While no shows and short cancellations can’t always be helped, it’s an incredibly frustrating part of running a salon, and over time, cancellations can add up to a lot of wasted money and time.
So how can you prevent them from happening in the first place? Here are a few ideas:
Build Good Client Relationships
Building a great rapport with your clients is beneficial for a lot of reasons. It can have an impact on no-shows, too. If you build a strong relationship with your client, they’re less likely to want to let you down by cancelling at the last second. Life happens, and these situations can’t always be prevented, but giving good customer service and getting to know your clients can help to reduce the number of last-minute cancellations.
Remind Your Clients
Reminders are a simple, low-cost way to encourage your clients to remember their appointments. Give them an appointment card at the time of booking as a first step. The next step is to send text message reminders. 48 hours in advance is a good idea – it’s close enough to the appointment that they can’t forget, but far away enough that they can make arrangements (like childcare) if they have forgotten. It also gives them time to call and rebook if necessary.
You can also make phone calls to reminder your clients. While this does give them a chance to cancel, it’s better that they cancel upfront, rather than failing to turn up at the time.
Respect Their Time
If you want people to respect your time, you should respect theirs. Try not to keep them waiting for their appointments and avoid rescheduling if you can help it. You can also make a point of thanking customers for turning up on time.
Set Up a Cancellation Policy
A clear policy will make the world of difference to you and your staff members. If you want to go down the route of charging a cancellation fee, you will need to have this policy in place up front. Make sure to have it on your website, printed in your salon, and on the back of appointment cards and treatment menus.
The policy should be along the lines of:
- You (the salon) will send a reminder text or phone call 48 hours before the appointment
- They (the client) will receive a fee if an appointment is drastically changed or missed within 24 hours of said appointment
This can be written politely, but it still gives you a clear policy to point to if you need it. You can choose to enforce this policy at your discretion. If, for example, a loyal customer has a last-minute crisis, you can use your judgment on whether to charge them the cancellation fee or not.
Some salon owners don’t like to take deposits. It can feel a little impersonal. However, for longer and more expensive treatments, especially with new clients, it may be worth looking into. A small deposit can prevent frequent last-minute cancellations. It’s definitely worth considering for high-price treatments.