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should I accept prepayment for floats

Today I bring you a subject that may seem mundane, but is an important question you need to ask yourself about your float center operations.

Do you make people pay when they schedule an appointment?

We at Float On always strive to be as easy to deal with and non-intimidating as possible, so from the very beginning we have allowed people to book floats over the phone without payment.

Another thing anyone that is running a float center knows, is that people like to float together.  Not requiring prepayment allows one person to call up and book a group of four, without that person having to pay a couple hundred dollars right then and there over the phone, and gives people one less reason to not float.

The potential downfalls to not requiring prepayment are fairly obvious: lost revenue, people not treating their float appointment as seriously, or the awkward conversation where you ask someone for money when they did not, in fact, float. We encountered all of this, especially No-Call No-Shows (NC/NS’s as we call them), and occasional last minute cancels that did not end up paying. We’re committed to lowering the friction to get into our tanks though, so rather than revised our policy we simply added some extra procedures to make things go a little more smoothly.

The best thing we did was to start doing courtesy call ahead’s two days before everyone’s appointments.  This allows an extra point of contact with the customer, gives them a chance to ask any last questions they have before coming in (while also giving them a chance to cancel without having to call us), and leaves us plenty of time to try and fill their float spot back up if they do bail on the appointment. It also lowered our instances of NC/NS’s to almost nothing.

With proper communication, I believe that allowing people to book a float without paying is the best option. The big lesson we’ve learned? People are more often forgetful than malicious, and you can give customers a lot of leeway if you’re willing to act as their external brain and remind them of the awesome things they planned for themselves.

-Quinn Zepeda, Co Founder, Float On