No-shows and late cancellations are not only frustrating and disappointing, but the loss of income is also a real threat to your businesses.
Fresha salon software has processed over 250 million hair, beauty, and wellness appointments for partners worldwide, but with around 10% of appointments resulting in a cancellation or no-show, the loss of income is having a huge impact on the entire industry.
Fresha CEO and founder William Zeqiri: “Losing the income from just one missed or cancelled appointment is an issue, but in its entirety, this problem costs individual salons many thousands in lost revenue every year, and it costs the global salon industry millions. Reducing no-shows and cancellations is a real priority for every salon owner, and Fresha’s priority is to give its partners the tools to minimize these impacts.
“As a result, we’ve developed features within Fresha to ensure our partners can better protect themselves while being fair to their clients.”
With that in mind, here are four ways you can use Fresha’s free appointment scheduling software to safeguard your business without damaging your relationship with clients.
Avoid the issue in the first place
When your client books their appointment through the Fresha platform, your cancellation policies are clearly indicated, and these are set by the individual salon. For example, you might allow clients to cancel up to 48 hours before their appointment with no fee, but if they cancel within 48 hours you might set a cancellation fee of say 25%. And if they don’t cancel and fail to show up, you can clearly display this as a 50% no-show charge, for example.
As your client’s booking is secured with a card, this gives you the opportunity to levy the charge. “This puts the business owner in complete control of the fees, and it avoids it becoming a personal issue. Fresha partners have not only reported a dramatic decline in no-shows and late cancellations, but they also report that customers are very accepting of these policies and they’ve experienced very few if any, complaints.
“By giving our partners the option to set their own fees, they can set them at a level that they think is fair and reflective of their client relationships.”
Appointment reminders are an excellent first line of defence. With Fresha you can send your client up to two reminder emails or text messages either 3, 24, 48, or 72 hours before their appointment – so even your most forgetful clients can’t fail to remember it. This is a fully automated service that reminds every client who books a new appointment through the Fresha website or app.
Using this feature is a positive, customer-friendly way, these reminders also let your clients know that you value their custom – so personalise the message to thank them for booking, and to tell them you’re looking forward to seeing them. This feature is highly effective and has been shown to reduce client no-shows by up to 30%.
Confirm the client’s card details when they book, and you can activate Fresha’s cancellation policy which has the ability to reduce no-shows and last-minute cancellations by up to 90%.
This feature gives you complete control over how much the client is charged if they let you down or cancel at the last minute. Just make it clear to clients in advance that they will be charged a fee if they fail to attend their appointment or cancel without reasonable notice. Use good judgment by setting your no-show protection fee at a rate that’s fair to everyone, and bear in mind that this fee should take the loss of earnings and any other costs that you need to cover such as staffing into account.
For real peace of mind, we've just introduced a brand new deposits feature. This has been one of the most requested features by Fresha partners, so how could we refuse? From March 2022, whenever a client books through the Fresha website or app, you can ask for an upfront deposit to secure their appointment. The deposit will then be taken off the final bill, so the client will only have the remainder to pay….unless, of course, they fail to show up, in which case you have the right to retain the deposit to cover your losses.
As with a cancellation policy, you control how much the client is charged, but make sure the amount is fair to all parties, and also be sure the client knows about your cancellation policy at the time of booking.
Block repeat offenders
Client retention is key to a successful business but if a client repeatedly lets you down, and you’ve already tried everything to encourage them to keep their appointments, then it’s reasonable to refuse their custom.
You can use our hair and beauty appointment software to block specific clients from booking online again. Note that this feature is last on our list as it should only be used as a last resort, but it does offer appropriate protection, should it be necessary.
Fresha partners like Ursula Moore at Bond, Shoreditch has benefitted greatly from Fresha’s no-show and late cancellation policies, experiencing as few as three no-shows in 18 months after opening the doors of her new hairdressing salon for the first time. Click here to read more about Ursula’s Fresha experience
All of these services can be activated at www.fresha.com/for-business