Emergencies and last-minute appointment cancellations happen to all of us. This is also true for clients who have lash appointments. That is why you need to know how to handle last-minute cancellations and what you can do when it does happen.
In the moment
Call your client. Politely talk to them and ask if they can reschedule their other appointment that is in conflict with their scheduled lash extension appointment. Obviously, they can’t reschedule if there is an emergency like accidents, family members getting sick, or any medical emergencies.
If it is just brunch with a friend, maybe your client can reschedule the brunch and move it to dinner. Remember, BE POLITE!
You can mention, after the 2 week mark, if the appointment is postponed, you will need to charge for a whole new set of eyelash extensions. Which can take hours compared to a touch-up and the differences in pricing. This might motivate your client to come to the scheduled appointment.
If your client can’t reschedule their other appointment, move on to the next step.
Ask your client to reschedule
If your client can’t reschedule their other appointment, maybe they want to reschedule. This way, you can still have an income.
Let them know that by rescheduling they don’t have to pay for the whole charge indicated in the cancellation policy.
The key here is, you need to be nice and polite while talking. I know it might be hard because of the sudden changes in your schedule, but it is important to make your clients feel you care and not just because of money.
Remind clients of cancellation policies
A cancellation policy is very important when you are running your own lash business. This will help you when you have cancellations. If you still don’t have this, I highly suggest making and implementing one. This is to protect yourself, your business, and your employees (if you have any). Remember, your time is precious. No need to spend it waiting if your client will arrive. Protect yourself and your investments.
This will be easy if you have an online booking system because they accept credit cards and online payments. Because there is a check box where the client needs to check before scheduling an appointment.
This box will require your clients to read and agree with the cancellation policy. If they can’t make it, you can easily charge your client for not showing up and you have the cancellation policy which your client agreed to as evidence.
Check your cancellation policy and remind your clients that they will be paying the percentage identified in your policy. Usually, lash businesses ask for 50% to 100% of the service price from their clients whenever there is a cancellation. You would be surprised how many clients became instant available when they hear this.
What to do in the future
Now that you know how to handle “in the moment” last-minute cancellations, the next step is to take precautionary measures. This way you are prepared and not lose your earnings. Here are steps you can do to help:
Have a client waitlist
Keep a list of clients who called in and wanted to have a schedule for that day. These are the clients you need to push back because there are no available slots for today.
When talking to your clients about being waitlisted, you have to let them know there are no guarantees that you can accommodate them for that day. But once there are vacancies or cancellations, you will let them know at once.
Take a booking deposit for new clients
All lash technicians experience, at least once, when clients don’t show up. This will still result in loss of profit and waste of your time.
It might be a good business strategy to start taking book deposits for your new clients. This way, they can get used to it and show up. For your old and trusted clients, you are already used to how they act and their habits. You know if they are going to show up to their appointments or not.
The booking deposits will vary depending on your decision. For reference, you can do competitors’ research and find out how much they require. You should include this in your cancellation policy.
Send out an appointment reminder 48 hours before
Sending out appointment reminders 48 hours prior to the scheduled appointment can save you and your client from a lot of hassle. You can use the booking system you use for this (if they have the said features). If you are not using a booking system and do it manually, you have to send reminders manually as well. Send out emails and/or text messages to remind your clients.
When sending out reminders, do not forget to include the cancellation policy your clients agreed upon prior to scheduling their appointments. This way, they will be aware of the consequences of canceling and not showing up at the designated time. In addition, they won’t be able to use the excuse “I am not aware of the cancellation policy”.
There are people who do not read their emails and text messages, you might want to give them a call to remind them of their appointment.
Have clients fill out a form when they book
You won’t have to worry about this if you are using an online booking system. Because they will need to fill up the form provided, agree to the cancellation policy, and input their credit cards (if this is available in your plan), in order to book an appointment.
However, if you are doing this manually in your lash salon, asking your clients to fill out a form when they book an appointment will be very helpful. How? Because they will be able to provide contact information and you can also let them know about your cancellation policy. This is especially important for your new clients because you don’t know how to contact them yet.
Post on your social media of available last minute bookings
Posting on your business’s social media accounts can help fill in those last minute canceled appointments. But if you want to fill them faster, you need to throw in discounts and deals to attract more clients. This is also a great way to encourage and entice new clients to try your services.
This is another reason how active social media accounts can help you with your business.
No shows and last minute cancellations are very disappointing especially for lash techs where every hour is important. However, if you are prepared and know what to do, you can minimize the loss and their negative impact on you and your business. Being prepared and staying calm in these situations is very important. Follow these tips, and you might even turn these challenging situations into more profitable ones.