Client cancellations are inevitable but there are ways to reduce no-shows. Time is money in a salon and no-shows are costly to your business. Look for patterns in your no-show data. Are no-shows on a particular day of the week? Does a particular member of staff have more no-shows than others?
The good news is there are ways to minimise the chances and frequency of no-shows occurring.
Here are our tips to reduce no-shows:
- Provide a clear cancellation policy. Put it on your website and make clients aware of it when they book. Post your policy on all social media accounts and add it to any SMS reminders. This makes your client realise your time is valuable and they will be respectful. Make sure everyone understands the implications of cancelling too late or not showing up. Perhaps it is 50% of the treatment cost, or request a credit card to be on file for booking.
- Consider charging a booking fee or deposit. This means clients are less likely to cancel at the last minute. Clients won’t want to lose the portion they have already paid.
- Have a straightforward appointment process. An online booking system is the most convenient and effective solution. These apps are free and easy to set up. They can book at any convenient time for them.
- Make sure reminders and confirmations are being sent out to reduce no-shows. Set up your SMS reminders so clients must answer with a YES or NO to confirm. Studies show this can reduce no-shows by up to 90%. People are human and make errors so take steps to prevent this. Make sure your cancellation policy is clear in these reminders.
- Be reasonable. Sometimes there are unavoidable reasons for a last minute cancellation. Your clients will respond to compassion rather than punishment. Check in with no-shows to understand the reasons. This way you are able to use your discretion and be flexible with regards to your policy.
- Is your client data up-to-date? If not, none of the above strategies will be effective. Always check with your client before they leave if any details have changed.
- Keep track of cancellations so you can determine serial no-show offenders. Don’t take their bookings in future to prevent the wasted time and loss of income.
- Make cancellations convenient. Your automatic booking reminder service should include a CONFIRM or CANCEL option. Sending a reminder is one of the best ways to reduce no-shows.