How to stop client cancellations


How to stop client cancellations

I’ve noticed a lot of salon owners lately saying that a lot of their clients are cancelling last minute or just not showing up to their appointments.

It can be so disheartening and frustrating, I’ve been there myself. I remember when I first started out (still building my clientele) I had an eyebrow wax in at 9:30am then nothing else for the rest of the day, until another eyebrow wax at 5pm. I waited around all day (in case anyone else walked in wanting an appointment) and the 5pm client didn’t even show! I was so cross.

Once I’d built my clientele it also happened where I had a full body massage and facial booked in, I’d turned a few people down as I was full. Then the client didn’t show and I had a massive 2 hour gap! So believe me, I feel your pain.

Here are a few suggestions for you to try, that may help but you need to decided what works best for you and what you are comfortable with. Remember, it’s your business. If your too nice, some clients are just going to take advantage of this.

Start with a cancellation policy

These are great to set your boundaries and clear terms for you and client. This way everyone know where they stand, what to expect and if you hate the whole confrontation from clients, you can easily say – “it’s in my cancellation policy.” It explains what happens if your client cancels and if it’s last minute.

However, once you have written it (display in waiting area, website and on booking systems) you MUST stick to it. Once you start letting people off a few times, they then expect this every time. Remember it is your business! They don’t always think about this, just be polite but firm and stay strong! You can do this!

Take a payment on booking

If last minute cancellations are happening a lot for you, I would strongly suggest to start taking a deposit or payment upfront when your clients book. If you use a booking system, a lot can do this for you. State it is non refundable if they cancel within 24 hours, (state on booking & in cancellation policy) if they can’t rearrange their appointment they will get charged.

If they do it repeatedly then you can refuse to re-book them (again state in policy). It’s up to you if you do part of the treatment cost or the full amount, whichever you decide do the same for everyone.

Try text reminders

Some clients, just forget. Everyone has busy lives and distractions so they might just forget and not show up. Or remember too late and make an excuse to cancel last minute. I would ask all your clients if they are happy to have text reminders.

This way they get a reminder 48 hours before so they have time to rearrange and you get time to fill the gap in your diary. If they don’t want text messages, ask if you can call or email instead. Find out what works best for them as you want them to turn up to their appointment.

Charge upon cancellation

If you don’t wish to take deposits or upfront treatment cost, you can charge clients when they cancel last minute. Some booking systems can do this, however it’s not always guaranteed that they will pay it. Don’t be afraid to at least ask for a percentage of the treatment cost . You could have filled that time with another client.

Work out how must it has cost you this week from clients cancelling as this may remind you to be more firm with them. It’s your salon, you could be earning more. So you shouldn’t feel bad about asking for something. Be brave, be polite and firm. You can do this!

If you have any questions feel free to contact me via my contact page or by direct message on Instagram

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Have a great day.

Blossom Tree Social CIM