How Salon Scheduling Software Can Help You Reduce No-Shows And Cancellations | STX Software

How Salon Scheduling Software Can Help You Reduce No-Shows and Cancellations

Salon Scheduling Software - Reduce No-Shows And Cancellations - Stxsoftware.com

For salon business owners, reducing the occurrences of no-show and canceled appointments is a high priority. These disruptions to your daily schedule can interrupt salon operations, impact your revenue, frustrate your staff, and waste resources. No-shows and cancellations are a common concern in the salon world, but there are strategies to reduce their frequency and their impact on your business. The best way to tackle this challenging problem is to use salon scheduling software. We’re going to show you how to best utilize your salon software with online booking and appointment scheduling features to combat no-shows and cancellations, optimize your efficiency, and improve customer and employee satisfaction.

What Is The Difference Between A Canceled And A No-Show Appointment?

No-show appointments are different from canceled appointments. A canceled appointment is when the client calls or uses appointment management features on your salon website or mobile app to cancel their appointment. They effectively let the salon know that they will not be able to make the appointment, opening up the slot for another client to claim. A no-show appointment is when a client simply does not show up for their appointment – without letting the salon know that they will not be coming. The appointment time is not filled with another paying client, costing the stylist and salon owner time and money.

Not every no-show is intentional. More often than not, the client simply forgot about their appointment. It happens! Life gets busy, schedules get changed, and appointments can be forgotten in the shift. But no-shows are disappointing and frustrating, and you want to take steps to prevent them as much as possible.

How Does A No-Show Or Canceled Appointment Impact Your Salon Business?

No-shows and canceled appointments can have a significant impact on your salon’s business. Firstly, they can lead to lost revenue when empty appointment slots cannot be filled. Additionally, it can cause frustration and dissatisfaction among your staff.

The cost of missed appointments can add up quickly; for some salons, it can amount to an annual cost of thousands of dollars. Worldwide Salon Marketing did a survey in 2018 that found that no-shows can cost you 5-10% of your annual profit. That’s no small margin, especially if you’re a new salon just starting to grow your business. Canceled appointments also impact revenue but less so, because (when given at least a day’s notice) the empty appointment slot can be filled with a walk-in or waitlist client.

When a client no-shows for an appointment, it will disrupt the stylist’s day and can lead to frustration. A double-process hair color with haircut and blowout is a several-hours long appointment with a larger than average price tag. When the client doesn’t show, and the stylist is ready and prepared, it leaves a big hole in their day unless a walk-in customer happens to come in (and those are far less common than they used to be). So, they are usually left with nothing to do while they wait for their next appointment. Frequent no-shows can be a real source of stress for your stylists; If they occur often enough, you may lose your stylists to a salon with better appointment management. This is another great reason why you should use salon management software to help reduce no-shows: it can reduce employee turnover by improving job satisfaction.

Using Salon Scheduling Software To Reduce No-Shows And Cancellations

Salon appointment booking software is built with multiple features to improve appointment management for both your salon staff and your clients. The introduction of an online booking system makes scheduling appointments easier than ever for your clients by allowing them to book 24/7 at their own convenience via a booking widget on your webpage or through an app. The automation of an appointment scheduling software reduces the workload for your salon staff and streamlines operations at your business to improve efficiency and the customer experience. Let’s take a closer look at the six top features that will best help to reduce no-shows and cancellations.

1. Salon Booking Confirmations

When you’re first setting up your new salon booking software, you want to make sure you have the appointment booking confirmations turned on. This will send an automated confirmation to the client each time they book a service appointment. Not only is this helpful for each party’s record keeping, the client can also review the services, provider info, date and time, and other information relevant to their appointment. If there are any errors, the client can quickly catch this and change the booking before appointment day (when it might be too late to make adjustments). When the client has reviewed the booking, they can confirm the appointment with a quick click of a button. Having this booking confirmation in their email or text messaging will also serve as a continuous reminder of the future appointment, helping to reduce the risk of a no-show or cancellation.

