6 Ways You Can Deal With Salon Client Cancellations

No-shows and last-minute cancellations are incredibly frustrating but in our industry, they happen more often than we’d like. Your time is valuable and it’s important that clients understand that. In this blog post, we share a few tricks and tips to help keep your clients on track, and give you some guidance on how to deal with chronic cancellers.

How to deal with salon client cancellations

Here are six ways you can deal with no-shows and client cancellations:

  1. Be proactive
  2. Have a clear cancellation policy
  3. Require a credit card for booking
  4. Secure a deposit
  5. Start a waitlist
  6. Third strike, they’re out

Let’s take a look at each one.

1. Be Proactive

You can put a few things into action to make sure your clients have all the information they need to show up and show up on time. 

First, do your part by setting up appointment confirmations and reminders as soon as your clients book. Ideally, confirmation messages should be sent at least 72 hours prior to the appointment time. When clients get a text or email confirmation about their booking, they’re more likely to remember to slot the appointment into their own calendar and this can help reduce no-shows exponentially.

It’s also a good idea to also reiterate your cancellation policy at this time to give them one last chance to inform you of any schedule changes without penalty on their end or inconvenience on yours. (See below for more on setting up a cancellation policy.)

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Second, everyone needs a little help staying organized now and then, so do your clients a favor and shoot them a sweet reminder text or email within 24 hours of their upcoming appointment. 

To set up confirmations and reminders with GlossGenius, head to Settings > Booking Controls & Notifications > Client Notifications.

2. Have a Clear Cancellation Policy

If you haven’t implemented a cancellation policy yet, there's no better time than now. A robust cancellation policy communicates to your clients the value of your time. While a common policy might state that cancelling less than 24 hours before an appointment, or not showing up, results in a fee equal to 50% of the service charge, it's essential to tailor it to your business's unique needs.

GlossGenius has now enhanced its features to ensure clients are fully aware of your cancellation terms. Before completing their booking, clients will encounter a checkbox that states, "I have read and understood the cancellation policy, which is $X charged for any cancellation less than X hours before the appointment." This makes sure there’s transparency and acknowledgment right from the start.

But the features don't end there:

  • Deposits: With GlossGenius, you have the flexibility to require deposits for all, some, or none of your services. Customize deposit amounts based on different services and, if you wish, you can even waive the deposit requirement for your trusted, existing clients.
  • Waitlist: To maximize your availability, use the GlossGenius waitlist feature. You can choose to allow clients to add themselves to the waitlist or maintain full control over it. This ensures that any last-minute slot openings are filled promptly, reducing downtime.
  • Automatic Appointment Reminders: Forget manual reminders. GlossGenius sends automatic appointment reminders to ensure clients remember their bookings, reducing the likelihood of no-shows.

To dive deeper into these features, consider checking out these resources:

3. Require a Credit Card for Booking

About that cancellation fee… this is your reminder that you can require clients to secure their appointment with a valid credit card. Some stylists opt to take a deposit upon booking, but oftentimes that can deter new clients with whom you haven’t yet built a relationship. Having that card on file when booking makes it easy to charge a no-show or cancellation fee without taking a deposit in advance. Because you may have regulars who you trust to show up, this is a more effective alternative to taking deposits that works well for kicking things off with new customers.  

To require a card on file with GlossGenius, head to Booking Controls & Notifications > Online Booking > Card Requirements.

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4. Secure a Deposit

Why wait around for the possibility of a client not showing up? Your time costs money, and clients should respect that! With GlossGenius, you can add custom deposit amounts to one, some, or all of your services, as the ultimate insurance policy against no-shows. Here's how it works: When your clients go to book a service with a deposit required, they will be charged the amount of the deposit at booking, and when their appointment is complete, the deposit amount they paid will be applied to the service price.

Start taking deposits in GlossGenius by heading to Settings > Services > select your desired service > toggle on Require Deposit and set your amount. Additionally, you can require deposits for all of your clients, or just for new ones!

5. Start a Waitlist

Unfortunately, even with client appointment reminders, deposits, and a thorough cancellation policy, no-shows and last-minute cancellations can still happen. But that's no reason to sit around! With GlossGenius, you can establish a client waitlist – and you decide whether clients can add themselves to it, or whether you maintain full control over it yourself. Then, when you do have a last-minute opening, you can review your waitlist and fill the schedule gap in minutes!

in GlossGenius Gold, head to More > Waitlist to get set up!

6. Third Strike, They're Out

As a last resort, you can always initiate a client ban if you’re dealing with a repeat offender. You’ll also want to pay attention to who is booking you and when so that you can have more control over your schedule as booking requests come through. Because clients are human and mistakes and emergencies happen, you may want to give clients up to three chances with last-minute appointment cancellations or no-shows before you enact a ban.

Should it be necessary to ban a client with GlossGenius, head to Clients > Choose a Client > Edit > Ban from Online Booking


If you want to take control over your online booking process and take steps to combat your cancellation worries, GlossGenius is the tool your kit is missing. Our all-in-one salon booking platform has settings in which you can approve (or deny) appointment requests, take credit cards upon booking, set up custom cancellation policies, and set up client notifications from day one.

Not only can you easily approve (or deny) appointment requests, but you can also take credit cards upfront and have a clear no-show policy in place. But it doesn’t end there. With GlossGenius, beauty salons can also effortlessly reschedule or rebook appointments, which can be a game-changer in reducing missed appointments.

Stay connected with your clientele through integrated social media features, ensuring they're always in the loop and reducing the chances of lost income. As a business owner, whether you're running a bustling hair salon or a tranquil spa, it's essential to have the right tools at your disposal.

GlossGenius goes beyond just helping you book appointments – it's a comprehensive solution designed specifically for the challenges of the salon business. With the ability to customize notifications from the get-go, you can be proactive in minimizing disruptions and maximizing your business potential.

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