesn’t have to be confrontational, a simple “Over the last few weeks you cancelled X number of sessions and we’ve had to reschedule. Is there a timing issue? Are you too sore from your last session? I want you to get the most out of our sessions so you can reach your goals. If there is an issue with scheduling of your sessions, lets see if we can come up with a solution that works for your schedule and allows you to reach your goals.” You may learn more about what is going on with the client, creating more of a personal relationship and they’ll find that you’re more engaged in them as a person, than just a money making client.
If that doesn’t work or the setting an expiration date, you may want to have a direct conversation about keeping to sessions as your programming is designed with certain rest days, to meet goals, etc.