Beauty salon: our 4 tips to say goodbye to appointments cancellation
Last minute oversight is a nightmare in the beauty and wellness sector. A client who does not attend his appointment or cancels it shortly before the meeting time represents a significant loss of profit. But how to avoid this type of inconvenience?
1. The setting up of a strict cancellation procedure
Our first tip to avoid oversights and ghost clients: setting up & posting a strict cancellation policy.
This kind of regulation must be disclosed on your website, in your beauty salon, on your service list, etc. It is important that clients know that despite a strict cancellation policy - and in case of major impediment - you will not hold it against them. In short, they must know their options in case of unforeseen event!
As regards the cancellation policy itself, the conditions must be set out clearly and rigorously. However, favor a light tone. Do not hesitate to include a few didactic sentences explaining why the non-coming to an appointment is difficult to manage for a beauty salon and how it penalizes both your business and your customers.
More specifically, you can offer your customers the ability to cancel or postpone an appointment up to 48 hours before the scheduled time. In case of non-compliance with these conditions, opt for the policy of your choice. This policy may be the payment of fees up to 25% for a cancellation the day before or up to 50% for a cancellation the same day than the expected meeting.
2. Appointment reminders: simplicity at the service of your beauty salon
Second method - easy as pie and yet proven effective - appointment reminders!
Although it is difficult to indicate an exact rate, many of the non-comings are probably due to customers’ oversight. Thus, we recommend that you send them a short reminder mentioning the date and time of their appointment. (What's more, it's a way to create an intimate relationship and confidence but also to promote the image of your beauty salon.)
Several options exist and your choice will depend on your beauty activity and the services offered. Here are the possibilities you have.
You can send two reminders: a first in the 48 hours before the appointment (in case of withdrawal, this will give you time to refill your agenda) and a second 24 hours before (perfect to avoid an oversight). - But you can also choose to send a reminder 72 hours before the appointment to allow your customers to reschedule without them having to pay the costs of a cancellation, if any.
To do this, different instruments are available: email, SMS or call. Also, do not hesitate to distribute to your customers, at the time of choosing a meeting date, a small card with the image of your living room indicating upcoming appointments. This little card, easy to slip into a wallet, is also a new opportunity to promote your services!
3. Payment of a deposit and other conditions when making appointments in your beauty salon
There are real barriers that prevent oversights: the payment of a deposit when booking - or more widely the requirement that certain conditions are met in order to make an appointment.
When setting up a reservation, you can require your customers to give you : their credit card imprint, their identity document, a blank check or even the prepayment of the reserved service or a part of it. This is a somewhat drastic method, it's true, but absolutely effective.
Obviously, you are free to apply this type of policy to new customers only and take some liberties with those who are most loyal to you.
4. Online booking
Many non-comers occur when an appointment has been made well in advance. Indeed, it is difficult to plan a haircut session 2 months upstream!
And setting up an online booking tool can help you dramatically reduce withdrawal for this type of reasons. Certainly, an online appointment scheduling tool makes it easier to cancel, but also allows you to reprogram more easily. What's more, by offering a quick and easy cancellation method, you are freeing up time slots for customers who want a last-minute booking!
In fact, it's all about adapting to your customers and their schedules: to give them the choice.
To avoid cancellations, it is necessary to work on the customer relationship. Be clear, build confidence, give your customers opportunities and a personalized welcome so that your cancellation rate drops dramatically!