13 Questions to Help You Keep More Clients

13 Questions to Help You Keep More Clients

Unless you’re the odd one out, your salon or spa is probably losing clients without even noticing them slip away.

Today, there is a great deal of competition for the same clients, and unfortunately, client loyalty is not what it used to be. This isn’t always because salons were better back in the day, but more likely because there were simply less salons to choose from, and therefore going somewhere else wasn’t always the best option when there was a service hiccup.

People are now more informed and less tolerant of poor quality treatments and customer service, and they’re not shy about telling other people about their experiences via social media and the internet.
This is why it’s essential that you’re on top of your quality control and know how to be (or become) the go-to salon in your area.

In this article, I’ll pose some questions to help you discover how to keep your VIP clients returning to your salon for the long-term.


1. Have you got your welcome right?

Believe it or not, getting new clients is the easy bit. The difficult part is getting them to return.

Statistics show us that in some salons as many as 3 out of 4 new clients visit just once, and never
come back. Now some salons do better than this of course, but the fact is that once a prospective client arrives in your salon, your sole goal should be to get them to come back.

A new client’s first impression of your salon should be the best you can possibly deliver. If you don’t look, smell or feel professional, you’re already off to a bad start.

Clients will make assumptions about their forthcoming treatment based on their first impressions.

Don’t let yourself down before you even have the chance to prove how good you really are.


2. Does your new client leave with a thorough understanding of everything you offer?

In most instances, clients know very little about your salon by the end of their first visit.

It’s your job to make sure your new client knows what you offer, and what makes you the best salon in the area.

And there’s never going to be a better time than at the first visit. Tell them about your services, your programs, and everything else that they’ll benefit from by being a client in your salon.

If you offer a Rewards Program, Referral Rewards, Special Birthday Offers, Monthly Promotions or anything else that makes you stand out from other salons, you need to make certain that your prospective client knows about it as soon as possible.

If you wait for the second visit, it may never happen.


3. Do you provide a financial incentive to return?

On the first visit, many clients leave unsure of whether they’ve found their perfect salon. You need to give these clients a worthwhile reason to return and give you another opportunity to shine.

Ensure your new client receives a voucher from your salon to entice them back. Most people will find a voucher irresistible, unless they were really unhappy with your treatments or service.

Once you get your new client back, the relationship phase is underway, and they’ll start to feel much more at home and comfortable in your salon.

This is then the beginning of a beautiful relationship.


4. Are you rewarding loyalty?

Clients are just like you and me. We all love to be rewarded!

By introducing a Loyalty Rewards Program you can reward your clients for spending their money with you, and they’ll love it.

If you’re computerised, it’s generally as easy as turning on the loyalty program option in your software and deciding how your reward points will be attained and spent. If you’re not yet computerised, the good old card system works just as well.

Just keep in mind that your reward must feel like a true reward. If it’s not meaningful for your clients, they won’t have any reason to return to your salon, instead of trying the one around the corner.


5. Are you being consistent?

Your clients love to know exactly what they are going to receive when they visit your salon or spa. Change is not always your friend; even if it’s sometimes in the client’s favour.

Be consistent in all things that affect your clients, especially in the treatments that they receive. Even a missed cup of coffee on arrival can make a client antsy sometimes.

This also means you must be cautious when providing freebies (discretionary services) to your clients.

While the clients do love getting that something extra on the day for no charge, it can backfire on you when those little extras are not provided at every visit. After all, if the client receives a little extra pampering once, she’s got every right to expect it’s a normal part of the treatment.

Create a protocol for all your services and ensure all team members stay rigidly within that protocol when delivering services. If you want to deliver a little extra pampering, add it to your protocol.

Nothing more and nothing less is then the best policy.


6. What are your re-booking skills like?

How frustrating is it when a good client rings your salon for an appointment and you just don’t have a single spot available for them? Naturally they become frustrated, and you’re left feeling stressed, because you know that there’s a good chance your client might try another salon for an appointment at a time that suits her.

