We understand you didn’t go into body contouring to write service policies, but you need to do it to protect yourself and your business. Sooner rather than later. Here’s why. Not having written policies leads to legal risks, lost income, harm to your reputation, appearance of unprofessionalism and confusion amongst your staff and your clients. In this article, we’ll outline the service policies that you must include, like your body contouring refund and cancellation policies, and we’ll discuss other body contouring service policies that you should consider including and why.
Body contouring service policies: the ‘rules’ of your business
- As an orderly society, we have rules for just about everything we do.
- Your body contouring service policies are the ‘rules’ of your business.
- They should clearly define what’s expected of you, your team and your clients.
- As such, your body contouring service policies help to manage differing expectations.
- And having clearly defined policies ensures your business operates smoothly, safely and in an organized manner.
Acquaint your clients with your body contouring service policies
- Simply setting your body contouring service policies is not enough.
- You must provide notice of the ‘rules’ for doing business with you (and your clients need to understand and agree to your ‘rules’).
Your body contouring service policies should either
- be displayed prominently in your facility (front desk, restrooms, treatment rooms);
- provided in writing and be included in your client intake paperwork with a space for your client to acknowledge and agree ; and/or
- displayed digitally on your website with a ‘click to agree’ button before scheduling an appointment.
Your body contouring service policies should
- Protect your time, income and reputation.
- Prevent misunderstandings and minimize legal risks.
- Convey that the policies are in place because you value your clients and want to make sure they are happy.
When outlining your policies, make sure they fit your business.
The same policy that may be absolutely perfect for one business may not fit your business at all.
In the following section, we’re providing examples of policies that every business must have.
Use these to get started.
Be sure to tailor them to your business.
Body Contouring Service Policy Guide
- Ask your clients to arrive 15 minutes early for a first appointment to allow adequate time for intake paperwork.
- Ask your clients to arrive 5-10 minutes early for all other visits to allow time to update any paperwork and for restroom breaks.
- Decide how you will handle arrivals outside of these early arrival windows. Put it in writing.
- Tell your clients: When you arrive late for an appointment, we will make efforts to provide your service when it’s possible. Anything past 10-15 minutes late may seriously impact the quality of your treatment; we may not be able to deliver your care.
- Will you charge a fee when this results in a canceled appointment? Put it in writing.
- Ask your clients to provide at least 24-hours notice when they need to reschedule. Failure to provide this notice may result in a late cancellation fee.
- Will you charge a fee? Or give a warning…or two warnings? Put it in writing.
- Inform your clients that you have a cancellation policy that requires 24-hour notice for all appointments.
- Tell your clients what is considered notice, i.e. a phone call, text, email, etc.
- Will you charge a fee when proper notice is not given? How much? Will you give warnings? Put it in writing.
- Remind your clients that you have devoted this appointment time for them and their being a no-show may result in a no-show fee.
- Will you charge a fee and if so, how much? Will it be the full price of the service? Or do they get a warning? What about repeated no-shows? How will you address those? Put it in writing.
Other appointment-related policies
- Will you require deposits for appointments? Refundable or non-refundable?
- Will you charge the credit card on file for appointment-related penalties?
- Will you accept online bookings?
- Will you send appointment reminders and if so, at what time intervals and by phone, text, email?
II Sales and fees Policies
Forms of payment accepted
- For example, advise clients that you accept Mastercard, VISA, Discover and American Express. You accept cash payments. You do not accept insurance, HSA or Care Credit.
- Will you require exact change or keep change on hand?
- Will you accept all credit cards?
- Will you accept checks?
- Write it all out.
When is payment expected?
- Tell your clients that payment is expected at the time the service is delivered.
- Will payment be required ‘up front’ or after service delivery?
- Write it down.
Treatment Series and Packages
- At the time of purchase, ask your clients to sign Agreements to treatment series and/or packages.
- Treatment series and/or packages include discounting pricing in exchange for the client’s commitment to your recommendations. So make this clear in a written form or agreement outlining the ‘deal.’
