Perhaps under the impression it might cost them clients, many salon owners don’t define policies around no-shows. To these salon owners, I say it’s time to put your foot down. I mean, sometimes, SMS booking reminders just aren’t enough to get a client to show up. And while it is crazy to think it’s possible to completely eliminate salon no-shows, here are 5 concrete ways to well reduce their frequency.
1. Define Your No-Show Policy (And Make It Clear & Clean)
Choosing The Right Procedure For Your Salon
What and when you should charge for salon no-shows mainly depends on the cost of the service, how busy the salon is, how well you know the customer and how easy it is to re-book the cancelled appointment. Flexibility is important when defining policies. You want to enforce them, but also want to be compassionate when needed.
Putting It Into Words (And In Your SOP Manual)
When it comes to wording your no-show policy, the same 3 customer service rules below should apply:
- Avoid shutting down the customer: “It was written there, black on white.” Rather, make your client understand the reasons for the policy to be in place.
- Don’t show your frustration: The customer might not always be right, but the customer is always the customer.
- Get in touch: Ring the client to see if you can gain insight on the reason for the no-show (up to your discretion, of course).
2. Track & Analyse The Reasons Behind No-Show Events
Ideally, you want to allow yourself to focus on looking after courteous clients who show up on time or at the very least ring you to let you know if something has come up. It’s all about mutual respect.
That being said, you should be at least tracking the reasons for which your customers aren’t showing up. Phorest Salon Software is great for this; you can take notes on a client’s card and set up the system to prompt you with a message indicating if the customer has a recurring no-show history. Keeping track of this information can help you decide whether you should be flexible with a client or not.
3. Call A Staff Meeting
Don’t forget about your team: they -more than anyone else- need to be fully briefed! Explain where you’re coming from and why you’re implementing a no-show policy. Clients will be a whole lot more accepting of it when receiving professional explanations. Like Jennie Lawson from Mimosa Beauty put it on episode 48 of Phorest FM:
“I’ve done really a big self-respect piece with my staff now, with no-shows. Just because actually, we get people that are really snotty about it, because we charge. And my argument is, actually, it’s really disrespectful. It’s our time. And if we respect ourselves as artists, and we respect our worth, and we respect that actually, we do know what we’re talking about and we are experts in what we do, and our time is worth what people pay for it, then why should we not be charging for no-show appointments? I think it’s building a respect and a rapport with people. You’re not just a check out at Tesco’s. You’re actually a human being. And if you respect them as a human being, they’ll respect you back.”
4. Communicate Your Salon’s New Procedures
Did you set up a 3-strike rule? Will you be taking deposits from naughty clients? Whatever you have decided to introduce as new house rules, make sure you communicate in a clear and professional manner. If you fail to do this, you can expect a few angry calls in no time. Set up a notice in the reception area, put it up on your website and mention it when they book in.
5. Reduce Costs Incurred By Salon No-Shows With Online Bookings
Online bookings can be really helpful when it comes to no-shows. Alan Stewart from Rainbow Room International explains: “I have to say, without that… because we crunch data all the time as you can imagine, and we’ve been doing it for years, you have less no-shows with online booking than you do with phone calls. The amount of no-shows with online booking is minimum, it’s not even 1%.”
An online booking system like Phorest Salon Software’s has proven to drastically lower no-shows partly because we give the client some control over their appointments. Instead of being cancelled, appointments tend to be rescheduled. Additionally, the booking deposit required for making an appointment is usually a deterrent for not showing up. However, if the client still doesn’t show and you have the right policy in place, you can rightfully take charge a no-show fee.
Thanks for reading!