One of the most common questions I get asked by Salon Owners is how to handle salon no shows. The first question I would always ask in return is ‘Which part of this problem are you responsible for? Most of the replies will put total responsibility on the client and never on the salon.
I know it can be so frustrating and sometimes infuriating when a client doesn’t show up, but it is far too easy to put the blame totally on the client.
I really don’t think there is a bank of clients out there trying to disrupt your appointment system and jeopardise your continued business. Instead I believe that we have to take more responsibility to handle salon no shows by helping your client remember and respect their appointment booking.
Nowadays everyone, including your clients, have extremely busy lives trying to remember so many things, whilst also juggling work and family life. Although your treatments and appointments are a huge focus in your daily life, the importance of remembering a facial appointment can easily and unintentionally pale into insignificance in the hectic world of your client. You must therefore do all you can to ensure that your client has their appointment in the forefront of their thinking by contacting her with gentle reminders.
Historically, most businesses will just sit back and hope and pray that the client will remember this appointment time, which could be anything up to 6 weeks away. Does that now sound crazy to you?
Here are some tips to help reduce the ‘No Show’ problem:
- It is essential with existing clients to re-book their next treatment before they leave you. This not only improves your client retention and appointment planning, but it also means that you can confirm correct details on an appointment card for a client’s safe keeping.
- If a client telephones to make the booking then you must reiterate all of the details back to the client, and then either text or email a confirmation to them.
- You must have contact with clients at least 48 hours before their appointment. This can be a friendly phone call or a quick text or email reminder. Many software programmes now can automate this process for you.
- Staying in touch with a salon newsletter also keeps your business in a position of importance for the client.
- Make sure you have a written cancelation policy in place as a deterrent. I always feel it’s hard to impose a policy unless your services are very unique. You can easily lose a client if they think they have incurred charges on their account, and they will simply move to another salon. My advice would be to give your client the grace of forgetting or missing one appointment, then if it happens again, simply explain how you love offering treatments but that you would need to take payment in advance. If they refuse, then they would likely re-offend, so let the client go.
- A pre or part payment booking system is a fantastic way to eliminate no shows and is most easily implemented with online booking. No shows can be a thing of the past with consistent action.