Before I state my reasoning, let me begin by sharing a story about me a few weeks ago.
I was getting ready for a discovery call with a potential client. The day before, I had to cancel my spin class because it started at the same time as this call. When I called said client at precisely 9am, the call went straight to voicemail. I hung up and thought to myself, "maybe she forgot to charge her phone last night. I'll give her 5 minutes." Five minutes passed, I called her again, and the same thing happened. At this point, I was getting pretty annoyed. I waited five more minutes, called her for the 3rd time, and the same thing happened. I left a voicemail stating if she needed to reschedule the call later. The other thing I did was send her a DM on Instagram to see if she responded there. She did... an hour or two later. She said she was very sorry and had a lot of things going on in her mind blah blah blah. Then I responded, "No worries! Just reschedule the call when you're ready."
When this happened, frustration and annoyance were the emotions going through my head. "What a waste of my time," I said to myself. I could've gone to my spin class that morning. I wasn't going to do that because that would've looked unprofessional on my part. I remembered a fellow brand designer Kenzi shared a post on Instagram a while back saying how she terminates a project when a client doesn't show up to a meeting. That inspired me to do something about this occurrence.
Starting today, I will now charge a no-show fee to any discovery call or brand strategy session to potential and current clients. Emergencies are the only exception and will cancel that no-show fee for that reason only. I made it clear in the confirmation email that if they don't show up to the call or meeting, they will be charged $50. And I just thought of this as I'm typing this post, but if they don't show up for the next one they rescheduled, they will not be working with me. It's just red flags one after another.
If you consider charging no-show fees to potential and current clients, you should look into it! Your time is valuable, and these clients should know you are a professional in the industry and should be treated with respect. It's unfair for us to open our schedules for them, and they don't even put in the effort to show up. We have the right to charge no-show fees. Do you agree?