5 Tips To Stop No Shows In Your Salon

19 February 2019

What are you doing about NO SHOWS in your salon?

Are you on top of controlling how many clients are not turning up for appointments? No shows can be a huge burden to a salon if you do not realise the cost they have on your business.  So, how can you reduce the number of no shows you get in your salon? Take a look at our 5 easy tips to reduce your no shows now!

1. Confirm appointments  Technology allows us to communicate with our clients easily and effectively. The use of email and SMS is at an all time high for many industry’s. Are you using Salon iQ’s 2 way text to confirm appointments? This feature allows you to send an SMS to your clients to confirm their booking and reply ‘Yes’ to confirm. They can also reply with a messages such as requesting to cancel their appointment completely, reschedule to another day or alter the time. 

2. Courtesy calls Not all salons have the privilege of a front of house team/receptionist, however if you do make sure they are managing their time well a courtesy call to clients 24-48 hours before their appointments to confirm they can still make it takes seconds to do.  If you haven’t done this before you will be surprised at how many clients were ‘meant to call to move’ or ‘haven’t got round to calling yet’ to move the appointment to another day. 

3. Cancellation/no show policy This can be a grey area for hair and beauty salons, however I do feel our industry is moving forward in implementing cancellation policies and sticking to them.

Below we have a real story between a salon owner and client showing an email conversation they were having about a cancellation fee that was requested for the client cancelling 6 minutes before they were due to arrive in the salon for a 2.5 hour hair appointment. 

Subject : Re: information ============ Forwarded message ============ Good Evening ‘Removed’ Thank you for your email. To make things simpler, I have answered each of your points below, I trust this is ok with you? —- On Mon, 04 Feb 2019 10:46:37 +0000 REMOVED wrote —- Dear ‘REMOVED’,  Thank you for your call on Friday and your email. May I extend our conversation please? a) It is important (vital) for a customer to know if data – for example,  about missed/cancelled appointments – is stored. I was unaware that you stored missed or cancelled appointment data. b) Any and all data stored digitally, legally is always available to the person it concerns.   All of the information that we hold is 100% available to you. 99.9% of salons in Tunbridge Wells use salon software systems similar to ours too  c) Unfortunately it is not clear to me from your email if the over ‘three years ago’ is when I ‘missed/cancelled’ appointment(s). I would have thought a renewable one year period was quite sufficient to ‘store’ such happenings if you are going to log this information. Our software is relatively new and it does not (yet) have the facility to tell me when you were late, it simply logged that the appt. was cancelled within 24 hours of the appt. slot. I will consider your comment on renewable info, however we are limited to what we can do with the system. d) In most situations why not give customers the benefit of the doubt?! A sick child (as you mentioned) is a very real difficulty (and worry and responsibility) for any mum and it can happen at the drop of a hat. I would wager that missed/cancelled appointments generally have everything to do with life’s pressures and vicissitudes.  We do give consideration to many situations every day. e) Is a hairdresser not in situ at a salon whether the customer can honour the appointment or not?  It is odd (and surely a disservice to the worker) if their wage structure does not reflect this?  I can assure you I do not do any disservice to my team. They are paid a basic salary plus they receive a bonus on each client they do. There is absolutely no way I could still pay that bonus when the client does not show up. The salary structure I use, has helped me to retain the same staff members for 10 years. As I said on the phone to you, with NI and pension contributions being at an all time high, I am working hard to keep my staff loyal. You only have to look at the state of the high street to see what a shambles it all is. f) People creating jobs and businesses like yourself are in a position to shape our culture and responses to challenging situations that arise all the time. It would be reassuring for all our futures if we allow common sense and good service to both workers and customers to be a priority over all the bells and whistles that IT may offer. I have used my common sense during the last 24 years of being a successful salon owner NAME REMOVED, I am well aware of my responsibilities. If you are trying to alter what you perceive to be a casual or annoying gap in your customers’ occasional behaviour, perhaps there is another way? No customer will agree that a 50% imposed “fine” is the way forward…maybe more carrot and less stick? I do consider it a very annoying gap. More importantly, my stylists do as they have mortgages and bills to pay too. It could all be avoided if people showed up when they say they will. We email confirmations and we text reminders. Last month our ‘no shows’ amounted to over £700. Dentists charge for missed appointments so why not hairdressers? I enjoy the Beauty Salon and have been a regular customer for 10 – 15 years.   I am happy to read this NAME REMOVED, once again thank you for your comments.

So what are your thoughts? Would you have handled it differently? The moral of the story – some clients just do not see what impact they have when they do not turn up or cancel 10 minutes before they are due in the salon. Educate your clients, advise them of your cancellation policy right at the very beginning when they make their appointment. 

4. Take deposits Are you panicking at just the thought of taking deposits or do you have an open mind to implementing this?

How can I ask Debbie who’s been coming to me for 9 years for a deposit, I’ve never ever asked her for one in all the years she has been coming?

Yes, you are right it can be tricky, however it’s ensuring your client understands WHY you are asking.  Let’s face it you can’t keep a list of all clients that you are happy to ask a deposit for and a list of all those you won’t – it’d just get too complicated.  If you have a deposit policy in place it’s more than likely either for ALL clients or none of them.  Perhaps you will have a deposit option for services based on time or any appointment at 2 hours or more will need to pay a 50% deposit to secure the booking. Perhaps all colour appointments must pay a £20 deposit.  Trust me when we’ve done this in the salon and I’ve taken a call and asked for a deposit for a lengthy appointment and they don’t want to pay, you know they are not 100% sure about the day/time. If they are and they really want you to do they hair/beauty treatment they will phone back and book with you.  

5. Be consistent It is simple, what ever you decide to do make sure you stick to it and be consistent. Make it part of your salon make-up, what you believe in and stand for as a company is key. If you feel a courtesy call is the best way to tackle the no shows then book out time in the diary for every single client to get a courtesy call (unless you use Email/SMS to confirm) Your clients will get use to it and understand as long as you explain the ‘why’ behind what you are doing, be honest about it (in a professional way) tell them how much business you lost through clients not showing up last week.  At the end of the day it’s not only the salon that loses out, it’s also the stylist/therapist too. 

We’d love to ear your feedback on this subject, if you are not already on our private Facebook Group with hundreds of other salon owners email sam@saloniq.com  so we can add you. 

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