As a hairdresser you are likely to experience several last-minute cancellations or even no shows.
These can be frustrating but can also be costly to your business due to lost income. There are however some methods to reduce the frequency and impact of these cancellations for you and your business.
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The most significant impact of a cancelled appointment is the financial one. Cancelled appointments and no shows mean there will be income lost from that appointment.
You should calculate the exact figure for earnings lost due to cancellations to help in assessing the full impact by multiplying the charge to a client for an appointment by the number cancelled each month.
There are plenty of situations which are unavoidable and will mean that your clients need to cancel their appointments. However, it is worth looking at this in more detail to see if there is a pattern.
For example, are appointments more likely to be cancelled on a Saturday vs other days of the week? Are early morning appointments often cancelled at the last minute? Or, are there specific clients who regularly cancel or specific stylists who frequently experience no shows?
Identifying any trends can help you to address them and reduce the cancellations in the future. For example, you might look to impose a stricter financial policy around Saturday appointments or introduce more frequent reminders for specific clients.
You can reduce the number of cancellations that you receive by implementing an appointment reminder system. This might start with an appointment card which is handed to the client when they book their next appointment.
This can then be followed up with a text message to confirm their appointment and/or to remind them of their appointment 48 hours before. This should include clear information about how they can cancel or reschedule if they need to.
If you have the time to do it then a phone call to each of your clients achieves the same result but also offers a more personal approach. A phone call also means that your client is less likely to ignore the reminder!
Alternatively, if you are time starved or your business is a larger one then you can use an automated system to manage your appointments with automatic reminders sent out to clients at a specified time.
Some hairdressers follow other appointment-based industries and have a policy in place to charge customers 50% of the fee if they cancel within 24 hours of the appointment.
This way, the financial impact of a cancelled appointment is reduced. Be sure to display details of the cancellation policy clearly in the salon and on your website.
By ensuring that your client has the best experience at your salon you will not only increase the chance of keeping hold of them as a client, but also reduce the risk that they will cancel any future appointment that they make.
They are less likely to forget about or cancel an appointment if they are looking forward to it!
There will always be some cancellations as last minute emergencies are unavoidable. However, if you follow these tips then hopefully you can reduce them and the financial impact they have on your business.