Are you experiencing too many cancellations for your salon or spa? Is it causing your business to lose money? This is an important issue that many spa and salon owners struggle with. You have to be able to set boundaries.
Precisely, it’s important that you communicate with clients clearly about your policy for lateness, no shows, refunds, or even your payment procedure. Basically, all the things that drive you crazy.
Should I charge my no-shows?
If you charge a customer who cancelled or just didn’t show up to their appointment, you certainly run the risk of making them upset. They will probably never come back to your salon or spa and you’ll lose a lifetime customer.
On the other hand, if they get accustomed to this policy, customers will have no incentive to respect your time. This goes back to communicating your expectations from your customer. Yes, you’re allowed to have expectations as well. If it happens once, let it slide. If it becomes a habit, take action by communicating more effectively with the prospective client.
REAL strategies to help reduce your no shows and cancellations:
1. Have a lateness/no show policy. This may be an obvious aspect to you, but you’d be surprised how many spas don’t really have it. What should your policy be? Well, it’s going to vary depending on the clientele you cater to.
2. Fine them for not showing up. Very few spas or salons do this for obvious reasons, as it would be hard to enforce. As mentioned before, people would be furious at this type of policy. Not a great way to keep a customer. I would opt to find another way.
3. Request a credit card on file. This is probably one of the most effective strategies. It is quite easy to implement and can really work for your salon or spa. When people leave a credit card on file, they are more inclined to actually show up to their appointment. Think about it; if someone books an appointment for Saturday morning and cancels without leaving a deposit, you just lost out on a spot that one-hundred percent would have been booked otherwise.
4. Call/e-mail clients prior to appointment. You should be doing this anyway as part of your marketing plan, but this will help with reducing no-shows. Sometimes people forget they have an appointment, so it’s always good to remind them. You should have one of your staff members contact the client 24-48 hours prior to the appointment.
5. Display your policy clearly. It’s not enough to just have a policy, but displaying it on your price list, at your reception area, or on your business cards can help a great deal. If you have a welcome pack, make sure your policy is listed there as well.
6. Deal with no-shows properly. If all else fails and your appointment doesn’t seem like they’re going to show up, follow this helpful procedure:
Make three phone calls to the client. You don’t know if they are simply running late or can’t hear their phone ring. You don’t want to assume they are not showing up. They could have an emergency.
5-10 Minutes After Appointment Time Starts
Call them and say something like:
“Hi X, it’s Jackie from The Wellness Spa. I have you scheduled today for your 4pm hair appointment and it’s now about 10 after 4. I’m calling to see if you are still on your way. Please call me back as soon as possible. My number is 201-550-1111. Hopefully you just pulled up to the parking lot, and I’ll see you in a minute!”
If you don’t get a call back, make a second phone call after 30 minutes.
Begin with saying, “Hi X, I’m still waiting on you to come in, so hoping everything is alright. I know how much you were looking forward to your appointment today. Please call me as soon as you get this message, OK? Our number again is 201-550-1111.”
Call them one final time, later in the day.
“Hi X, I’m just calling you one final time. It’s a shame you were not able to make it in today, I really hope you’re OK. I’ll wait to hear from you about today’s missed session. My number again is 201-550-1111.”
Something to that effect will ensure the client will appreciate your efforts to provide a service to them. Even if they don’t show up that day, they will appreciate your professionalism. Next time they seek the same service, they will remember you.
At the end of the day, you gotta ask yourself…do you have a policy set up for no shows?