Missing, Changing or Cancelling Appointments

By Angela Marshall, 16th Apr 2013

ClockMissing Appointments

Whether you are going to the hairdresser, dentist or beautician it seems businesses need to text or phone to remind you of your appointment, as so many people do not turn up. Doctors’ surgeries and hospitals regularly have people who do not turn up for appointments. Surgeries often show the number of people who missed appointments the previous month. 1 in 10 people miss appointments in the NHS. Think of the cost as well as how many people could be seen by a doctor or consultant sooner.

Is this acceptable? Not really: it costs companies money and wastes important time slots that other people could have used. Now there are some considerations for people who can forget e.g. if they have dementia, a bereavement in the family or we can all make a mistake. But being disorganised and not noting an appointment affects many other people. People with dementia obviously need help and we should all be aware of people who can forget especially the elderly and try to find ways to  help them.

Reschedule or Cancelling an Appointment

In Business

We are all busy people and sometimes an appointment has to be changed, but it seems that more and more people think nothing of changing or cancelling an appointment. It is not only inconvenient to you but more often than not it affects several other people. It may be urgent, you may have double booked, but if you have a better offer then that’s where good etiquette comes in. Whenever you change an appointment at last minute always phone where possible don’t text or email.

Regularly Rescheduling or Cancelling Meetings

If you regularly reschedule meetings you will build up a reputation you are not reliable and this affects your personal image and brand. It also gives out the message you do not think the person or company is important. This person or company may well, one day, be the very person or business you need and you will have tarnished your reputation.

Five tips on good appointment etiquette:

  1. Ensure you make a diary note of the appointment.
  2. Personally contact the person when changing or cancelling.
  3. Don’t give excuses and show you are more important.
  4. Ask them when they can reschedule.
  5. Do your utmost to fit in with them.

Ensure you turn up on time with a pleasant smile and if necessary apologise again for forgetting or rescheduling.


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Welcome to Angela Marshall's Blog. Angela Marshall
"I am in the third phase of my life and having been a successful image consultant for 18 years, I now enjoy the freedom of blogging about life in general, especially fashion, grooming, etiquette and manners." Angela Marshall
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