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How to Minimize No-Shows

Jim Bower | February 9, 2017 | 7:47 AM

As salon and spa professionals, we all have clients who simply don’t show up for their appointments. Incredibly aggravating, these dreaded no-shows not only cause a loss of momentum for your work day, but also cost you and the stylist in operating expenses, as well as lost revenue. It’s nearly impossible to fill that appointment last minute or to recapture that loss financially. And to make matters worse, you know the client will likely try to and squeeze back into your schedule, becoming aggravated if they can’t be accommodated.

 No-shows are a larger problem than we all really want to admit but until now there has been little to help remedy the situation. Before we look into a solution, let’s dive deeper into the problem itself to examine why no-shows happen.

In my many years as a salon owner, and many more working in the salon, I’ve heard every excuse there is for why someone is late. From work meetings that ran late to bad traffic, to an array of personal issues, the list is endless. Some level of tardiness, unfortunately, comes with the territory, as there will always be circumstances outside of everyone’s control.

No-shows, however, seem to fall into a different category. I have found that in most cases the client simply forgot the appointment or confused it with a different day and/or time. Even in this electronic age, some still enter a wrong date / time on their calendars or get easily side-tracked when going about their day.

In my opinion, the solution to the no-show issue comes down to communication with your clients. Whether booking online or by salon or spa staff, sending an appointment confirmation email or text to the client is always a good idea. This lets them know that their booking has been scheduled and confirms the services for that appointment.

 Follow up emails and or texts should also be done closer to the appointment as a reminder. Once a couple of days before and another a few hours prior to the appointment. If someone has forgotten that they have an appointment, sending a reminder a couple of days ahead gives them the opportunity to rearrange their schedule as needed, while a reminder the day of the appointment helps urge them to be on time.

 Naturally, a handful of clients do end up cancelling and rebooking, which may or may not be accommodated by the service provider’s schedule. However, I think we would all agree that we’d prefer advance notice of an open spot (a.k.a. cancellation) so it can be filled elsewhere rather than be surprised by it the day of the appointment.

 To help get the process in order, my suggestion is to look to salon and spa management software with automatic communication features. We’re talking automated email and text confirmations and reminders, based on how the client likes to receive their information. The automation makes the process easy. Without causing more work for your already-busy staff, it will help to minimize tardiness with your clients, as well as the number of no-shows. And THAT you can take to the bank!

Jim Bower is the founder of Floydware, LLC and Rosy Salon Software. He is a former salon and spa owner with over 30 years of experience in the industry.

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