Getting your client’s to re-book is a skill that needs to be perfected so this kind of scenario almost never happens to you. Once a client goes elsewhere, you run the risk of losing them permanently, and that can cost your business thousands of dollars in potential revenue.

Added to that is the massive impact regular appointments have on your profits.

When a 4 weekly client is left to her own devices, she’ll often extend her booking interval out to 6 weeks. What this means for you is over 4 visits less per year from that 1 client.

Do the sums. For most salons it can mean up to a $50,000 loss in revenue.

Can you afford to lose this amount of money each and every year?

Most likely not.

The only way to really make sure this doesn’t happen to you is to take control of the booking process, and ensure every client is offered a re-booking for their next appointment (or several) before they leave your salon.

When you re-book a client, you are actually helping her to get what she wants, when she wants it.


7. How are your communication skills?

Constant quality communication helps to build and maintain the rapport you have with your clients. If you’re not constantly top-of-mind, clients can be lured away quite easily.

Stay in touch with your clients regularly with informative newsletters that have content they want to read. Use SMS marketing to promote your special offers.

Don’t rely solely on Social Media to stay in touch unless you’re willing to use paid advertising. Without it, your message won’t reach many of your followers anymore.


8. Do you have a program for client referrals?

Did you know that if a client refers a friend to your salon, she’s far less likely to leave herself? Because she’s sung your praises to the person she’s referred, she’d feel a bit foolish going elsewhere without a very good reason.

Referrals are gold for your business and not just because they bring in new clients, but because they help to keep the ones you’ve already got.


9. Are you living up to your promises?

Think about it.

Do you promote yourself as a serene salon where clients come to relax and pamper themselves, but you also have a kid’s corner in your waiting area?

If this is the case then you’re not living up to the promises you’ve made in your marketing.

Get clear about what your salon style really is. If you promise total pampering, get rid of the kids corner, and ask clients to have their children looked after while they enjoy their treatments.

If however, you want to be known as family friendly, a kid’s corner is almost a must.

Whatever it is that you’re promising to be to your clients, don’t disappoint them with if you want them to return.


10. Is it time to let go of the silly rules?

Make your salon client friendly and get rid of silly and often offensive rules and signage that make the clients feel uncomfortable (you know the ones I mean….’Turn off your mobile phone or you will be shot and fed to the crocodiles!’)

Your goal should be to make each and every client feel like they’re being welcomed into a warm, friendly environment where they’re respected and valued for their patronage; not one step away from being in a prison camp.

Resist the temptation to punish every client for the sins of one or two who’ve done the wrong thing, and ditch the dictator-style signage that clients will find insulting.

Every salon needs to have some rules and policies, but learn how to phrase them in such a way that the clients feel like your rules and policies are there to make their life more enjoyable, not less.


11. What’s your Point of Difference?

Be unique. Stand out from the rest of the salons in your area by offering something that your clients simply can’t get somewhere else.

Many salon owners make the huge mistake of believing that being cheap is what their clients want. The truth is your clients want to receive value; not necessarily cheap services. I’ve experienced cheap and I’ve experienced value that isn’t cheap, and I can promise you that value will win out every time.

Every service you offer should stand out from what your competitors offer in some way. Given that you offer as good as your competitors do, then adding that something extra and unique will keep your clients returning to you, instead of meandering off to other salons.


12. Do you remember to celebrate your clients’ birthdays?

Birthdays are our special day (even if we share them with thousands of other strangers)!

Let me ask you, how many service providers have ever acknowledged your birthday? If you’re like most, the answer is very few, if any at all.

If you’re lucky enough to have had your birthday acknowledged, you’ll already know how it helps to develop a warmer relationship with the business that not only remembered your birthday, but also acknowledged it with a small gift.

You can easily acknowledge your client’s birthday with a small salon gift certificate.

It doesn’t have to cost an arm or a leg, but your clients really do love to be remembered on their special day.


