Any of you who've booked my time and services through my 'Book Now' button know that in order to secure an appointment with me, you will need to input your credit card details into my secure Genbook appointment scheduler. I really hate that it's come to this. I don't like being the bad guy, but let me share why this is so.
Before I had this wonderful automatic appointment scheduling system, I would schedule any client who called or emailed me into my old-school appointment book, take down their name and phone number and pray to the Nail Gods that they would show up when they were supposed to.
Many clients forgot about their appointments. Many simply decided they didn't want to keep their appointment and that it wasn't necessary to let me know they weren't coming.
The problem with both scenarios is that it directly impacts my ability to continue to offer the premium nail services that my loyal clients depend on. Without an income, I can't afford to stay in business. This income pays my bills. This is not my pocket change. I don't do this as a hobby.
So I searched long and hard to figure out a way to eliminate both situations and I settled on Genbook. My clients receive reminder emails 24 hours in advance of their appointments which they love. And new clients (who are not referrals from existing clients) who book online will need to input their credit card information in order to secure an appointment. Problem solved, right?
Well not exactly. I have been known in the past to waver on my policy of requiring first-time clients who book with me by phone or email a credit card number in order to secure their appointment.
Let me share with you a recent example of why I will no longer be so accommodating.
A lovely girl booked a set of extensions with me. She was getting married in a month and wanted to get them done, then get them freshened up a few days prior to her wedding. She called me on the phone and I took her booking without taking her credit card information.
The morning of her appointment, a busy Saturday mind you, she emailed me a few hours prior at 5 am, to let me know there had been a death in the family and that she wasn't coming, but she would be in touch to reschedule.
I emailed her back my condolences and that was that.
Several days later, she called to reschedule. So we rescheduled her appointment. Again, I did not ask for any credit card information to secure the appointment. I figured the fact she called to rebook meant it was a sincere effort to make up for the missed appointment.
So, you all know where this is going, right? She did not show up for the second appointment, nor did I get a phone call or email to advise she wasn't coming. She would have received her reminder email 24 hours in advance.
I normally wait until 15 minutes have passed then I call the contact number, which I did in this case. A pleasant young man answered the phone - I am assuming this was her fiancé - and I mentioned that she had missed her nail appointment and that I would not be able to accommodate her in the time remaining if she were still coming. He didn't seem at all concerned (I know, it's not HIS nails) so my reaction was that she never had any intention of coming, or letting me know. For all I know this could have been a back-up appointment she made just in case her first option didn't work. This is the part I don't like - left to my own devices I can pretty much conclude that you are a huge time-waster and that you are a horrible person.
The problem with all this is that it affected my income, twice. I have people who are waiting for appointments at certain times and I could have accommodated them if I'd had enough notice.
So my point in this long drawn out saga is this: All first time clients will be required to secure their appointment with a credit card (unless you are a referral from an existing client and then I know your friend or family member will kick your ass if you no-show me). The majority of my first time clients have absolutely no issue with this. Genbook is a secure website. I will never see your information unless you don't show up and don't let me know you aren't coming. You can book your appointment online yourself. Or if you choose to call to book an appointment, I will be asking you for your credit card information which I will then input into Genbook to create your appointment. If you don't want to provide it, that's your choice and there will be no hard feelings. There are many walk-in nail salons around who will gladly accommodate you without an appointment.
I really, really hate having to be the bad guy. It's not in my character. But I need to protect my income source. After all, it's what buys all those neat colours, glitters, designs and products that you need and want on your nails ;)