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Getting No-Shows Down to Zero

Stacey Soble | February 13, 2014 | 5:58 PM

Getting No-Shows Down to ZeroRemember when no-shows were a constant headache for any salon that didn’t spend every evening phoning clients booked for the following day? The arrival of mobile technology, with the ability to reach people during the day while at work or out shopping suddenly made it so much easier to jog people’s memories, but it still took time. In many salons, that meant time away from welcoming clients, answering new booking calls and settling up bills. Not to mention these calls were often aggravating to clients who were being interrupted anywhere and everywhere

Deanne Norrdin, owner of Clippings with two locations in Alta Loma, California, with a team in excess of 15 stylists and growing, wasn’t happy with that.

“We have a rebooking rate that is well above average, as much as 90 per cent with some of my stylists, and that means prompting clients’ memories is essential,’ said Deanna. ‘My assistant was spending sometimes as much as two hours calling clients to check they hadn’t forgotten their appointments.”

But mobile technology brought another benefit in addition to making clients being contactable at all times ¬– the ubiquitous text message and its potential to automate reminders. Deanna discovered that her software provider, Shortcuts Software, offered the option to text or email confirmations automatically. She also discovered her fears that a one-way text might not secure her future revenue were unfounded, because Shortcuts TextME™ requires the client to text back to secure the appointment.

“When clients rebook at their appointment there is a risk that something will come up and they’ll have to reschedule or they’ll simply forget, so we needed a reliable system to contact them but which wouldn’t take up my assistant’s time,” explained Deanna. “Now clients need to text back, and when they do, it turns the appointments on the screen to a different color. If the color doesn’t change, then we know to call the client to see what is going on.”

If, by the end of the day, Deanna’s assistant, Adrianna, still has appointments unconfirmed, she can quickly pull up contact details and call each client. She’s doing maybe two calls an evening. The salon has also brought its reminders forward to 48 hours before the appointment, giving the team time to fill any slots left vacant. No-shows are practically at zero.

‘For too long our industry just accepted no-shows as part of the deal, but we’ve found by introducing Shortcuts’ confirmations system, we helped change our clients’ behaviour. They know that unless they text back, they risk losing their appointment,’ added Deanna. ‘That makes them value their appointments and keeps my stylists busy.’

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