We have all seen them. Sign up for a health club, HOA rules, appointment policy, public library policies, Office policy and the list goes on from here. Why a policy? Rules? Policies and rules are written to protect the people, set guidelines, give instruction. When I started my business I knew I would need to set some guidelines and policies in order to build a business that had substance and value. I also knew that there would be times when clients and others would disagree with my policy when the time came to enforce the policy.
Policy governing Appointments
At Dental Fitness & Spa we have a policy set for appointment cancelations or broken appointments. Why a policy for this? Imagine clients scheduling appointments and then deciding the day is just to nice to go to the dental hygiene office. That leaves my office with no production for an hour, yet my overhead expense continues to run. Last minute cancelations or broken appointments are often difficult to fill. To have several of these every month can lead to business failure. My time and revenue to pay my bills has been stolen and I have no way to recoup it. Imagine a department store that continues to keep its doors open, employees paid, utilities, liability insurance and more – but no customers coming through the doors. Eventually that company will not exist. What if the client is sick? Is the client sick? What if that client has a flat tire? Is there a flat tire? Are they just needing to change their schedule for a family members benefit? Maybe they have an appointment that 'trumps' this dental appointment.
Broken Policy Excuses
Excuses, reasons for doing or not doing something – we all have them. The dilemma I have at my office is, when do we not enforce a policy? Do I not enforce the policy when a client calls in sick an hour or two before an appointment? Are all clients sick when that excuse is given? Who do I believe and who not? Or, maybe the car has a flat tire. Does the policy get scrapped? At which excuse do I decide to leave the policy behind? It is not the excuse I am so concerned about, it is the hour that is now emply of production.
Dental Fitness & Spa has a broken appointment or less then 24 hour notice policy in place. If a client schedules an appointment and does not give 24 hours notice to cancel then there is a $40 fee. (this fee doesn't cover all my overhead cost) Why a fee? Because my time is valuable and I have to at the least cover some of my overhead cost. If you do not value my time and talents then we are not the office for you. I love what I do and I will give you the best care possible. I do this at a very affordable fee with high quality products. I do not know of any service business that can keep it's doors open if the clients/customers do not keep their reserved appointment times.
We should respect the time others have set aside to tend to our needs or wants, I do not wish to see sick clients, nor do I want to come fix your flat tire. But, where do I draw the line for excuses or reasons for last minute broken appointments. I charge all clients that have agreed to my policy a fee for broken or last minute cancelations. Why, because I value my time as well as yours and my desire is to keep my business open to help you and others. I love to help you and try to schedule appointments that meet your needs. Please, be considerate of the time you reserve at Dental Fitness & Spa.