13. Are you really an expert?

Would you consider yourself and your team members to be experts in all services provided?

Ongoing training and learning are a necessity in this ever-changing world of beauty. If you’re not the best at something, either stop doing it or become the best.

Invest in training for your team and remember training isn’t a once-off activity. It needs to be ongoing. It’s pointless spending a small fortune on that new piece of equipment, if your team members cannot deliver basic services expertly.



Focus on what you’re positive your clients want from your salon, and become the best provider of these services in your marketplace.

Now, while this is by no means an exhaustive list of how to improve your client retention, many of these simple and inexpensive tips will help you to keep your clients and therefore build your revenue.

And what’s even better is that you can start implementing these tried, tested and effective strategies immediately without spending a small fortune on expensive marketing programs.

Treat your clients like VIPs, reward their loyalty, invite them back, be consistent, and give them the very best service at every visit. After all, the cost to retain a client is only a tiny fraction of what it costs to gain a new one.

Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day. Jim Rohn

How to Easily Get More Online Reviews (and more clients) for Your Salon or Spa

How to Easily Get More Online Reviews (and more clients) for Your Salon or Spa

If you’re in business and have never given online reviews much consideration, it’s definitely time to do so.

Generating positive client reviews on platforms such as Google and Facebook can have a major impact on your new client acquisition, with 85% of consumers trusting online reviews as if they were a personal recommendation!

With this astonishing statistic in mind, it’s definitely worth the investment of your time to ensure your businesses is generating regular and positive online reviews. 

And doing it is not as difficult or time-consuming as you might think. As long as you have happy customers with access to the internet, it can be as simple as a quick click and comment.

Now you might think that a happy client will always be inclined to leave your business a review without being prompted.  Unfortunately, this isn’t generally the case. 

As a matter of fact, most clients don’t even think about leaving a review unless it’s to complain about something, and that’s definitely not the kind of review you want. With this in mind, it’s imperative that you regularly ask satisfied clients to post a review.

So, how do you get your clients to leave that review? 

It’s pretty straightforward!

All you have to do to entice happy clients to leave a positive review is to remove any awkward or time-consuming barriers they might encounter, and you can do this by providing the direct links required to the review site.   Once there, the rest flows naturally.



One thing to consider before you get underway is that you need to have ‘Recommendations’ (the new and improved (?) version of Facebook Reviews) turned on in your Facebook business page.  If you’re not sure how to do this, here’s a handy tutorial provided by Facebook:  Facebook link



You will also need to verify your business with Google so that your clients can leave a review for your business there. Follow the link to find out how to do that: Google link

Now that you’ve done these things, you’re all ready to collect loads of client-attracting online reviews that will help you grow your business. 

Let’s move on to how to ask your clients for a glowing review or recommendation.


Ask your happy clients to leave you a review/recommendation after their service.

There is never a better time to ask your clients to leave a review than just after she has had an exceptional treatment at your salon/spa.  You don’t even have to actually ask her yourself, but instead use a follow-up text message, including a link to your preferred review site.

A nice message along with a polite request that she leave a review if she was happy with her service should get things happening for you. Once you’ve gathered up reviews and recommendations from your existing clients, you can automate this request by adding the appropriate links in your New Client Welcome email.


Include permanent links to review sites in your email footer when you send out your salon newsletter.

This is a great way to keep the idea of leaving a review in front of your clients.  It just sits there on the bottom of all your emails, wagging its tail like a friendly Labrador waiting to get a good head rub.


Reward clients to tempt them to leave a review or recommendation.

You’ve probably heard about the ‘What’s In It For Me’ mindset.  Basically, before any of us do anything for anyone, we ask ourselves ‘What’s in it for me to do this’.  With that being the case (and it is) when your clients ask themselves this question, the answer should be, ‘I’ll get a reward’.

It’s easy to monitor and reward clients as you are generally notified if someone has left a review or recommendation.  You can then invite that client to come into your salon and pick up a small salon voucher as their reward.