2. Appointment Reminders

Drawing from our experience, we found that automated appointment reminders are one of the top salon and spa software features favored by both salon staff and clients. These automated reminders save your front desk staff from spending hours on the phone every day, and your clients will love the less intrusive communication of an email or SMS (text) message. With your clients’ busy schedules, it’s easy to forget about an appointment they made days, weeks, or even months ago. An automated reminder will help your clients keep up with their appointment management with significantly less risk of a no-show. When the client receives the reminder, they can quickly check their schedule to be sure a conflict hasn’t come up. And, if it has, they can quickly reschedule their appointment – allowing another client to swoop in and claim that newly opened appointment time. Appointment reminders are an important layer of protection against lost income for you and your stylists and a convenience feature that your clients will greatly appreciate!

3. Salon Software Pre-Payment Options And Card-On-File Protection

The best salon scheduling software will allow you to take deposits and pre-payments for service appointments. If you have clients that repeatedly don’t show up for their appointments, you might consider enacting a pre-payment or deposit policy. This will discourage the client from skipping appointments without contacting the salon within the cancellation window. This policy can be explained in the online forms that you have clients review and sign when they are first setting up their account on your scheduling app or website. The policy can be triggered at whatever terms you set (for example, after two no-shows a deposit or pre-payment must be made for the next scheduled service).

Another option is to keep a credit card (or other form of payment) on file and automatically charge a fee for any appointment that isn’t canceled within the salon’s determined window and when the client does not show up at all. Using a software solution that allows you to keep a payment method on file is a huge benefit for salons, providing that extra bit of security to recover some lost income and encouraging clients to better manage their appointments to avoid extra charges.

4. Waitlist Management System

Robust software for salons will include a feature that supports waitlist management. Having a waitlist (a list of clients who would like to receive services sooner than they were able to book for) gives you a pool of potential clients to fill those appointments that are canceled with notice. Your staff can quickly review the list to see who is waiting for an earlier appointment and contact them to offer the newly available time. This will minimize the impact of canceled appointments, keep your stylists’ books full, and keep money coming in.

5. Track No-Shows And Cancellations

Salon software helps you keep track of missed and canceled appointments, so you can take note of clients who repeatedly no-show or cancel appointments. You can take extra steps to encourage these clients to make it to their next scheduled service time. Consider sending them an extra email or SMS reminder or even calling them to personally confirm that they will be there. Sometimes, a personal phone call is the extra touch that will remind a client that skipping an appointment without notice has a negative impact on the salon and the stylist. It’s important to keep the call cordial; you don’t want to drive the client away!

6. Offer Prepaid Packages

It’s common in the beauty and wellness industry to offer prepaid packages and memberships to your clients. These are bundles of select services that the client pays for in advance or a monthly (or annual) membership fee that includes a predetermined set of services to be received by the client during the membership cycle. Packages and memberships are very popular with salon and spa customers.

Your booking software will allow you to create and customize the packages and memberships to include whichever combination of services you choose, and will track clients’ usage for you. If you have a client who frequently misses or cancels appointments, you can gently recommend that they purchase a prepaid package or membership.

How Do You Deal with No-Show Clients?

Even if you use all of the features that your salon software offers to help you lower the rate of no-shows and cancellations, you might still have some clients that continue to miss their appointments. How do you approach this situation? You can start by contacting them personally by phone to see why they missed their appointment. You can courteously remind them of your policy regarding missed appointments, and you can ask them to rebook.

If the client has not placed a method of payment on file, you might need to let them know that they will need to do so before their next booking and that there will be a fee for not showing up. If you don’t have an appointment policy in your sign-up forms, you should have it clearly displayed on your website, at your salon, and always make sure it is included in your appointment booking confirmation.

The Best Salon Management Software For Appointment Management

Convenient appointment management is a hallmark of the best salon software for your hair salon or nail salon. Make appointment management easy for your clients by using a cloud-based salon and spa management solution like STX Software. With STX Software, you can reduce no-shows with automated booking confirmations and appointments reminders, use waitlists and packages to keep revenue coming in, and make taking payments easy with integrated payment processing. STX will help you manage your salon team, grow your business, and improve overall customer satisfaction with a powerful all-in-one salon, spa, and fitness management software solution.

You can give us a call at (800) 766-4778 or visit our website to book a live demo with our team. Contact us today to learn more about STX!

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