Last-minute cancellations and changes can entail serious monetary risks for the client and the service provider. Whatever the reason for canceling, sometimes it comes at a moment when some or most of the expenditure has already been made.
Lately, we have been several times in a situation where a booking is made for a time-critical solution and due to time pressure, you just have time to put down in an e-mail the bare minimum. When, where, and how much it will cost from A to B. But then the original booking gets changed or canceled in the process.
Who is Canceling?
It is useful to know in advance if the contact person of your client who is initially booking the service, understands how a time-critical supply chain works. If they do, then they also comprehend the possible loss resulting in last-minute changes or cancellations. But sometimes the person is not actually familiar with such situations. Thus inevitably, may also have a hard time understanding, why cancellation charges apply.
And when it comes to time-critical solutions, the penalties can be quite hefty. When you don’t have a formal agreement set out prior to the booking where the cancellation penalties are listed out, the explaining you have to do later on can be uncomfortable for both parties.
Stop Providing Solutions?
There are two alternatives. Either you can stop being swift with your actions and responses. This basically means, stop giving the client what they expect. To wait instead for the appropriate contact person to sign the fully written out service contract. Or keep the faith. Believe in the long-term trusting relationship you have built with your client. Trust that all questions will be solved appropriately.
Yes, there are those clients and situations where it proves to be more prudent to have a “hard” contract sealed before any actions. But we still like to believe in trust. That an “OK! Go ahead” in time-critical logistics over the phone is as strong a commitment as if it was penned, sealed, stamped, and notarized in front of witnesses.