What happens after you actually get a review or recommendation?

Considering that someone has taken time out of their busy day to leave a nice comment about your business, it’s only polite to respond with a ‘thank you’ and a short message.  This shows other review readers that you value your reviews and are listening to what people have to say about your business.  Reviews without a response look very sad and lonely indeed.


What happens if you get a negative review?

Don’t be fearful of a negative review here and there.  I doubt there is a single business that has never received a not-so-fantastic review from an irate customer at some point. 

The way to deal with this kind of review is to treat it in the same way as you would a positive review.  Thank the reviewer and address the issue that has been mentioned. 

Show you are more than willing to fix any problem mentioned and then do so.

Whatever you do, don’t start an argument online or try to make excuses.  This does not look good and other readers will see you as not being customer service oriented. Simply show you are happy and willing to make things right for the client with the complaint.

Research shows that 95% of customers who have a complaint that is dealt with well will go on to become loyal fans of your business and will even refer other customers to you.


There you have it.  Getting reviews is much simpler than you probably thought it was going to be.  The secret to success is to make it easy for clients by providing them with the direct links to the places where you want your reviews to show up and many will happily leave you a glowing review that will help you gain many more new clients for your salon or spa.


Blogging for Your Beauty Biz

Blogging for Your Beauty Biz


As a salon or spa owner, you probably think that blogging doesn’t belong in your world.

I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong.

Blogging is about sharing your expertise and establishing yourself as the go-to industry expert in your field.

It’s also about helping your website’s search engine optimisation, and considering your website is the premium way to attract new clients, that makes it pretty important to your beauty business.


Where should your blog live?

If you have a website, your blog should be part of that website.  It’s generally a specialised page on your website where you can continually add interesting articles and images that will be read by your visitors and subscribers.

You can get subscribers to your blog by adding a sign-up form to capture their names and email address.  Some blogs also offer a RSS feed to your subscribers also. Both of these methods deliver the article directly to your readers via email without them having to visit your website to get the new information.

In this article, I’m going to share with you some key things you need to know about successful blogging, so you get a great return on your time investment.


  1. Write for your readers but keep Google in mind.

First and foremost, when you write a blog post, you should keep your reader’s needs and interest front-of-mind.

Look for topics to write about that you know your readers will be interested in, and if you don’t know as much as you should about that topic, do some research and become better informed before you write your article.

One you’ve written your blog article, go back and look for ways to introduce key words and phrases into your copy, but be sure they sound fluid and natural as part of your content – there’s nothing worse than reading copy that is obviously stuffed with too many key phrases with no thought given to readability.

Try to include key words and phrases into your blog titles and subtitles also where possible, as this is very good for your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).


  1. What images are best?

A great image, that easily relates to the content of your blog, is a must.

If you have your own images, that’s fantastic, but if not, you can either access free stock images from places such as Pixabay.com or Pexels.com. or purchase them from the hundreds of stock photo sites on the internet.

Having said this, try to avoid the images you see constantly on the internet.  Be authentic with your images whenever possible.

Quick tip: Don’t be tempted to pirate images off the internet.  This is not good business practice.


  1. How often should you post?

Once upon a time, the answer to this question was about once per month.

Today, I think that you could easily up that number to once per fortnight or even week.

While Google may love longer articles, most readers don’t, so I suggest you make your blog articles short and sweet – around 300-400 words should be enough.

If you find that you’ve gone way past this number of words, be ruthless with your editing and cull out the waffle until your article is informative, interesting and concise.

By doing this, your readers are more likely to make it to the end of your article and get the full benefit of reading it.


  1. What should you write about in your blog articles?

This one is easy.

You have a massive amount of information about your chosen profession locked away in your brain, so simply write about what you know, combined with what your readers want to know more about.

Be topical and include information that is relevant to what is going on currently.

Blog articles give you the opportunity to share your specialised information, all while establishing your expertise. A total win-win for both you and your readers.

