(Holy) Ghosted by a Jesus Blogger
Why polices and boundaries are important in your salon suite.
“Well, I’m not currently accepting new clients.”
I tried my best to get a word in edgewise over her boisterous Southern twang. My protesting didn’t matter; she only wanted a one time appointment to highlight my nail studio in her local blog. As you could probably gather from my title, she wrote with a biblical angle; dealing in faith and hope with a side of, as it turns out, irony.
She shared she wanted to visit local businesses and form a network for when she started her own coffee shop. Despite her “influencer” status, I informed her she would in fact be paying for the appointments in cash money, and not PR, social media, or beads (a topic for another day).
Despite my better judgement I acquiesced her request (mistake number one). I told her to use my online booking system to schedule herself. She claimed to be a blank canvas, she wanted me to do what I do best.
A few days later I noticed she had indeed booked online, selecting the lowest level of nail art available on my service menu. Fine, but definitely not allowing me to do what I do best.
Fast forward a couple of weeks and it was time for her appointment. My booking system texts out confirmations 2-3 days before the appointment, and a follow up reminder. I noticed on Monday that her Wednesday appointment sat unconfirmed. As I would do with any client, I sent a text from my business number asking if we were still a go. No response. That evening I sent an email with my go to, “please respond within 24 hours or your appointment(s) will be canceled.” Crickets.
I decided to do a little online sleuthing and I found both her personal Instagram page and her professional blog. Both had fresh stories posted, so she more than likely had phone in hand. Did I contact her via DM? No. Although I knew that in fact to be her, that’s where I draw the line. I’m only responsible for contacting you on the two methods I asked for while online booking; it’s not my job to seek you out on social media or reverse look up your phone number (both of which I have done, but for my own curiosity). Given her lack of communication, I simply would have wound up on read anyway.
Twenty-four hours came quickly, and with still no word, I had to act on my policy. I checked to be sure I had texted the right number, which I had. I double checked it against the voicemail she left weeks earlier to be sure it was the same number. It was. For good measure I made sure she had all notifications from my booking system turned on, which she did for both text and email.
I then canceled her appointments and blocked her from ever online booking again. Although it may seem harsh, all she did was waste my time and energy and occupy an appointment time that someone else could have. I ignored my own policy of no new clients, and I paid for it with an empty three hour block of time.
Could I have more than likely filled that opening with a client? Yes, probably. Instead I took myself to lunch. Does it matter what I did to occupy my time? No, but it mattered that I took action.
Who’s to say she wouldn’t have abruptly appeared in all of her unconfirmed glory on that Wednesday? If I hadn’t proactively canceled her appointment, would she have arrived thinking nothing was wrong with her lack of response?
Do you have the steps in place to respond when someone seems to have forgotten you exist? What will you do, because it will happen eventually, when a client ghosts you?