It’s one thing to ask a new client to read your salon or business policies, it’s another for them to do it — and to read carefully.
But it’s especially important right now for clients to understand exactly what they’re going to get when they book a service with you online.
Schedulicity has offered a way to add waivers for classes and workshops for a while now (great for the fitness businesses on our platform), and we’ve received many requests for the same feature for service-based businesses. Last week, we added exactly that.
Yep, you heard it here first: Schedulicity now offers a way to add waivers for services. Here’s how they work, how to make the most of them, and a loose template to get you thinking about how you might use one. (Just think of this as Waivers 101 class.)
In this article:
- What are service waivers?
- Should I add a waiver to my booking process?
- What does a service waiver include?
- A service waiver brainstorming exercise
- How do I add a service waiver to my Schedulicity account?
Disclaimer: While we’re covering the basics of service waivers below, we’re not legal experts. You should work with a lawyer to get feedback, and approval on, any service waiver you create before giving it to clients. Make sure that you’ve got your legal bases covered!
What Are Service Waivers?
Service waivers or class waivers — you may have also heard them called “liability waivers” — help you address common questions and concerns, any risks involved with what you offer to clients, and any requirements you have before someone books an appointment. By requiring that clients read and acknowledge the fine print, service waivers help ensure they understand exactly what coming to see you means.
Why Should I Add a Waiver to My Booking Process?
Liability waivers of any sort create peace of mind for all parties involved. Waivers exist to keep you and your clients safe and — lower priority but still important — happy. By being as transparent as possible about how your services work, and by requiring that a client read and acknowledge those details, you create a more seamless booking process.
If you find yourself explaining the fine print to clients over and over again, or worse, you’ve noticed that many clients come to their appointments unprepared for your services, writing a service waiver could save you time and hassle.
According to our Customer Support team, some of the most common reasons businesses use service waivers include:
- Potential concerns / risks — you know, the standard ones that come along with massages, fitness classes, and whatnot. You can share these in a waiver and require that the client sign off before they opt into a service.
- Pandemic-related requirements — This is (obviously) a huge one for 2020. Just a few use cases: A waiver is a good place to mention that clients should stay home if they have a fever, or if they’ve come into contact with someone who’s tested positive for COVID-19, or to note that you require masks for any service.
What Should a Waiver for a Service Include?
Every business varies, so no two service waivers look alike. It’s essential that you consult a lawyer on what you should and should not include in a waiver for your business.
For that reason, we made it as flexible as possible to add a customized service waiver to your Schedulicity account. You can write your waiver, get it approved through legal consultation, and upload the text directly to your account.
That said, here are some things that often appear in a service waiver draft to get you thinking:
- Details and particulars about the service: First and foremost, you should describe what the service is in clear detail. Your clients need to know what they’re signing up for before they sign off.
- Assumption of risk: This is a sentence that says, in effect, “I recognize that in booking this service, I will not hold the service provider responsible for XYZ”.
- An “I have no allergies” clause: This goes out to all the product-using businesses out there. Example: If something you use in your facials doesn’t mix well with, say, retinoids, a liability waiver could be a good place to mention that.
- No-show fees and cancellation policies: While Schedulicity lets you specify a no-show policy that displays online and in the system messages, adding these details to a required waiver as well is an opportunity to make sure clients understand — fully.
- Pretty much anything you’d like clients to be crystal clear on: They have to sign the waiver to book with you, so if there’s something you feel they need to know to keep you both safe…you guessed it: service waiver.
A Service Waiver Template (for Taking to a Lawyer)
Here’s a brief exercise to get you thinking about what to include in a service waiver draft. But before you try to write one by yourself: Often, there’s boilerplate language for waivers that a lawyer can recommend depending on your industry and specific needs. It could save you a lot of effort if you ask your lawyer whether they have a waiver template you could adapt for your use.
Service Waiver Brainstorm Exercise
Write down some answers to the following questions. You can use these notes to work toward a service waiver draft or for discussing in your next legal consultation:
- What are my biggest concerns about my services?
- Are there risks related to my services that might cause an issue?
- What do I need a new client to know before they come to see me for the first time?
- What are some areas that have caused confusion in the past?
- What client behavior drives me absolutely nuts?
Your service waiver will wind up looking something like the following, but again, this will depend on your industry, business, and location as well as various laws and regulations. (We can’t stress this enough: The below is an example, not a legal binding waiver. When writing your own service waiver, LAWYER UP!)
I agree and consent to the following:
[Outline of the service details here].
I am fully aware of the risks involved in this service including [outline of risks]. I have no medical condition or allergies that would prevent me from participating in this service. I knowingly and voluntarily release any claim I may have against [your business name] for injury or damages that I may sustain as a result of this program.
Additionally, I have read and reviewed [business name]’s policies as well as general business guidelines, and I understand that if I do not follow these policies, I may be subject to [outline what happens in the even to of a no-show etc.].
How Do I Add a Service Waiver on My Schedulicity Account?
Super simple. So simple, we made this fun video here. (And here’s where you’ll find service waivers in your Schedulicity account.)