  1. What shouldn’t you write about in your blog articles?

Boring stuff.  Technical stuff. Jargon- filled stuff. Buy-me stuff.

While you hope that writing an informative and interesting blog article will lead to either gaining a new client or perhaps selling something to someone, it should not written like a sales page.  This is definitely not the platform for trying to make a direct sale.

Be generous with great information and your readers will be impressed.


  1. What kind of personality should your blog have?

Your blog articles should reflect your salon or spa personality.  If you’re super-trendy, that should be reflected in your blog.  If you’re all about relaxation, that should be reflected in your blog.  Let your business personality shine through your words.

Remember, you cannot be all things to all people, so don’t try.  Understand who you are trying to attract with your writing and write for them.


  1. Use hyperlinks (what the heck is a hyperlink I can hear you asking)

If you use hyperlinks in your blog articles, you can easily send your readers to other information anywhere on your website, or even to another website altogether (though this shouldn’t be your goal). Check out where the hyperlink in this paragraph takes you.

By using hyperlinks, you can send your readers to other articles in your own blog or pages on your website such as the booking page, contact page, or a page with some detailed information about a service you may want to promote.

The idea behind this is to keep readers on your website, and exposed to your information, for as long as possible.

Where possible, try to keep your hyperlinks in the top half of your blog article (in case your readers don’t read to the very end.)


  1. Poor grammar and spelling mistakes give a bad impression.

Check, double check and triple check your blog article before you hit that post button.

Poor grammar and spelling sends the wrong message to your readers.  It gives the impression that you’re a bit sloppy and slapdash and that’s definitely not the impression you want to make.

Make sure to get fresh eyes to read your article before posting as it’s easy to miss mistakes in articles that you’ve written yourself.

You can even get software such as Grammarly.com , which has a free starter version, to check things over for you.

Quick tip: ease up on the use of exclamation marks!!!  One here and there is fine for emphasis, but too many detracts from your writing.

Another tip: if you’re writing in English, pick one style and stick with it. Nothing is more annoying than UK English sprinkled with a healthy dose of US English.  Find out the difference and choose your style.

Finally, no-one starts off as a great writer.  Most of us are truly stinky writers in the beginning, but if you persevere and keep practicing, you will get better!

The Small Changes That Bring Big Results in Your Salon or Spa

The Small Changes That Bring Big Results in Your Salon or Spa

Sometimes it can be disheartening when your business is floundering and you don’t know what to do to fix it. Where do you start? What’s going to make the most difference in the shortest amount of time? The truth is that your business may need something entirely different from another person’s business to get it back on the right path. And the reason for this is that there’s no one big solution to fix a struggling business, but, there are loads of small solutions that will do the job extremely nicely. And that’s what this article is all about – the synergy of small solutions, that together, create a big outcome. Let me explain… Unless you are an absolute master of all things business, there’s a very high probability that many areas in your salon or spa could be tweaked to provide better financial results. Areas such as: ~ Gaining more prospects. ~ Converting those prospects into clients. ~ Increasing the number of existing clients you retain. ~ Increasing your profit margin. ~ Increasing the number of services you provide to each of your clients. ~ Reducing your expenses. ~ Improving the quality of your services and customer service. ~ Improving the quality of your team members. ~Retaining good team members. And this list is just a small selection of the many things that most businesses aren’t doing as well as they should. Now if this list makes you feel a little depressed, I want you to think about it a little differently. It’s not just a list of things you don’t do well, but in fact, it’s a fantastic list of opportunities and possibilities. Each item on this list, when improved by just a small amount, can make a significant impact on your business results. And the more items on the list that you tweak and improve, the greater the results will be. Think of it like this… If you can gain 10 additional new clients each month, you should do the happy dance. But it would be even better to gain 10 new clients whilst also retaining 5 existing clients. This automatically makes you 15 clients better off than you were last year. Now, if you can increase the profit margin just a little for all your client services, that is going to add up to even more substantial revenue (plus you now have 15 more clients you’re making a profit from). Add to that, just a few extra services sold to existing clients each day will boost your revenue even higher. And on it goes. The synergy of all these small improvements coming together across your business will make a substantial difference to your revenue and profits. It’s not fantasy – it’s fact! And this is why you must never focus on doing just one thing when it comes to improving your business. Don’t get stuck in the rut of just wanting more new clients. New clients are, without a doubt, necessary for every business, but they are just a small part of your overall growth and success. A savvy salon or spa owner continually looks for ways to tweak all their numbers. A few percent of improvement across many areas can have the massive impact you want. But, you must never take your eyes of your business as a whole. Don’t get too focused on any one area and simply ignore the rest until later. Don’t make the common mistake of zeroing in and trying to achieve a massive improvement in just one area. It’s not the solution to your problem. In fact, it really won’t help your business one iota to gain 20 new clients a month, if you are losing 20 existing clients at the other end. Instead, aim for small, sustainable improvements across all the areas in your business and then you can sit back and enjoy some truly amazing results.
6 Easy Ways to Grow Your Salon or Spa Business

