No-shows are noooooo fun, especially when it’s for a free therapy consultation.
You reserved precious time on your calendar,
You’re super pumped to meet your potential future client and
You’re sitting there all alone AND not getting an ROI on your time.
I get it, I’ve been there.
So, here’s one simple, time-saving strategy you can implement to prevent no-shows from happening during therapy consultations.
Send automatic appointment reminders
Please do yourself a favor, and save yourself a boat load of time, headache, and heartache and send automatic appointment reminders.
There are lots of details that go into making the therapy consultation happen, BUT if you’re not sending reminders, you’re flushing all that time, attention, and detail that you put into your therapy consultation process and are flushing it down the toilet.
Your marketing could be spot on but no one is thinking about your dreamy marketing when their life is off the hook.
If you’re using an electronic health record, chances are you have access to the lovely time-saving feature of sending kind and timely reminders about upcoming appointments.
Many people think that appointment reminders are solely reserved for active clients, however sending automatic appointment reminders to potential clients, sets a nice tone for what they can expect if they say yes to working with you.
Why wouldn’t you want to make things easier on yourself and them, especially in a day in age where we’re all interacting with business that are offer the convenient communication tools, like automatic reminders.
Sadly, many therapists think “well, if it was so important they would have remembered”
Hold the phone!
We must remember that life gets busy.
When was the last time that you couldn’t recall the date or day of the week, or just simply lost track of time?
And if you’re thinking that sending an appointment reminder is annoying,
well here’s the thing…
Mostly everyone has a minicomputer in their pocket, that is constantly sending them alerts and notifications,
so it’s not an imposition to send an appointment reminder or two for your upcoming therapy consultation.
Should I follow-up after a consultation no-show?
Yes, I recommend that therapists follow-up when someone no-shows for a therapy consultation and here’s why.
First of all, don’t be too hard on yourself, if you start to stew on your irritation soup because you were stood up.
You’re a person with feelings and you can feel them as deeply as you want,
however, you don’t have to let those unpleasant feelings run your business.
Keep in mind that although we have been blessed with the gift of gab and enjoy making space for people’s lived experiences,
that doesn’t mean the lovely person reaching out for a therapy consultation is as comfortable or confident with that space as you are.
Take a moment to simmer and settle about how you feel and then offer a follow-up outreach.
I follow-up with consultation no-shows and several times, that outreach has resulted in not only a rescheduled therapy consultation but also resulted in a new ideal client on my caseload.
Once you send the follow-up outreach, if you don’t receive a reply, let it go and move on to the next task.
If they respond to your outreach and express interest in rescheduling, don’t start a game of email and phone tag.
Send them a link to your online calendar and wait for the new therapy consultation request to come through.
Keep in mind that how you approach no-show and late cancellations for current clients on your caseload is whole different ball game.
Even when you do “everything right”, you’re still going to have those moments where things go not according to plan and that’s okay.
Because these minor hiccups remind us that we’re in the people business and on days where you’re ultra focused on how to sustain your practice, it’s easier than you think to lose sight of what’s really important.
And contrary to what data analytics and the founders of modern psychology say, everyone doesn’t operate within predictable patterns 100% of the time.
Creating a private practice with a foundation anchored in your values, will be your automatic reminder of why you set out on this journey in the first place.
Just because something didn’t work, that doesn’t automatically mean that you did something wrong.
It’s just a kind reminder that we’re people, just doing the best we can. (emoji)
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