The Cost of Cancellations and No-Shows to your Salon Business

Something every manager should know before opening a beauty salon or opening a hair salon? Expect cancellations, no-shows and late clients...
‘No Show’ is a term used to describe a person who makes a reservation and neither uses nor cancels it. Do you know the cost of cancellations, latecomers and no shows? If you actually calculate the costs incurred by persistent latecomers and no shows, you would be horrified at how much they cost your beauty business on an annual basis. Example: 1 x service at £30 no-show or cancellation per day for 1 year = £7,800 Every beauty salon business or spa has clients who think it is acceptable to walk in 20 minutes late. Worse again, what about the ‘no shows’ who don’t even have the common courtesy to call when they decide not to bother keeping an appointment... You know how to get customers for a salon business, but too often, the salon manager is reluctant to do anything to change their behaviour because they are scared of losing the business. But learning how to manage people in a salon includes both your staff and your customers.
“When everything is like an uphill struggle, think of the view from the top!”
Managing a Salon Cancellation Policy
So, HOW do you deal with cancelled beauty salon appointments? This is all about your salon customer service. Most clients are reasonable and when it is explained to them courteously. They will realise the impact their behaviour is having – then they either improve it or go elsewhere. It is unlikely that you will totally eliminate these sorts of problems, but it is possible to drastically reduce the rate they occur. On your Brochure/Website: Include a statement explaining to the client that being late will either shorten or cancel their appointment, and that its full cost may be charged. Explain your salon policy about changing or cancelling appointments – for example 24 hours notice required. New clients or clients with an appointment of 60 minutes or longer may be asked to provide a credit card deposit. When coming up with your salon cancellation policy, it’s important to not fall somewhere in between the two extremes. A full payment policy might lose your customers, and a non-consequence one could lose you therapists. How much you charge for a cancellation will depend somewhat on how services cost, how busy the salon is and how easy it is for you to rebook cancelled appointments. So, how much should beauty salons charge for a cancelled salon fee? You must make sure that you’re offering good salon customer service and do an excellent job communicating the booking and cancellation policies in general. Flexibility is also important. If a good client cancels a salon appointment because of an emergency, you don’t want to lose her over one appointment. Most clients will accept your house rule if it is explained to them in a professional manner, so staff need to be trained to ask for deposits or take full payment for latecomers, where appropriate.  
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