Time is imperative for all of us thriving to get a living. To say the least, time is money, yet any time wasted is so much more than money wasted as it’s not recoverable. That’s just it- time wasted is time gone. And as much as you value your time, some days people may not be able to give as much importance to it as you would always do.
In the lashing industry, getting so many bookings for your service is as much to be grateful for as to be feared too. It is undeniable that bookings or appointments are not 100% guaranteed income until these lash clients show up at your doorsteps. Like many other businesses, the risk of last- minute cancellations and no-shows are also being dealt with by our dear lash techs from time to time.
While your client’s inability to fulfill her commitments probably has nothing to do with you personally, it sure is still a loss on your part, financially. That unexpected time slot vacancy due to last-minute cancellation or no-show has a very thin chance of being filled by another client. If these kinds of incidents are not addressed appropriately, these could hurt your source of income.
To help you deal and perhaps alleviate, to some extent, the impact of last-minute cancellations and no-shows in your business, we listed down some impartial ways you as a business owner and as a professional could consider.
In order to serve the best interest of your clients, you as the lash professional must act first on protecting yours. After all, you won’t be able to create a trusted clientele if you don’t build a foundation in which your clients can trust in return. Having comprehensive and fair business policies is a manifestation that you are serious in promoting both parties’ welfare.
So, what could be incorporated in a cancellation policy? Well, you can start off with these few items:
1a. Require a minimum amount of reservation fee or deposit. This amount can be deducted to the total amount your lash client will pay for the service you tendered on the day of her appointment. Whatever amount this is, make sure it’s just and fair for the both of you.
1b. Decide and stipulate in your cancellation policy the time limit within which you allow cancellation or changes to the booking. If you decide to impose fees on changes made beyond those time frames you set, spell out the amount clearly.
1c. Decide in advance under what circumstances will you make exemptions to this policy. Your cancellation policy should see through instances of real emergencies or unavoidable situations.
1d. Put everything into writing wherein clients can affix their e-signature or a click button to confirm their agreement to your policy before they can book an appointment. Make your policy simple, comprehensive and understandable.
Last but the most important one is communicating your policy to your clients clearly. No matter how well-crafted your policy is, its value goes out of the window the moment you refuse or neglect to make your clientele understand it.
The way to get ahead of unforeseen things is to plan ahead to get rid of them. It is important that your lash clients are being reminded of their upcoming appointment with you, especially when the appointment was made well in advance. Sending out appointment reminders 24 or 48 hours prior to their lash appointment encourages your clients to plan out their schedule thus, having a higher chance of notifying you in advance should changes be made.
In your lash appointment reminder, whether sending out an email or SMS, you can include the following:
2a. Mention first the purpose of the notification. Then, spell out clearly the time, date and location of the appointment. If asked when they were making the appointment, include the type of service they opted to have.
2b. Do not forget to reiterate your cancellation policy. You can also add a brief pre-treatment instruction.
2c. Include a “thank you” note. Showing your appreciation to your clients goes a long way in establishing your relationship with them.
2d. Politely ask for a confirmation of receipt of your email or SMS.
One way to promote good customer service is to have working options for your clients to choose from if they determine that the initial decision they made no longer works for them- especially with the schedule they initially booked.
Deposit fee may save you from the upfront cost of last-minute cancellation or no- show but it is a greater loss to lose a client for good just because the schedule didn’t work out and there was no option to make it work. By putting up an easy rescheduling procedure, you’ll still be able to salvage what could have been a good business deal and acquire who could have been a loyal client.
BUT! Be sure to implement a rescheduling option that also works for you. Analyze rescheduling requests carefully not to mess with your and your other clients’ schedule. Otherwise, you will be faced with a greater dilemma.
To make rescheduling easy, here are some tips to consider:
3a. Lay-out your rescheduling procedure and policy clearly. Remember, work out on a schedule that works for you and your clients and communicate it to them.
3b. Ensure a convenient way of reaching out to you. Indicate your contact details and make sure they are easy to find in your online accounts or website.
3c. Allocate a time of your day to respond to all inquiries including rescheduling requests and stick to that routine. This way, you get the needed focus to respond to inquiries and make appointment changes with no error. You’ll be able to update your calendar right after approving changes in an appointment, consequently avoiding mistakes or missing updates on your end.
The primary goal here is to make up for the lost income of last-minute cancellations and no-shows. While a client can have many reasons to cancel her appointment with you, chances are your other clients may also have unexpectedly freed their schedule for the day and could really use a visit to the lash salon. Yes, endless possibilities.
So after confirming the time slot vacancy, promote it to your other clients. Post the announcement on social media, maybe contact clients that are due for lash infills who have not booked yet and even those who have already booked, consider walk-ins, or why not give special deals to those who would take that last- minute vacant spot? By now, you should have devised a contingency plan for scenarios like these.
Worst case scenario of not being able to find a replacement for that last-minute cancellation or no-show, run through that list of your pending tasks or personal errands and accomplish one or two during these vacancies. Change those curtains, create an IG post to promote your craft, read another two chapters of that book- whatever it is, be productive! You won’t recover your lost income if you let yourself sulk over the issue.
If you’re offering other services in your lash or beauty salon aside from lash extension application, group specific services and offer them in service packages clients can choose when they’re making their bookings. There are quite considerable benefits for you and your lash clients in offering service packages:
5a. Accomplishing more than one services in one meeting which is very enticing for clients who finds it hard to free their time for frequent salon visits,
5b. Selling or promoting your other less sold services,
5c. When clients selected for a service package and paid a considerable amount as reservation or deposit fee, they are less likely to cancel their appointment, and
5d. Presenting your lash clients with several options and good deals that works or benefits them.
Although refusing to offer your services to a client is an irony to the whole point of the business, it is, in some instances, necessary to protect it. If a particular client has not been honoring her commitments or respecting your source of income, you have every right to discontinue doing business with her.
As a business owner, you hope you can totally eliminate last- minute cancellations and no-shows in your appointments. And while unfortunately that is not the case, there are many ways to get ahead of these scenarios and diminish the impact to your income, your customer relation and your business, in general.
Lastly, as a lash professional, establishing a good foundation in dealing with these kinds of setbacks in your day-to-day operation is a demonstration of knowing your value and worth because after all, your expertise should not end at the tip of your tweezers.
For a beautiful life!