No-shows: How can we help?
When a client fails to turn up at your centre for a planned tour, it’s a frustrating experience and a waste of time for all concerned.
While there are some unavoidable circumstances that can lead to a missed appointment, in our communicative age of mobile technology and wireless networks it is reasonable to expect a quick phone call to cancel or postpone a tour if the scheduled appointment cannot be met.
In a nutshell, No-Shows are widely considered as:
- A waste of time;
- Costly to both office providers and officebroker.com;
- Likely to increase the turnaround time of a client taking space;
- Frustrating for office providers;
- Something that officebroker.com aim to keep reducing.
At officebroker.com we invest a significant amount of time and resources to train our staff on how to book tours effectively, which includes spotting potential issues that could result in a No-Show.
Chris Meredith (pictured left), Head of UK Sales at officebroker.com, has been in the serviced office industry for many years and frequently comes up against the issue of missed appointments.
“I have worked in the industry for over seven years now and during my time at officebroker.com it has always been a priority to ensure that our No-Show ratio is as low as possible,” Chris commented. “I understand that when a client No-Shows for a tour it is not just a waste of that individual provider’s time, it is frustrating and commercially it can be very expensive.”
This is amplified depending on whether the office provider has multiple buildings, and how far apart they are from each other – particularly if one Centre or Regional Manager oversees several properties and must travel between locations to meet prospective clients.
At officebroker.com we feel that it is our role as a Broker to add value to both the client and the office provider, and there a number of ways that we work to achieve this.
Understanding the products we advertise
Relevance and suitability is key
officebroker.com has geographically-based consultants who are responsible for specific postcode locations and regions. We also aim to get our consultants out of the office each month to visit some of the centres they work with, to build their geographical and product knowledge.
This helps to reduce the amount of time wasted through No-Shows by only showing clients the most relevant space.
“We feel that by understanding the product we are selling, it helps us to build stronger relationships with our providers,” said Chris. “This means that we can qualify and understand the client’s wants and needs, and match them with the best solution. This in turn should reduce the amount of time wasted for clients and providers by only arranging viewings for the most suitable buildings.”
Setting the client’s expectations
Understanding the commitment
For every enquiry that leads to a tour, officebroker.com consultants will explain to each client the process of touring a space to make sure that the client understands the commitment and importance of the appointment.
“This is a key part of our training process and each consultant is drilled on the procedure,” explains Chris. In brief, officebroker.com’s typical tour procedure runs as follows:
1) Consultant discusses the tour procedure with the client, including where the tours will be arranged and why;
2) Consultant then speaks with the office provider to book the tour;
3) Once the provider has confirmed the tour appointment, the consultant confirms the tour with the client via telephone and a tour confirmation email is sent. This includes full contact details and address of the centre.
Preparing for Plan B
For every tour, the client is supplied with details of where they are going, who they are meeting and key information such as centre telephone numbers, the building address and contact details of the consultant. This gives the client a number of communication channels and provides them with the opportunity to make rearrangements, should they be running late or intend to cancel.
Through rigorous training with our in-house ‘oracle’ Fiona Spruce (pictured left) and by regular monitoring of each consultant’s tour handling processes by their team leader, we aim to continue reducing the number of No-Shows throughout the industry.
In your experience, what else can be done to help combat the issue of ‘no-shows’?
Any issues or suggestions to have officebroker.com can improve and reduce their no show ratio would be gratefully received. Please send your thoughts or suggestions by email to Chris Meredith on Chris.Meredith@officebroker.com or discuss the issue with him further by calling 0800 111 6 444.