I interviewed many personal trainers, tennis coaches and therapists for an app that I am building and found that cancellations is one of the biggest worries independent instructors have. I would not say that our app completely solves this problem (customers will still try to cancel) but what we figured out is that by sending out confirmation emails after rescheduling (showing the new time & details of the session + mentioning the cancellation policy at the bottom), customers become more aware of things. This could help reduce cancellation frequency. Our app (for iPad) produces automatic confirmation emails after booking, rescheduling and cancelling sessions so this is effortless.
This said, I am curious how you guys as experts value this functionality. Could you have a look at the demo video and give me feedback? If you don’t want to view the entire clip, start at 1:00 where you see the automatic email confirmation step.
Thank you and good luck with taming the cancellation beast.
I agree with Jocelyn, that above and beyond your client understanding the cancellation policy is trying to find the real reason. I would have a discussion with your client and see if there is a barrier preventing him/her from attending the next session. Family, time constraints, and stage of change can all be factors. It could be that your client is just not ready to make a change, but having a conversation will allow you to come up with solutions to overcome any barriers.
In addition to a conversation, I would send confirmations to the client prior to your sessions. It’s also your time, your effort, and your business that you need to focus on as well.