How to reduce no-shows in your salon, spa or clinic

10 ways to reduce no-shows in your salon, spa or clinic

3 Feb 2021 by Kitomba

Client no-shows cause inconvenience, stress and lost revenue. They’re an issue for many salons, spas and clinics and can stand in the way of your success.

So what can you do to prevent no-shows in your business?

Here are 10 things you can start doing today to reduce no-shows and keep your appointment book full.

1. Send appointment reminders

One of the quickest and easiest ways to reduce no-shows is to automatically send appointment reminders to your clients through your salon software. There are so many case studies that show automatic reminders decrease no-shows, save time and increase revenue.

Appointment reminders can be sent by SMS or email and are helpful for your clients as they’ll be less likely to forget about an appointment when they have a reminder a day or two before.

When setting up appointment reminders, choose when they’re to be sent (usually 24-48 hours before an appointment), create a personalised message, and select which contact method to use, e.g. text message or email.

When choosing which contact method to use, consider asking what method your client prefers, this can easily be recorded in Kitomba. Also note that text messages sent using software like Kitomba, rather than just your personal phone, are generally considered premium messages, and replies sent to premium numbers are often charged at a premium rate. It’s a good idea for senders of premium messages to inform recipients that charges will apply when they reply to these messages, and in some areas it’s even a requirement. So be sure to check the regulations in your area to be sure you’re in compliance. Please note, these charges are collected by the messaging service provider and not by Kitomba.

Appointment reminder text on smartphone

2. Tidy up your client database

When it comes to sending appointment reminders, you need to have the correct contact details for your clients or it simply won’t work.

If your client database isn’t as up to date as you’d like it to be, take the opportunity to fix it! Use Kitomba’s Give to Client feature, which allows your clients to enter their own details into their Client Card using any device

Also ask your clients to specify their preferred contact method, e.g. phone, email or text message. That way your appointment reminders and any other important news, events or information, will be more likely to reach them. 

3. Take deposits or prepayment

If you experience a high no-show rate, you could try taking deposits or prepayment for appointments. By asking your clients to commit money to their appointment, it gives them real incentive to attend their booking.

It’s important to customise deposits or prepayment to make them work for your business and clients. For example, your clients may only need the incentive of paying a 10% deposit to ensure they show up. Deposits can be set up to be taken automatically for online bookings with Kitomba Online Booking.

Client paying deposit for clinic booking at front reception desk

4. Ask for full payment

Alternatively you may offer services that are impossible to fill last minute and therefore asking for full, non-refundable payment prior to the appointment may be required to ensure you and your staff are still paid for your time regardless of whether the client shows up.

5. Offer online booking

We’ve found that if a client makes their appointment using Kitomba Online Booking, the number of no-shows experienced reduces. Plus, depending on the software system you use, Online Booking can automatically send a confirmation email to your clients. Reminding your clients more than once can reduce the chances of them not showing up.

Making a booking online with Kitomba

6. Have a no-show policy

It’s important to have a no-show policy to clearly set expectations with your clients. Your policy should clearly define what a no-show is and how much you’ll charge if they don’t turn up for their appointment.

By clearly outlining your policy and sharing it with your clients via email, your website, online booking site and clearly displaying it in your salon, spa or clinic, it’ll help ensure they’re less likely to miss an appointment.

7. Follow up with missed appointments

Sometimes clients genuinely don’t mean to no-show, they simply forget an appointment or double book themselves. Using Kitomba automated marketing you can set up a “we missed you” text message or email to send to no-shows.

The message should let them know that they missed their appointment and encourage them to contact you as soon as possible to reschedule.

8. Add appointments to your client’s calendar

To ensure your clients know their appointment time when they make a booking you can use appointment cards or Kitomba’s ‘send appointment details’ feature to instantly send them to your clients via email and text message.  

Ideally your email and text messages can allow your clients to automatically add their appointment to their calendar. The combination of an appointment reminder prior to their appointment and a calendar reminder at the time of the booking will increase the likelihood that your clients show up to their appointment.

Client running late for appointment at salon

9. Rebook no-shows

Ensure that you reschedule a client that doesn’t show up for their appointment and let them know about your no-show policy. As a general rule, clients who miss an appointment will often make an effort to ensure they don’t miss the next one!

Reach out to clients who no-show as soon as possible. So wait 10 to 15 minutes and then give the client a call to check in with them.

10. Offer prepaid packages and concessions

Clients that prepay for a series of visits are more likely to show up for those visits. This is because they’re committing in advance to visiting you and have already paid for those services in full. 

You can also include a policy whereby a missed appointment means a lost visit to outline how important it is that they show up.

Reduce no-shows in your salon, spa or clinic 

Using a combination of these methods will help to reduce no-shows, keep your team engaged and ensure you don’t miss out on revenue.

Using a combination of these methods will help to reduce no-shows, keep your team engaged and ensure you don’t miss out on revenue. 

Behind every great no-show prevention strategy is great software, and Kitomba has all the features you need to be successful. If you’d like to find out how Kitomba can help you, book your free demo or contact us

If you want to discover more ways of growing your salon, spa or clinic, download our free e-book 100 ways to grow. It contains 100 actionable ways to grow your hair and beauty business and drive more revenue. 

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Editor’s note: This article was originally published on 13 August 2018 and has been updated for relevance and comprehensiveness.

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