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  • Jessica Shields

She’s MIA! How to avoid a last-minute cancelation

11:00am: The start of the shift….and no word from your Brand Ambassador.

11:05am: Still nothing. You send the BA a frantic text.

11:15am: You call the store. No sign of your BA.

Your biggest fear in the demo world has come true. Your BA is a no-show, and you are hundreds of miles away.

Could this have been avoided? Probably, but how?



From what we have seen when working with other agencies, the average demo cancelation rate is somewhere around 20%. At HFA, our YTD average is 5.25%. This means that about 1 out of 20 of our demos or events have to be rescheduled, or canceled if rescheduling is not an option. How do we outperform our competitors in execution rates? Check out our secrets below!

1. Video Interviews

You can tell a lot by meeting someone in person, or the next best thing, via video chat. We won’t hire someone if they are late to their video interview. Nor will we hire them if they don’t remember which brand they are representing.

If you missed our blog about finding the right BA, check it out here. There you’ll find more details about how to spot the most talented and reliable BAs.



2. Require a reply

We require every brand ambassador to reply to their booking email. This requires them to stop and tak


e a look at the what/when/where of their booking and confirm they are good to work. This small step is critical.

3. Send a reminder

Each Monday we send a reminder email to every brand ambassador working the upcoming weekend. Many times, we just reply to the booking email, asking them if they have any last-minute questions before their shift. This opens up the dialogue if they forgot about their shift, double-booked themselves, etc. If a problem arises, with 4-5 days’ notice, we can often find a solution that doesn’t involve rescheduling or canceling!


4. …And another reminder

The day-of reminder is more friendly. We text our BAs and wish them a good demo or tell them we are excited for them to work their first shift with us. Not only does this help start their day off with a smile, but also creates an open line of communication in the case they are running late, or an emergency arises.

5. Zero tolerance

Due to the temporary nature of most demo programs, a sad truth in our industry is there are considerably more call-outs than a “regular” job. My mother always told me, “When someone shows you their true colors, believe them.” When someone calls out of a shift with no validated reason, we do not rebook them. After 13 years in the business, I have seen that those who call out early call out often.

On the rare occasion that I had to call out during my time as a BA, I always provided some sort of documentation – a photo of the HazMat truck blocking the entire highway, a call with my bronchitis-sounding cough, or a doctor’s note when applicable. It was always important to me for my employers to know I was reliable. When someone cannot provide any documentation, especially early on in their working relationship with our company, we do not rebook them, out of fear they will call out again on another client.

Even with all of these measures, illness and car accidents may still happen. Although, we can guarantee if you put in the extra effort, and follow the steps above, you will drastically increase your execution rate, making you a shining star for your customers!