How to reduce no-shows and cancellations by up to 60%, and protect client relationships

Salons and spas can reduce no-shows and late cancellations by as much as 60% with free appointment reminders, booking confirmation notifications, online card protections, and by taking deposits.

As a leading appointment scheduling software with 60,000 hair, beauty and wellness partners and 200,000 professionals in 120 countries, Fresha is transforming how salons and spas are managing and promoting their businesses, as well as effectively protecting them from the loss of income due to late cancellation and no-show policies, and by taking deposits with Fresha.

Having processed over 250 million salon and spa appointments worldwide, the brand understands how heavily no-shows and late cancellations impact on the revenues of individual beauty and wellness businesses, whilst costing the global industry billions in lost income.  

Fresha founder and chief operations officer, William Zeqiri, said “Losing income from just one missed or cancelled appointment is an issue but, in its entirety, this problem costs individual salons and spas many thousands of pounds in lost service income every year, and it costs the UK beauty and spa industry millions in lost revenue. Fresha is successfully reversing this trend for its partners.” 

The seamless way to avoid no-show and late cancellation issues

When a salon or spa links their website and social media booking buttons to Fresha, client’s select and book their service, and reserve their appointment with a card. At this stage, businesses can clearly display their cancellation and no-show policy, and fees. These fees are determined by the salon or spa as they need to reflect their client relationships, and the size of the problem in terms of how their individual business is affected by this issue.

In the case of Bond Shoreditch, salon owner Ursula Moore gives clients the option to cancel up to 48 hours before their scheduled appointment without being charged, whilst advising clients that they’ll be charged 30% for late cancellation and 50% for not showing up. Combined with SMS appointment reminders that ensure that even the most forgetful of clients remember their appointment booking, Bond has virtually eliminated no-shows and late cancellations with only three no-shows in the first 18 months after opening.

Moore said “Because this part of our booking process is automated, it’s taken the awkwardness and emotion out of the situation, as clients are well-informed, and the charge is taken from their card. As we don’t need to manage this in person, we’ve not lost any client or had any negative impacts on our client relationships as a result.”   

Remind clients about their appointments 

As a first line of defence to prevent late cancellations and no-shows, Fresha partners can send up to two automated appointment reminder notifications via email or text message. Reminders can be set up automatically to send at three-, 24-, 48- or 72-hour intervals before the appointment time, giving clients a chance to cancel or reschedule without incurring any late cancellation or no-show charges. 

What is an effective salon cancellation policy and where should this be displayed? 

Cancellation policies should be fair to both salon and spa owners and their clients. Partners set their own terms and fees, ensuring they stay in complete control, with Zeqiri adding that “every business is unique, so partners can determine what is fair and set their terms and fees according to their own situation.”

As a basic principle, it’s fair to inform clients that if they fail to keep their appointment, or fail to notify you within reasonable time, that they will be charged a late cancellation or no-show fee or lose their deposit. 

To ensure clients are well informed, booking terms and conditions should be clearly displayed on your website, and when your client books an appointment through your Fresha appointment scheduling platform you can display your cancellation policy at the ‘confirm with card’ stage. It’s also good practice to include information or a link to your booking terms and conditions when confirmation emails and text messages are sent.

Additionally, if a client finds your salon and makes a booking via the Fresha website or app, Fresha clearly displays your cancellation policy at the time of booking.  Fees are set entirely at the salon or spa’s discretion, and these can range from a small percentage up to the full appointment value.


Are there any further protections to help reduce no-shows and late cancellations?

As income losses from no-shows and late cancellations are felt by many salon and spa businesses, the most requested feature from Fresha partners is deposits. New in March, Fresha Deposits is set to deliver even better protection. 

“With current processes charging the client retrospectively for cancelling late or not showing up for their appointment, the deposits feature will require clients to pay a deposit in advance to secure their booking,” said Zeqiri. “When the client arrives for their appointment, the deposit is deducted from their bill at the payment stage, and if a client doesn’t show up the salon or spa retains the deposit as a no-show charge. This will increase the client’s commitment to their appointment whilst protecting the salon or spa from loss should the client fail to show.”   

Should business owners look closer at reasons behind frequent cancellations?

Whilst most clients book an appointment in good faith and intend to show up, there will always be a small number who are not truly committed to keeping it. If a trend or pattern emerges, the salon or spa could ask a selection of clients to try and identify a reason, so they can deal with it. Remember that clients may have a valid reason for not attending or showing up, especially if it’s a regular client and it’s unusual for them not to arrive, so try to establish the reason with your client where possible. 

Aside from protecting yourself with cancellation fees and deposits, Fresha also has a built-in feature that also allows partners to block clients from booking online again. Blocking someone from making bookings can be effective if a client repeatedly cancels or doesn’t show, but should only be used as a last resort. 

Click here to join Fresha for free

Sponsored content