We seem to have entered a far more aggressive ‘cancel culture’! Restaurants and pubs are reporting a horrific number of ‘no shows’ where it can cost them around £60 in the food prep and staff availability. It seems some are booking several tables and then decide what they ‘fancy’ at the time! Do they not realise that it costs the owners real money? Obviously not (or maybe they just don’t care)
Salons are reporting the same sort of level. For an industry that is ‘on its knees’ this situation is not survivable nor acceptable!
So, what can you do?
Everywhere I read there seems to be some difference of opinion on what is refundable and what isn’t i.e deposit vs booking fee. This is the best place to refer to: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cancelling-goods-or-services-guide-for-consumers/cancelling-goods-or-services
To explain: every salon, mobile, home salon really should have an agreement in place. It seems to be easier if using a booking app. But not necessarily. It just needs clear guidelines so every client understands what they are signing up for.
By asking your clients to pay a ‘booking fee’ with clear cancellation policies you are safeguarding your working day.
- the agreement must be fair
- it must be clear
- you cannot charge more than is a reasonable financial loss for a ‘no show’ e.g charging 50% of the cost is probably not reasonable. But maybe 25% is especially if you can use social media to fill the gap.
- it needs to be redeemable against the final fee e.g reduce the final fee by the deposit as it has already been paid
- make it clear what time period you are expecting e.g 24 or 48 hours cancellation or even less than that if the client has developed symptoms of C19.
- use your discretion! If a client develops symptoms on the day of the appointment you cannot question that! Maybe suggest that the ‘booking fee’ can be used for a new appointment at a later date. Make that clear.
This industry really does need to approach their businesses in a more professional way. The more professional you are, the more your clients will respect you. If you treat it as a hobby for ‘mates’ that is exactly how you will be treated.
Clients are far more likely to attend an appointment if they have paid something!! Do not let this ‘cancel culture’ ruin your business. just approach it in a business and commercial way and you will win in the end.