The Shocking Amount Hair Salons Lose Every Year Because of No Shows
Clients missing their appointments is more than just any annoying part of having a regular column, it also cost the hairdressing industry a reported 1.2 million pounds every year according to recent research from Powered by Flossie.
While the UK hair and beauty industry is reported to be worth a huge 4 billion pounds, no-shows account for at least 1.2 billion in lost income every year.
Frustratingly, the flakiest, most-unreliable clients were found to also be the ones that are the most likely to book monthly appointments. A hybrid of Gen Z millennials and millennials were found to be the worst offenders, with more than 44% of respondents aged 18-29 admitting to skipping a hair appointment at least once, yet, data showed that 18-24 year olds are most likely to book monthly appointments, in comparison to all other age groups who average one appointment every 6 to 8 weeks.
Many salons try to combat no shows through their salon system and automated messaging. “Our computer system sends out an automatic text message to a client that has no showed and we also back this up with a courtesy call where necessary to check everything is ok,” says Robert Eaton creative director at Russell Eaton in Leeds and Barnsley. “We find working in this efficient way has helped to reduce our no shows dramatically over the years.”
Ken Picton, whose salon also uses on automated messaging to avoid no shows says, “Ultimately we’ve got ourselves to a place where our clients rely on those automated reminders. For instance if there is any blip you’ll be surprised at how quickly people do get in touch with us just to double check their appointment”
Can you avoid no shows?
Internal data also shared by Powered by Flossie found that customers are significantly more likely to attend beauty appointments if they have paid in advance, as it creates a financial repercussion for missing their bookings. This is something that many salons have adopted to create a financial attachment but even so, it doesn’t always make a difference – “We put as many tools in place as possible to eliminate no shows – SMS reminders, paying deposits, personally calling to remind… but it still happens as some customers don’t respect how valuable our time is or the fact that we are paid commission,” says Kerry Mathers from KJM Salons.
Some salon only take deposits for higher value services such as extensions and colour transformations, while other salons chose not to take deposits at all despite the risk of no shows. “We don’t have a deposit system,” says Jamie Brooks of Brooks and Brooks. He says, “if someone doesn’t show we flag it on the system and the third time we will tell them we have to charge them upfront as they missed the last appointments. If you explain your reasoning they are usually OK with that and understand it. The reason we don’t have a deposit system is because there could be a reason why they didn’t turn up – a sick mother, an accident or other emergency and it seems immoral to take money in those circumstances. ”
Should you be flexible with payment?
Younger consumers are now accustomed to having flexible payment options, including buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) services. By incorporating these payment methods into online booking, salons can attract the most unreliable clients, while minimising the risk of no-shows. Software solutions, such as Powered by Flossie enables salons to do that. The software accesses calendar data displayed on the salon’s website (like services, times and employees) and processes the information, resulting in appointments that are merchandised similar to how you would buy fashion and apparel online, allowing customers to pay upfront.
“Like every salon, our business will always be impacted by no-shows to a certain extent” says Clive Collins, director at HOB salons. “But how you manage these can really make a difference. Clients are leading increasingly busy lives with more demands on their time and resources, and although technological advances can help solve the issue, they will never remove it entirely!”
Does your client base affect how susceptible you are?
“At Brooks & Brooks we don’t have a lot of transient clients so no shows aren’t a problem we suffer a lot from,” says Jamie Brooks co-founder at Brooks & Brooks. “Our business is 90% returning clients so have a great relationship with them, and not showing up for appointments is very rare.”
Also, having a salon on a road with high foot fall helps fill the gaps that no shows leave, “We have a huge amount of passing trade and walk in business, so even if the client cancels one hour before we’ve thankfully got a chance of filling the slot,” says Kerry.