Cancellations – they happen to every business owner at some point.
But if you don’t take steps to reduce the number of no-shows or last-minute cancellations, they could turn into the bane of your business’ existence.
Most business owners feel powerless when it comes to the topic of cancellations. After all – just how much control do you have over the life and schedule of your clientele?
Actually, you might have more power over it than you think.
Today, we’ll show you how you can reduce the number of cancellations you experience, and we’ll explain how spa appointment software can help.
How to Protect Your Business from “No-Shows” and Chronic Cancellations
Here are three practices which have helped multiple salons and spas reduce the number of no-shows or cancellations.
1. Set Rules for Your Business and Stick with Them
The very first thing we all need to do as business owners is set some rules. These rules need to be followed by your team and clientele alike.
Some spa and salon business owners have rules like:
When you set rules, you’re basically setting boundaries. This can be difficult but it’s absolutely necessary for healthy relationships between you and your clients.
As a business owner, make sure you follow the rules, too. There’s nothing more frustrating to a team as when they’re told to enforce the rules, but their boss doesn’t. Or, if they get mixed signals from their boss – being told the rules one day but being told not to enforce them the next.
Set your rules and stick with them. It will not only reduce the number of cancellations – it will also reduce friction within your business.
2. Ask for Pre-Payments/Deposits for Pricier Services or Longer Appointments
When a client misses an appointment, you lose money.
What many clients don’t realize is you don’t just lose out on the money you would’ve made from their appointment – you can actually lose money. This is because you buy products specifically for their appointment.
Massage therapists buy oils, estheticians purchase skincare products, and stylists buy color – all of which aren’t cheap.
If you have to buy products specifically for a client – like a special color or more expensive product – ask your client to make a deposit on their appointment.
You can ask for a deposit on longer appointments, too.
Clients will be more likely to show up for appointments if they’ve already paid for a portion of it.
3. Implement a Reminder Program
Every client is ultimately responsible for keeping track of their appointments. But life is increasingly busy, and it can be harder to keep track of some things.
This is why it would be wise to use your spa scheduling software to send appointment reminders.
Sending a reminder, a day or two before their appointment will give people the opportunity to reschedule if necessary.
The majority of the time your clients will end up keeping their appointment. And they’ll thank you in the process for reminding them because their life was especially crazy that week.
How Salon and Spa Appointment Software Can Help You Protect Your Business
Spa appointment software can be a lifesaver when it comes to enforcing your cancellation policy.
You can use spa management software to keep track of how your customers prefer to be contacted for their appointments.
Then, a day or two before their appointment, via the spa scheduling software, you can send email or text reminders.
Or, if your clients prefer – you can give them a call.
You can also keep track of pre-payments/deposits with this type of system.
Train Clients to Value Your Time, Talent, and Services like You Do
It’s important to run your business in a way which shows your employees and customers your time – as well as theirs – is valuable.
We all have to train other people on how we will accept being treated, whether in personal relationships or in business. If you’re not careful, certain people can take advantage of you or treat their time as more valuable than yours.
Everyone has a busy schedule these days. And everyone’s time is valuable. There are going to be times when – due to unexpected circumstances – people are going to have to cancel.
There are some people, though, who are chronically late or double book themselves all the time.
While it’s a kindness on your part to show understanding to people who do this occasionally – it doesn’t mean you have to stand for it every single time.
Set boundaries, implement appointment rules in your spa or salon, and stick to them. Doing so will save you a lot of stress and keep your business profitable.