It’s 11 a.m.

You’re expecting a client any minute.

You check your digital calendar and confirm: They’re scheduled for the next hour.

Five minutes go by. You chalk it up to traffic.

Ten minutes. They’re probably parking.

Fifteen minutes. Are you serious?

By this point, it’s pretty clear: Your client is a no-show.

Frustrating, right?

No-shows and cancelled appointments are the bane of every small business owner’s existence, and understandably so.

You miss out on revenue from your no-show client, but a client cancellation — or worse, a full-blown client ghost — can throw your entire schedule off.

So, how do you reduce no-shows and prevent cancellations?

Enter: Schedulicity, an online scheduling app that drastically reduces missed appointments — whether that’s thanks to last-minute client cancellations or just plain forgetfulness.

Here’s how you can cut down on no-shows — and how Schedulicity makes it a snap.

(Before we get started, you can sign up for free today and follow along to our quick instructions!)

In this blog:

4 Ways to Reduce Salon No-Shows

  1. Send out appointment reminders
  2. Make it easy for clients to rebook appointments
  3. Keep communication open
  4. Consider prepayments or deposits

1. Send Out Appointment Reminders to Reduce No-Shows

Your clients booked you for a reason. They’d likely rather keep their appointment than miss it all together.

But sometimes a stressful day at the office or problems with kids means things start slipping… including their salon appointment.

That’s why reminding your clients makes all the difference.

Send out a simple email or text appointment reminder to drastically reduce no-shows.

Schedulicity Unlimited does this for you, automatically reminding clients of upcoming appointments (and following up with them post-appointment for feedback).

The result?

Fewer clients canceling appointments last-minute and a reduced number of no-shows.

Most of the time, people just need a gentle reminder, and they’ll be right on time.

2. Make It Easy For Clients To Rebook

When a client needs to reschedule, they might balk at the idea of having to make a phone call or deal with a *polite* email exchange.

(Who isn’t afraid of the phone or refreshing their email app these days?)

Instead, they might abandon the salon appointment altogether, leaving you checking your watch.

That’s why rebooking should be totally seamless. The less effort a client needs to make, the more you book – and make more money.

Our scheduling software for small business allows your clients to book and edit their appointments online instead of having to call, text, or email you.

(And it’s free, unlike other scheduling software.)

Now that you’ve taken away the hard part of rescheduling, you’re more likely to get advance notice of their cancelation or rescheduled appointment rather than a no-show.

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3. Open Client Communication = Fewer Client Cancellations

With service-based businesses in the hair, beauty, and wellness industries, it’s critical that you build relationships with your clients.

Your clients care about you, as you do for them. Most clients don’t want to hurt your small business or cause any frustration.

But sometimes…

They don’t think of the impact of a missed salon appointment.

So, what do you say to no-show clients? Especially if they’re repeatedly cancelling?

Communicate with our clients.

Let your clients know that as a small business, every “no-show” hurts. A missed appointment is a slot that another client could have booked. (Schedulicity helps rebook missed slots with appointment waitlists and Fill My Book.)

After sharing the impact that missed appointments have on your business, you may notice:

  • A positive response
  • Reduced no-shows and cancellations
  • More business via rescheduling

The more open and honest your communication is with clients, the less likely they’ll become no-shows or cancel on you.

Sometimes that means:

  • Sending an email announcement
  • Setting up text message reminders
  • Posting on social media about how important a timely schedule is to your business
  • Implementing a 24-hour cancellation policy (Learn how to write and communication your spa and salon policies here.)

Our scheduling and email marketing features allow you to directly message clients and book more appointments, all in one software.

Whether you use our app or write an old-fashioned Gmail message, the more rapport you build with clients = the less likely they’ll ghost.

4. Consider Appointment Deposits and Prepayments

If you notice that some clients are serial cancellers, and you’re losing money-making opportunities regularly, consider setting up a deposit system to book appointments.

Small deposits (usually a percentage of services rendered), prepayments, and card-on-file holds help encourage stronger commitment to an appointment.

Pro tip: Schedulicity has built-in payment processing that allows you to collect deposits upfront when clients book. You can also collect credit card info to hold appointments. Learn more here.

Deposits, however, are different than charging a fee for a no-show.

Clients are often turned off by these types of fees and are more than likely to just skip out and find another provider.

By offering deposits, the client will be more inclined to keep their appointment without feeling guilty, since the money goes toward their service.

BONUS: How to Respond to a Client Cancellation — A Template

Sometimes even the best-laid plans don’t work out.

But what do you say to a client who cancels last-minute even if you have a 24-hour cancellation policy?

Here’s a handy cancellation policy template on us:

Hi [Name], 

Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know! Would you like to reschedule for a time that’s better for you? If so, I’ll send you some additional options. 

Here is a link to our cancellation policy [insert a link to your policy]. As a reminder, we do need to keep the deposit of $X because it’s less than 24 hours in advance of your appointment. 

Thank you for understanding!


[Your name]  

If you receive push-back on the deposit, try this additional cancellation policy template:

Hi [Name], 

I/We understand these things happen! 

We use this cancellation policy to offset the lost income for that hour since we weren’t able to book another client in such a short amount of time. This ensures that our bottom line isn’t affected by unexpected no-shows or last-minute cancellations. 

As long as you reach out to reschedule more than 24 hours in advance, we’re happy to accommodate you! We’d love to see you soon and appreciate your understanding.  


[Your name]

Or, try this email template:

Hi [Name],

I/We understand these things happen! We use this policy to offset the lost income for the time we set aside for your appointment. This ensures that our bottom-line isn’t affected by unexpected no-shows or last-minute cancellations. 

If I can find someone to fill your booking last-minute, I’ll be happy to waive the cancellation fee and return your deposit. I’ll let you know if I can find someone! 

In the meantime, please let me know if you’re interested in rebooking!  


[Your name]

Schedulicity offers tons of built-in scheduling and marketing features to cut down on no-shows and cancelations: