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Strategies for Decreasing No-Show AppointmentsPart 1: Identifying Potential Causes

All centers have clients who don’t show up. In some ways, it is the nature of the clientele we serve, but that doesn’t mean that we should chalk it up to a normal occurrence, shrug our shoulders and accept that it’s the reality we have to live with. These are women in need of help, and this is why we exist. So while we can’t be too desperate or "harass" a client who doesn’t show up, we can investigate where our everyday practices might be inadequate and employ simple strategies to improve the show up rates.

Here are some areas to investigate if your center is experiencing an excessive number of no-show appointments.

  • Did you quickly respond when she reached out?

  • Did your tone of voice say something that you may not have intended? For instance were you distracted, rushed, overly cheerful or too caring?

  • Did the initial conversation leave her feeling secure in your ability to provide valuable services that were in line with what she was looking for? Or is it possible that she was over sold on services she had no interest in?

  • Did you give the “no abortion” disclaimer too early setting a road block in her mind?

  • Once she accepted the appointment, was she prepared for her appointment so that she knew what to expect and her anxieties were lessened?

  • Did she receive a follow up text reminding her of the date and location of the appointment? Did that text make her feel respected, valued, and safe?

  • Was she made aware of the ability ask questions, get quick answers, or make a changes to her appointment outside of regular office hours?

  • Did she have to wait more than a day or 2 for a consultation? Is it possible that she moved on and visited another clinic?

  • Is it possible that she visited your website or social media pages and felt your center was outdated or biased? Did she see sites and posts that were meant for donors?

  • Did she see a string of less than stellar reviews on google?

  • When is the last time receptionists completed training updates? Do you audit conversations or call logs to identify those who may need some help? In doing audits you may also identify those who could mentor others?

By taking an honest look at our practices through the eyes of the abortion minded woman and identifying small adjustments that can be made, we will be able to improve the show up rate and in turn encourage more women to make a life affirming choice. In next week’s Tuesday Tips, I will share some simple strategies that will help you to combat all the above items that could be damaging your client show up rate.


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