Distributed by Australian Bodycare


Beauty and waxing salons often grapple with the challenge of no-shows, which can lead to financial losses and disrupt the efficient flow of your salon business.

Just imagine a client turns up to the salon and you don't. Or, they arrive only to be told upon making the effort to attend that their therapist hasn't shown up for work today and you can't fulfil their appointment. They'd be pretty mad about that, and rightly so. But this scenario cuts both ways, and yet no-shows remain one of the biggest issues that salons face. You take appointment bookings in good faith, allocate a slot and a therapist and then...the client just doesn't arrive. The effects are serious, especially if this happens a lot.

First you lose the service revenue - that's loss one. Then you're paying for a therapist who then has nothing to do for an hour or so - that's loss two. Then factor in running costs, products and other overheads, and this one no-show amounts to quite a substantial hit. Never mind the fact that you could have denied someone else an appointment on that date and time because it was allocated to a client who failed to show up. 

Of course, there are unavoidable reasons for a no-show; accidents, family emergencies or genuine forgetfulness may offer up legitimate reasons for a client not arriving, so this has to be managed with a degree of empathy. But it needs to be managed all the same. So, how can you minimise no-shows, reinforce your clients commitment to their appointment and deal with the aftermath of a no-show in a professional and proportionate way?  

Sit back, relax and let us tell you how.

Managing appointment reminders manually can take time but if you don't use salon software, text reminders or emails, simply call the client a day or two before their appointment to re-confirm it and say how much you're looking forward to seeing them. Not only will this gently remind them and give them the opportunity to reschedule if they've forgotten, it shows great service too. Given enough notice, if this call results in a cancellation or reschedule, you can act to fill the vacant slot and protect your revenue...even if it's a last minute offer to fill the slot.

This said, one effective strategy is to use technology. Most salon software systems have features that generate automated appointment reminders. Sending automated text messages or emails a day or two before the scheduled appointment minimises the risk of a no-show and, again, it can prompt clients to reschedule if necessary. This proactive communication not only helps clients manage their schedules but also demonstrates the salon's commitment to customer service. Technology can also help, as many of these platforms can take online booking and deposits. Deposits give clients' reassurance of their booking and it's a subtle way of committing them to it. As part of this process, you can set a no-show and cancellation policy that means a client loses the deposit if they don't cancel within a reasonable time frame e.g. 24 or 48 hours before their appointment, and they get charged a % of the appointment, or indeed the full amount, in the event of a no-show.

Use salon technology to reduce no-shows and late cancellations

Using technology to take deposits and enact cancellation policies not only alleviates tension in the client/salon relationship, automation also removes emotion as you don't have to enter into difficult conversations with your client, or press them to pay when they failed to cancel, reschedule or not turn up at all.

Evidence proves beyond doubt that encouraging clients to book appointments via a user-friendly booking platform contributes to reducing no-shows, while making the booking, cancellation and rescheduling process seamless and convenient.

Regardless of whether you use technology in your business, introducing a cancellation policy can act as a deterrent to last-minute cancellations and no-shows. Clearly communicate the policy during the booking process and display it prominently in the salon. Consider implementing a reasonable cancellation fee to encourage clients to honour their appointments or give advance notice if they need to reschedule.

Reward loyalty

Creating a loyalty program or offering incentives for consistent attendance can also foster a sense of commitment among clients. Discounts or exclusive access to promotions can motivate clients to prioritise their appointments and maintain a regular waxing routine. You could also offer pre-payment incentives, sell courses or treatment bundles at an attractive rate, and offer clients added-value services as part of their package. 

Lastly, always maintain open lines of communication with clients through surveys or feedback forms. These can provide valuable insights into their scheduling preferences and highlight any potential barriers they may face. This information can be used to tailor your approach and create a more accommodating environment, so clients are less likely to cancel or fail to show up. Additionally, you'll know if there are any serial offenders when it comes to cancellations or no-shows, so create a list and perhaps these clients should be subject to pre-payment terms? In the end, you're offering a great service, but it's also your business and livelihood, so you need to manage this aspect of your business to protect it from 

We hope you've found this blog useful and please contact us if you have any comments or suggestions for future blogs.