How to Manage Clients Who No-Show or Cancel Last Minute

It can be frustrating when you’ve blocked out your time for an appointment with a client and they cancel last minute. Or worse, they just don’t show up.  

So what should you do now? Take a deep breath. Don’t take it personally. Here are four simple steps to take for handling the situation without ruining the relationship.

Reach Out to the Client

  • Ask the client if they received the notifications or reminders that you sent them before the appointment. Sometimes a no-show may have been due to a miscommunication (e.g. a time that was mixed up, a email address that it was input incorrectly, etc.). However, it’s very easy for some clients to say “I never got it”. Asking them if they received the reminders or confirmations is an easy way to start the conversation.
  • Ask the client if they would like to reschedule the appointment. If they say yes, you can ask them if they would like to put the appointment in their calendars or if there’s any way for you to directly reach them to remind them of the appointment. This way, you make sure that they won’t miss the appointment again.
  • Remind them of your cancellation policy. On the GlossGenius booking sites, our beauty professionals can list their cancellation policies. This way, clients know when they’re booking appointments that if they cancel or fail to show up, they should not be surprised to be charged a cancellation fee.

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Consider Your Cancellation Fee

As long as you are clear about your cancellation policy when the client is booking you, it’s always up to you whether or not you want to charge a cancellation fee. But this leaves you with a dilemma.

Do you want to be the nice beauty professional who was understanding and waived the fee? Or do you want to just charge a fee because you waited and prepared for them to show up and time is money? Both choices are totally justifiable, but the decision can definitely be tough. Here are a few things to consider when trying to decide:

  • Are they a first time client? If so, you might want to give them a second chance! Let them know that you do have a cancellation fee but you’re waiving it.  
  • Are they a chronic no-show client? How often does this client not show up? If they have a pristine track record prior to this appointment, it’s okay to consider waiving their fee. However, if the client has consistently missed appointments – don’t let them take advantage of you. By charging them, you’re also letting them know that you take your business seriously. Your time is valuable!
  • How did the client respond? Does the client seem genuinely sorry for having missed the appointment or do they sound like they could care less? If the client hasn’t responded at all - know that you can charge the cancellation fee. If they call and ask why you’ve charged them, you’ll be able to talk to them about why they didn’t show up and remind them of your cancellation policy (which you should have either told them about before or listed on your booking page).

Flag the Client as a No-Show

Make a note about the client’s last-minute cancellation or no-show so that in the future, you can remember their past behavior and be more prepared.

GlossGenius professionals mark a client as a no-show in one tap so they can keep track of past appointments – including cancellations.  We also make it possible for these professionals to easily choose whether or not they want to take a cancellation fee in one easy button, as well as confirm the client for an appointment if they happen to be a chronic no-show client. This helps protect against future no-shows or last minute cancellations.

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One easy way to prevent chronic no-show clients from booking with you is to implement a three-strikes you’re out policy. If a client fails to show up three times for an appointment (or cancels last minute three times), they are no longer allowed to book with you for a certain period of time.

Never Take It Personally

Remember that there are a million reasons why a client might cancel last-minute or be a no-show. Clients might cancel because unavoidable situations pop up. Or they don’t show up because they’re disorganized. None of these reasons have to do with you.

So just brush it off! GlossGenius can help you reduce client cancellations with our client management and no-show protection tools like deposits, cancellation policy, card-on-file requirements, and more – included in every subscription. Sign up for your free 14-day trial here to learn more.

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