6 Easy Ways to Grow Your Salon or Spa Business

It’s not good enough to just go from day to day making a basic living from your salon or spa.  Each day should be taking you a little closer to the business you dreamed of having, but that doesn’t happen by accident.

As the saying goes… ‘If you’re not prepared to change what your doing, don’t expect anything else to change’.

Having said that, you don’t need to make the process any more difficult than it needs to be.  Good, productive and profitable changes can often be achieved in the simplest of ways.  You don’t need to be an expert in ‘everything business’ to steadily increase your business growth and profits.

In this article, we’ll take a look at 6 easy ways to make worthwhile changes to your beauty business that will result in positive growth.

Get Your Team Excited About Retail Sales.

Let me tell you, this has to be one of the fastest way to add great profits to your bottom line.  Extra profits means you can invest in more equipment, better training, staff incentives, updated décor, more retail stock and a host of other great things that are most likely on your wish list.

For the same amount of time invested, retail sales will return 3 – 4 times more profit than delivering most services.  That’s pretty amazing don’t you agree?

To increase retail sales and get your team motivated, you need to ensure:

a. Team members are all using the product your stock.

b. Team members all have a sales target to work towards.

c. Team members have the training and knowledge they need to talk to clients about the product benefits.

d. The salon has the right product in sufficient quantities to generate sales.

Have a Marketing Plan

If you want new clients to find you and existing clients to stay loyal to you, then you absolutely must have some kind of marketing plan.  It’s doesn’t need to be flash or fancy, but it does need to be written down and applied consistently.

You may well have the best treatments, delivered by the best staff members, at the best prices, but if no-one knows about any of it, then you won’t sell anything.  It’s not good enough just to be great at what you do – no matter how many times you may see this said on social media!

You not only need to be great at what you do, but you must make sure people know about it.  After all, you can’t sell a secret.

Reward Client Loyalty

There is almost nothing as important to your business as retaining the loyalty of your clients.  After working with a truck-load of salons, I’ve realised that in nearly every instance, organic growth  was pretty great, however the reason the businesses weren’t growing was poor client retention.

These days, your clients have a ton of salons and spas to choose from.  Organic loyalty is pretty much dead in the water.  So, to keep your clients returning, you need to dangle the proverbial carrot in the form of a loyalty reward.  It will provide that extra incentive for your clients to return to your business to collect their reward points rather than trying out the salon or spa down the road.

Create a Benefits-Based Service Menu

When you think about it, the first thing many prospective clients come across is your Service Menu.  They usually head straight to your menu to find out what you offer and how much you charge.

If your menu is constructed poorly, the client will only focus on the price of your services and that’s not how you want to be judged.  Instead of the price, you want your clients to focus on the benefits they’ll receive if they have your treatments.

There are other factors with your printed menu that need to be considered also.  Colours, print size, font, categories and layout are all important to ensure easy readability for your readers.

