How to Deal with Client Cancellations and No-Shows

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.

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.)

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.

Have a Clear Cancellation Policy

If you don’t already have a cancellation policy in play, now is the time to start. Implementing (and sticking to) a cancellation policy will help get your clients to understand that your time is valuable. A typical cancellation policy may state that cancelling less than 24 hours before an appointment – or worse, simply not showing up for an appointment – are subject to a fee equal to 50% of the service charge, but you know your business better than anyone, so we’ll leave the details up to you.

With GlossGenius, you can easily add in your cancellation policy in the “About” section of your website or use the blank “Policies” Social Templates.

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.

Require a credit card for booking

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 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 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.

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