During the uncertain COVID times we see more and more consumers struggling with inadequate cancelation policies of businesses, big and small alike.
For instance, I am a member of a gym and when I called to cancel my membership with them 3 days in advance of the billing cycle they still charged me the annual fee for the following year!
If I am not going to be a member or using their services, why should I be forced to pay membership charges for the year? And I keep hearing this same story in different contexts all around me.
I am a Wedding Dj in Montreal and a lot of our clients have had to cancel their events due to COVID restrictions. Normally, we have a cancelation policy that forfeits the advance payment made to lock in the date.
It makes sense, because if a client cancels last moment we lose the opportunity of booking another client for that particular day which is usually a weekend. That’s lost revenue for us as the Wedding Dj and the same applies to hotels, wedding halls, caterers and the like.
However, we realize that we are in unprecedented times and therefore we are pretty flexible with our cancelation policy now. We follow a zero-dollar penalty policy if an event is canceled due to COVID related issues. My clients are very grateful and promise me they will hire us again as their Wedding Dj as and when the time comes.
I am happy with this since I am more concerned about Customer Lifetime Value than transactional revenue. As a businessman, I consider the potential revenue a client can give me over a period of time and hence I do not wish to lose that client for life.
I have other Wedding Djs in Montreal who follow a similar policy. A competition of mine who plays as an Indian Wedding Dj and Punjabi Wedding Dj has the same rule. As an Indian Dj he has had many cancelations too but he sticks to the word and this is good business. Why would you want to do it any other way!
It’s a shame that yet many other businesses stick to their cancelation policies like glue without being empathetic towards the customer. For couples who are forced to cancel out their weddings due to COVID, is it really fair that they have to forego the amounts they paid in advance to their wedding halls, caterers and Indian Dj? Not really!!
Desperate times call for desperate measures, but not at the cost of clients themselves. These are the people who will support our business once things get back to normal.