A well-constructed Service Menu will help you sell services to your prospects and clients without you even being present!

Work Towards Attracting Only Premium Clients

Do you ever feel like the clients who come to your salon or spa are exactly the opposite of the clients you really want to work with?  Believe me, you are not alone.  Most salon or spa owners will say that they want to attract a certain type of clients (big spender, loyal, refers others) but instead seem to always attract clients who are looking for a bargain, won’t purchase retail and never re-book.

The truth is that in most instances, the salon’s own marketing is to blame for this.  The wrong clients walk through your salon doors because inadvertently you are asking them to.  But the good news is that you can turn that around and become much better at attracting the premium clients instead.

This can make a massive impact on your business.  Imagine finding clients who value your work, pay your prices happily and buy the retail products you recommend.  Now that would make going to work each day pure bliss!

Increase Your Service Prices

Be honest!  How long has it been since you’ve put up your prices?  If it’s been over 12 months then you are due to have a price increase right now.

If you continue to hold off, eventually your profit will dwindle due to increasing expenses, and this means less for you.

A small regular price increase, while not being heartily welcomed with open arms by your clients, is expected and accepted.  The problem occurs when all those small price increases are held off resulting in a massive price increase all at once.

And there you have it.  6 simple and straightforward ways to grow your salon or spa business.  Why not get started on implementing them straight away?

How to Deal with No-Show Clients in Your Spa

How to Deal with No-Show Clients in Your Spa

No-show clients can leave you feeling like you want to pull your hair out on your good days, and completely throw in the towel on your bad days. They’re the bane of nearly every salon and spa owner’s life, and to top things off, the problem seems to be getting worse and not better.

In this article, let’s take a look at why no-shows happen and importantly, what you can do about it to lessen the impact on your business’s bottom line.

Research seems to indicate that there are a few stand-out reasons that help to explain client no-shows. Hopefully, once you understand why they’re happening, you’ll be able to create effective strategies to minimise no-shows in your salon or spa as much as possible.

1. Clients simply forget.

Yes, it can be as simple as this. The salon clients of today have a great deal on their minds. When there are other important things going on in their lives, it’s easy to forget an appointment for a brow shape or bikini wax. It’s not that the client doesn’t want to have their service, but it’s just not high on their list of important things to do.

How to handle it: Always set up some form of appointment reminder. Give your clients sufficient notice of their pending appointment so that if they discover they can’t make it, it won’t leave you with a gap in your appointment book that is unlikely to get re-filled.

Ensure your reminders include 2 things:
a. A request to reply to the reminder. If they don’t need to reply, then it gives the client the opportunity to say she simply didn’t receive it.

b. Your salon policy on late cancellations and no-shows. If there’s no penalty for not turning up, where is the incentive to do the right thing? E.g. Failure to arrive will result in a 100% charge for your service. 6 hours’ notice is required for rescheduling. Thank you.

2. Clients think that you don’t care if they don’t turn up.

I believe this is more common than many people realise. Scenario: The first time the client doesn’t show, her therapist says nothing and nicely asks her if she’d like to make another appointment. The client now believes that it was no big deal that she just didn’t turn up, and so keeping her future appointments at your salon or spa becomes even less important to her.

How to handle it: Let me share a quick story with you. One salon owner I spoke with was having real issues with a particular client who regularly missed her appointments. Eventually, the salon owner broached the topic with the client and her response was, “Oh, I thought you would be okay with it because I knew it gave you time to have a cuppa and catch up on some paperwork”.

Clients don’t always understand the impact this behaviour has on your business. It’s up to you to have your no-show and late cancellation policies written and displayed. You must educate your clients about your expectations when it comes to salon policies and etiquette.


3. Clients believe that getting an appointment with your salon is easy-peasy.

If clients believe that getting an appointment with your salon is as simple as picking up the phone and asking for their preferred time and date, then they’re not going to be too concerned about missing an appointment. In their minds, getting another appointment will be no big deal.