- Make sure the regular price and ‘series’ price is delineated on your Agreement.
- Provide details of the Agreement, i.e. pre-payment for 6 Lipo Laser treatments performed once weekly at $99/treatment (regular price $149). It’s also a good idea to include a treatment schedule within your Agreement.
- What happens if the client fails to complete her treatments, is non-compliant with her appointments or wants to stop before completing? Will any be refundable? Will you offer an exchange of service? Will you allow her to ‘gift’ her credit to someone else? How much time will you allow the client to complete the series? When does she forfeit the payment, i.e. never, 2 years, 1 year?
- Make these decisions and include them in your body contouring service policies.
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- Body contouring is not an exact science; results vary. Plus, you’ll have some clients who don’t disclose their unrealistic expectations (which you cannot meet). Bottom line, you’ll have unsatisfied clients from time to time. And they may want refunds.
- Be upfront and direct with your refund policy, i.e. no refunds will be issued for services rendered.
- We recommend a hardline no refund policy.
- But you don’t want unhappy clients. What can you do instead? In the case of an unhappy client demanding her money back, we suggest that you consider offering another treatment or two at no charge to placate her. This is a good tool to have…but best not to disclose it in your policies.
PRO TIP: Protect yourself from unreasonable claims and demands. FYI…they are usually the result of unrealistic expectations or unreasonable people. Include in your treatment plan agreements the definition of how results are measured, i.e. photos, measurements, etc. And define ‘results.’
Want an EXAMPLE? This Coolsculpting provider does this beautifully with their Beautiful Results Promise.
- Will you require deposits to hold appointments? Or only for certain services?
- Will the deposits be refundable or non-refundable?
- What happens to the deposit in the case of a late-show, no-show or cancellation?
- Write it down.
Credit card on file
- Will you require a credit card on file to schedule an appointment?
- Will you charge the card under certain conditions, i.e. no-show, late cancellation, etc.?
- Put it in writing.
- Do you offer gift certificates?
- Will you agree to refunds or cash-back on gift certificates?
- Will you include an expiration date on the gift certificate, i.e. 1 year from date of purchase?
- Make sure it’s in your body contouring service policies.
- Do you sell products?
- We recommend a no refunds policy, allowing in-store credit if the product is returned unused and in original packaging within 7 days.
- Make a decision and include it in your policies.
III Operations/General Policies
- Will you ask clients to put their cell phones on silent?
- Will you have rules regarding taking photos?
- Will you allow clients to take calls during treatments?
- Write it down.
No Children Zone
- You may want your facility to be a calm, relaxing and quiet environment for adults to enjoy. As such, will you allow minor children at your business?
- Will you and your business take responsibility for minors whose guardian is undergoing treatment?
- Share your decision in your body contouring service policies.
- Example: Our #1 goal is to help you achieve the results you want. We believe in listening to you, then sharing our knowledge and recommendations to help. With this in mind, you can be assured that we will only make recommendations with your needs in mind.
- Does your team earn commission? If not, this is where you can tell them your team does not earn commission on individual sales.
- A good workaround for sales commission is rewarding your team when they hit a team sales benchmark, rather than commission for individual sales.
- Like this for your practice? Include it.
- Because any body contouring business gives advice on health and body issues, we recommend you include a disclaimer.
- Tell them the information in the website has not been approved by the FDA; the website provides contents for general information.
- Treatments, services and products provided by YOUR BUSINESS NAME are not intended to treat, cure or prevent any medical or health problem.
OUR DISCLAIMER: Consult your attorney for specifics of what you should include in your disclaimer. Laws and standards vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction…and every business is unique.
Here are some final tips for writing your body contouring service policies:
- Be clear and concise.
- Use plain language that your clients can understand.
- Be upfront about your policies, even if they're not favorable to the client.
- Get legal advice if you have any questions.
By following this guide, you can create body contouring service policies that will protect your business and mold you into a market leader in body contouring.