Greetings From Helen

Dear Staff,

Hope you had a Happy Valentine’s Day with friends and loved ones. Valentine’s Day falls on my husband’s birthday and we love to go to Monterey Park for Chinese food. Recently we’ve noticed that more and more Chinese people, both young and old, are also celebrating Valentine’s Day. Great fun and I highly recommend it!

This month in the office we’ve spent time dealing with client cancellations and what it means to SLEA. We have always paid full time staff for client cancellations and in the last few years we’ve noticed that cancellations are on the rise and that the cancellations are costing the practice both professionally, and financially. When clients cancel often, they do not progress and ultimately we are judged on our performance. No one will remember just how many sessions were actually attended. Our budgets are contingent on attendance.

SLEA values its staff. Our staff is committed to us and we in turn are committed to a nice place to work, good benefits, a competitive salary, and adequate equipment. With cancellations, we are frequently unable to bill for the time, and yet our costs continue.

I try to figure out why cancellations occur. Sometimes it’s due to serious illness, which we have no control over. However, many times there are conflicting appointments, sports, hobbies and family trips. I would argue that once a client has committed to a schedule, that appointment is the top priority for the family; that is unless the service is undervalued and other things have become the priority. Some argue that there are more cancellations when services are free, yet we see cancellations across all pay sources.

I know that I have personally cancelled appointments, and some at the last moment, when I am conflicted about the efficacy of that appointment. When clients cancel on me, I want to know how my clients feel about my services. If I’m not the priority, then maybe my services are not valued and a discussion is warranted with the client. Cancelled appointments have deeper meaning and it’s a signal to us that something is not working or some changes are needed.

I encourage you to question your clients who cancel frequently. We have waiting lists and there’s no excuse or reason for ongoing cancellations. I want to thank all of you for your fine efforts to resolve this issue.

We are doing better! Have a great month!

My office is always open. Call me or stop in.

Helen

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