Setting up Online Booking Deposits

How to start taking deposits for online bookings

16 Feb 2021 by Kitomba

If you want to get started with taking deposits for bookings made online for your salon, spa or clinic, we’ve got some tips to make it easy!

This short guide covers how to choose your deposit value, decide on your cancellation policy, and set up deposits using Kitomba Salon and Spa Software.

How to choose a deposit value

You may be asking yourself how much the deposit should be. To decide, think about:

  • What would your clients be happy to pay?
  • How are your services priced? For example, asking for full pre-payment on a high-value service may not be suitable for your clients.
  • How much of an issue do you have with cancellations and no-shows? This should influence how much you charge. The higher the deposit, the lower the chance of no-shows. 
  • What type of business do you run? For example, if a client doesn’t come to their appointment, would it be difficult to fill the appointment slot?

You can choose to charge a percentage of the service cost (such as 20%), a set amount or the full cost of the service. Once you’ve considered all these factors, choose a deposit amount that you’re comfortable with, and know your clients will be happy to pay.

Your online booking deposit can be a percentage of the service cost, a set amount or the full cost of the service.

How to create your cancellation policy

If you want to charge deposits for appointments, it’s important to have clear terms and conditions. Writing a cancellation policy is a good way to do this as it helps outline why you’re charging a deposit and sets clear expectations.

When it comes to what to say, it’s best to be upfront and honest with your clients, and be very specific so your clients and staff know how it works.

To create your cancellation policy, you need to decide:

  • How much you’ll charge.
  • If you’ll allow cancellations.
  • What happens to a clients deposit if they cancel or don’t show up.

Here’s a cancellation policy example: 

We understand that sometimes you need to change your schedule.

If you’re unable to come to your appointment we ask that you reschedule or cancel no later than 48 hours prior to the scheduled appointment. If you cancel no later than 48 hours prior, we’ll refund your deposit. If you reschedule, the deposit will be put against your next appointment.

Unfortunately, if you cancel less than 48 hours before your appointment, we’re unable to refund your deposit.

Your online booking site should have a clear cancellation policy for online bookings, outlining what happens to their deposit if they cancel their appointment.

How to manage your cancellation policy

This is a very important step! Here’s are our top tips regarding how to manage your cancellation policy:

  • Add your cancellation policy to your online booking site. If you’re a Kitomba user, you can do this by visiting your Kitomba 1 Online Booking settings.
  • You could also add your cancellation policy to your website – remember it’s a good idea to always be honest and transparent.
  • Always clearly communicate your policy to your clients. For example, if a client calls to cancel, relay the policy to them so they know for the future.
  • Train your team. They need to know exactly how to deal with cancellations and no-shows and the deposits that have been collected.
  • Discuss how you want to deal with cancellations in extraordinary circumstances. You need to balance the loss of revenue to your business with being understanding towards your clients. For example, if they’ve experienced a sudden bereavement you may wish to refund their deposit.

salon owner in front of laptop as if setting up online booking deposits with Kitomba

How to set up Kitomba Online Booking Deposits 

If you’re a Kitomba Salon and Spa Software customer and would like to set up online deposits in Kitomba 1, you’ll need to know the deposit amount or percentage you wish to take, and your cancellation policy. Then you’ll need to enter this information into Kitomba by visiting your Kitomba 1 Online Booking settings.

This process only takes five minutes. Read this support guide for how to do it: how to set up deposits for online booking, or watch the short instructional video below. 

Get started with taking deposits for online bookings

Hopefully these tips help you get started with online booking deposits!

If you’re still on the fence about whether taking deposits for online bookings is right for your business, read our blog; Why you should use online booking deposits. If you don’t have online booking and you’d like to be able to offer this platform to your clients, contact us

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Editor’s note: This post was originally published on 28 Feb 2018 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. 

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