Last minute cancellations are SO frustrating!
You’ve committed to be there and possibly even turned other clients down and now you’re left with no revenue.
Grrrr not good at all!
It’s something many of my clients have faced in their Pet Sitting business and something we had to learn to manage.
And so I wanted to share with you 6 tips on avoiding cancellations and how to handle them when they inevitably do happen;
How to Handle Last Minute Cancellations in your Pet Sitting or Dog Walking Business
#1. Have a clear, documented cancellation policy
This goes without saying and most businesses do. Make sure you communicate the minimum notice you accept, How it needs to be communicated (phone, e-mail, text etc.) and what, if anything, the customer will still be charged.
Focus on how getting that notice enables you to provide a better service for them and keeps costs down so that your customers understand.
#2. Blog about your cancellation policy
It’ll be no surprise to you I recommend blogging about it – you know I love to blog and credit my blog with growing our Pet Sitting business.
And blogging doesn’t just get the information out clearly to your customers. It shows them you’ve thought about when things go wrong and have policies in place to cover it .
And that builds TRUST in your brand.
And can actually attract more of the RIGHT customers into your business!
It’s a real win:win – always blog the answers to questions your customer and potential customers ask!
Also share it on social media and in an eBook or PDF you share with potential and / or new customers.
#3. Walk through your Cancellation Policy in Your New Client Onboarding Process
Make sure your new clients are crystal clear on your Cancellation Policy (and all your other policies and processes) at the time you welcome them onboard.
Again, this will reassure them so they know what to do if something comes up and that builds trust.
And in the event of any customer quibble you can refer them back to the onboarding information.
#4. Write an eBook for prospective customers and include your Cancellation Policy.
I cannot recommend writing an eBook highly enough!
Answer ALL the questions your prospective clients ask in it and title it something like ‘How to Find the Best Pet Sitter / Dogwalker in X Town’
This will drive traffic to your website through Google searches because pet owners are looking for this information and it’ll boost your Google ranking. It positions you as a trustworthy source of valuable information. And that attracts the right sort of clients for your business.
It’ll also weed out the wrong type of clients and saves you time and effort on enquiries that go nowhere.
And when you have questions from prospective clients you can refer them to the eBook, saving you time and effort and building that trust factor.
#5. Decide ahead of time how you’ll handle cancellations
You may decide to have a blanket policy and treat every cancellation the same way. Or you may want to exercise discretion depending on the customer’s relationship with you and the circumstances.
Just make sure you and anyone else in the business handling cancellations is crystal clear on how to handle it.
#6. Have a clear policy in your Staff Handbook
Just as you do for your customers, make sure the policy is crystal clear for your staff on exactly what will happen in the event of a cancellation and how it affects their pay.
You may even want to blog or have an eBook for staff / prospective staff because guess what? As well as attracting the right customers it’s also a great way to attract the right staff- but that’s a blog for another day!
How do you handle cancellations? Let me know in the comments below