How to handle it: Always give the impression to your clients that you’re almost fully booked in advance – even if you’re staring at your appointment screen with only 1 appointment booked in for the week ahead. If the client believes you have tons of free appointment spaces, then she’s not going to be too worried about getting another appointment time and will believe that you need her more than she needs you.

Never tell a client she can ‘pick any day and any time’ because you have ‘loads of empty spots available to choose from’. Instead, use the following technique when taking your appointments to always give the impression that you only have limited free appointment times available.

Client: I’d like to make an appointment, please.
Salon: Terrific. Would either Tuesday or Thursday suit you?
Client: Yes, either day is okay with me.
Salon: Fantastic. I have 2 spots available on Tuesday at 10.30am or 3 pm. Which one is best for you?
Client: I’ll have the 10.30, please.
Appointment made.

This approach allows you to stay in control of your appointment schedule, plus gives the strong impression to the client that you have a busy salon and appointments with you are valuable.

Now, I appreciate that it won’t always be this straightforward, however, the strategy is to offer up only a choice of 2 things for the client to choose from. A choice of 2 days and then a choice of 2 times on the preferred day (generally 1 in the morning and another in the afternoon).

If neither day or time suits your client and she requests a different day, say something along the lines of “Let me take a look and see what I can do for you”, pause for a few seconds and then say, “Yes, with a little re-arranging I can fit you in on Wednesday morning at 11”.

This sends the right impression to the client, and that is that she is booking into a busy, sought-after salon and should value her appointment time. She is far less likely to forget about an appointment that will be hard to replace.


4. A better offer popped up at the last minute.

This is something that happens quite often with younger clients; it seems to be a generational phenomenon. Simply not showing up to a prearranged appointment has become the norm in their private lives and has now crept into their dealings with their service providers also.

How to handle it: Make these clients aware of your salon no-show policy. Have it on your website, service menus, salon signage, and reminder messages. Charge for missed appointments to show you mean business.


5. There was a last-minute emergency.

This happens to all of us at some time when something totally unexpected crops up. It’s up to you to decide if the ‘emergency’ was real or simply a convenient excuse to try and wriggle out of paying for the missed appointment.

How to handle it: If you believe the emergency was real and you have a policy of forgiving the first offence, then let the client know that as it was her first no-show you’ll let it go this 1 time, but future no-shows will require a payment.

On the other hand, if you have a client that has repeated ‘emergencies’, then it’s time to get tough. One way to handle this is to ask the client to prepay for her services. Make it non-refundable and let her know that if she doesn’t turn up, she won’t get her money back or a replacement appointment.

If she balks at paying up front, chances are she was most likely not going to show up anyway, and you would have been left without income for that time.

Note: Unless you have a very secure system, I advise against asking for a credit card number to ‘hold’ against her appointment. There is some doubt over the legality of doing this. Best to simply process the payment in full over the phone at the time of making the appointment, and either send an electronic receipt or issue it to her when she arrives for her appointment.


Other strategies to consider:

*All large bookings, such as bridal parties, should be asked to pay a substantial and non-booking fee. A large party no-show will heavily impact on your revenue.

*Always follow up every no-show with a phone call. This lets the client know that her no-show was noticed by the salon. If she hears nothing from you, she’ll assume that it was no big deal and is more likely to repeat the behaviour in the future. The call shouldn’t be nasty or aggressive, but a way to let the client know you noticed her failure to turn up.

*When you introduce a no-show penalty, be aware of the fact that there’s a very good chance you may lose the client if she thinks she may need to pay for her missed service. This is not always a bad thing, especially if the client is actually no-showing regularly.

* Train your team members how to talk to their clients about appointment availability in your salon or spa. People always value what they have to fight to get.


It’s important to always give the impression to clients that you are a much sought after salon or spa with limited appointment times available. When this happens, their appointments with you become more valuable and they’re much less likely to forget to attend.