Recapturing salon cancellations: turning no-shows in to profits

28 Oct 2013

Written by Alice Smithson

Most salons create track their projected revenue using their salon software to view appointment bookings made by their customers. They will base their product and material orders on how many customers they are likely to see per day, week or month, and work their staff rotas around the number of employees they need to serve their customers. Employee wages, taxes and benefits are all based on revenue, as are plans made to grow the business and drive it forward. So, when a customer doesn’t turn up for their appointment, the expected revenue is not received, and money may even be wasted on having staff members working when you don’t need them. How can salon owners avoid losing money and continue to generate revenue, even when a customer fails to show up for their appointment? We’ve listed a few suggestions belowƒ

Create a no-show policy

Many salons will have a no-show policy that notifies the customer of any consequences they may have to deal with, should they not show up (or show up too late to) their appointment. It is really up to the salon owner to decide what they would like those consequences to be, whether they fine a customer for not showing up, or limit the time they spend with a customer who is late by cutting out one of the treatments they had booked. Be sure to make the policy clear to prevent any confusion. If there is a strict policy in place that your customers are warned of before making their booking, they may be less likely to cancel at the last moment.

A policy can also act as a good customer service tool; should someone show up late expecting to miss out on an element of their treatment, but you’re then able to accommodate them, they’re more likely to sing your praises because you’ve made an exception for them.

Take deposits

For treatments that are likely to take a fair amount of time or are relatively costly, you could always ask your customers for a deposit. This way, they will be less likely to simply not show up, as they have already put some money toward the treatment, and if they don’t show up, you’ll have still made some money from the appointment and could even fit in another customer. Make sure your customers are aware that the deposit is non-refundable, though consider offering the chance to rebook, which would allow you the chance to make a happy customer and ensure revenue makes it through the door.

Use the time wisely

When a customer doesn’t show, you can suddenly find yourself with little else to do, so why not try to use the time wisely? Use your salon software to check to see if any other customers were desperate for the appointment and give them a call to come in if they are free. If there is no one to fill the slot, you could use the time to practice your technique, take some flyers into town to promote the salon, or spend some time on the social media pages, engaging with clients. As well as this, it’s always worth keeping a marketing list of clients who may be available at short notice on particular days and sending out a text to them using your salon software. Remember not to hound anyone on these lists too much _ the last thing you want is to lose their custom!

Get to the bottom of it

There’s no point simply ruminating why your client never showed up for their appointment. Instead, consider contacting them to find out why. It’s likely to be that they simply forgot, which would mean you probably need to work on sending regular reminders to your clients, but it might be that they decided against receiving a treatment at your salon and were too embarrassed to telephone and cancel. If this is the case, find out what put them off and correct it. Whether it’s because they were unhappy with the price, the hairdresser assigned to them, or the time they received, these are all things you can work on improving with the help of your salon software, letting you continue to make a profit in the future.

No salon owner wants to have to deal with a no-show, but they can be assured that should they have to, they will have the support they need from their salon management and booking software to deal with the problem efficiently and effectively. For more advice on managing your salon, or to find out how your salon could benefit from i-Salon Software, contact a member of the team today.