Building my business

Five must-read tips to reduce no-shows

Caitlin Adamson Apr / 06 / 2018
hairdresser holding scissors and straightner

It’s your worst nightmare: a no-show. Shudder. They cost money, waste precious time, and means that other clients miss out on their preferred appointment slot for nothing. Wouldn’t it be super if you could eliminate flaky clients forever? You’ve come to the right place! Here are five need-to-know tips for waving adieu to commitment-phobes:

1. Pin-point the problem

To fix the problem, you must first understand it. Dig in to your non-returning client report to find out exactly how much revenue absentee customers are costing you. Can you see any common trends? Maybe clients are bailing on just one particular staff member? Or at a particular time or day?

If you can spot a pattern, you’ll have a much better chance of finding and fixing the underlying issue and ensure clients show up.

2. Secure a deposit

Did you know, no-shows could cost your business up to $15,000 every year? That’s a tonne of extra cash dodging your pocket. Luckily, we have a super-exciting feature in the works that will help you lock-in appointments and nip your clients’ fear of commitment in the bud.

Upfront Payments, powered by Stripe, is a nifty tool coming soon to Shortcuts that enables your client to pay for their service when booking an appointment through your app or website. The entire process is quick and easy, and clients will only ever need to enter their card details once, since they can securely save their details for any future bookings. You can also choose whether clients need to pay a deposit or in to secure their spot. Since your guest has already committed money to their service, they will be much more likely to show for their appointment. Sound great? This feature will be available at the end of April, so stay tuned!

3. Watch the clock

Respect is a two-way street. If you expect your clients to show up on time, they need to see the same courtesy from you. Ensure your team sticks to their schedule and rarely goes over time. A client that has to wait past their booked time will be much less likely to return, especially if it’s their first visit. First impressions are everything.

If your stylist or therapist does run over time (and it’s OK if they do occasionally – you’re all human!) make sure they apologise to the client and reassure them that it’s not a common occurrence. That way they’ll walk away with no hard feelings.

4. Send appointment reminders

Your clients are busy bees – they’re not going to remember every appointment, social soiree, or parental duty in their calendar. If you want to reduce the chances of them forgetting about their appointment, set up an automatic reminder to send at least 48 hours before their appointment. This way you can rocket back to the top of their mind.

If they do need to reschedule or cancel, at least you’ll have a little window of time to take their place and win some other business. Learn how you can set up automatic SMS Confirmations with Shortcuts here.

5. Follow-up with clients

The last thing you can do to reduce no-shows is follow up with them after their missed appointment. Call them, text them, email them – whatever works for you. Just touch base with them. If you choose to call them, ask politely why they couldn’t make the appointment. If you’re sending them a message, a quick ‘sorry we missed you’ memo and a prompt to rebook should do the trick.

If they rebook and don’t show again (rude!), it might be best to just let them go.


Caitlin Adamson
Caitlin Adamson
Caitlin Adamson is a passionate creative and analytical thinker who brings her love for the written word to the marketing world. She brings her fresh outlook to the Shortcuts team and strives to create strategic and engaging collateral to help salons, spas, clinics and barbers to tackle their business endeavours with confidence.

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