Professional Beauty
Professional Beauty


Wave goodbye to WHITE SPACE

White space is the one thing managers and business owners dread to see in any of their team’s column. The common misconception about the beauty industry is what we sell - if you ask the average person on the street, they will tell you it’s our services; however, what we are really selling is our time.

Time is our greatest commodity, and how we choose to use it in today’s economic climate could be the difference between whether we sink or swim. Now, more than ever, we must do all that we can to reduce cancellations and no-shows, but in the age of Covid-19 there is a fine line in juggling client sensibility and turnover.

Since coming out of lockdown, many clients feel as though they can cancel at a moment’s notice because of a sniffle or occasional sneeze, leading us to the big question of how do we keep the white space full?

In our experience, cancellations and no-shows fall into two very distinct groups; how we approach each must be handled with different kinds of sensibility.

The first tend to be new or transient clients with no relationship with your salon or spa. It’s essential that whoever is making your bookings understands the importance of taking a deposit as a confirmation for any new client appointment. Deposits should be at least 50% of the service, redeemable on the day against services or, alternatively, fully refundable if the client cancels within an agreed window of opportunity.

New clients will happily pay a deposit if their intention is to attend. If someone is not willing, be bold enough to refuse the booking, as experience tells me if they are not happy to pay, they will be perfectly happy not showing up. Transparency is key when it comes to your no-show policy. The second group, existing clients, should be treated with a little more sensitivity as you need to maintain your relationship and their loyalty.

Remember, there could be a plethora of reasons why they may be cancelling or have not shown up.

With regular clients, I operate a threestrike rule – although the client doesn’t need to know this – after all, there is a limit to how many times Auntie Thelma can pass away, or their train gets cancelled.

If a deposit has been taken to secure a booking, the decision to bank or refund it is then my call to make. Often, clients don’t really think about the loss their beloved therapist incurs, so strike two will always be a gentle reminder of this to the repeat offending client.

So, my three top tips for reducing no-shows or cancellations are: deposits taken as standard, deposit policy transparency, and flexibility. Do remember that sometimes life gets in the way – it’s better to give back a deposit than to lose a loyal client forever.

Gavin Hoare is the salon manager at Richard Ward Hair & Metrospa, London, which uses Phorest Salon Software.


This article appears in the July 2022 Issue of Professional Beauty

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This article appears in the July 2022 Issue of Professional Beauty