Reducing No-Shows & Last-Minute Cancellations: Our Golden Rules For Salons

Kate RussellBy Kate Russell on May 2nd, 2018

Everyone who works in the hair and beauty industry has experienced a few no-shows or last-minute appointment cancellations in their time. Whether it’s clearly a genuine mistake, a long and well thought-out excuse or just a total blank, in this industry, it’s bound to happen from time to time.

However, it’s important to truly realise the effect that these no-shows are having on your business. By auditing your problem, you can approximate how much this issue is costing your business and then implement some fairly simple procedures and practices to help to reduce your number and, therefore, increase your profitability.

This week, we take a look at some ways you can read a little more into the no-show issue and make some effective changes to your businesses policies.

Are no-shows and last-minute cancellations damaging my business?

This is a good place to start. You need to work out your individual figures with no-shows to decipher how they’re affecting you and your business. Take a look over your no-show figures for the last three months and look for patterns or trends. These patterns might show that it’s happening to you on a specific day or time, which can help you to understand why they might be occurring.

Find your average no-show monthly figure and multiply by your average appointment price to discover how much money your business is losing every month through this problem alone. If you’re not happy with this number, there are some things you can put in place to help reduce it.

Prevention tactics rule

When it comes to trying to prevent no-shows, we’re only human and can only do so much. A phone call a day or two before the appointment is certainly the best way to remind a client, who might have let it slip their mind, plus speaking to someone real on the phone helps to reinforce that no-showing isn’t okay. It’s a time-consuming process, but it’s proven to work.

If you’re all about automation, there is salon software available to help you along with appointment reminders. These systems send out automated text messages to give each of your clients a gentle nudge.

Your no-show & last-minute cancellation policy

We can do all the prevention in the world but no-shows will undoubtedly happen on occasion. When they do, you need to have a policy in place for how to deal with it. A clear policy helps your salon staff to know exactly what to do, plus laying out some ground rules to the clients never did anyone any harm.

Whether you opt for a 24-hour or 48-hour cancellation policy is entirely up to you and you can also charge a percentage of the treatment if this is not adhered to. However, it’s usually best to use your policy with a little flexibility. It’s there to mention to clients on booking and to use preventatively, but a little common sense is always necessary when it comes to long-standing and loyal clients, who might have had an off day and forgotten.

Customer service

The best way to prevent no-shows is to encourage and continue with immaculate customer service with every client that walks through the door. The more of a personal relationship they have with your salon and your stylists, the less likely they will either forget or not bother to call and cancel.

With just a couple of these no-show tips, you can work to reduce your last-minute cancellations and move forward with a more reliable and dependable client schedule.


What are your tips for reducing salon no-shows and last-minute cancellations? Share yours with us in the comments on Facebook and Twitter.

Salon Saver also provides insurance for salons.

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