A salon cancellation policy is one of your most important tools when dealing with client no-shows or last-minute cancellations. Ideally, every appointment that you schedule will never need to be canceled or rescheduled. But, you already know that running a salon means that you need to expect the unexpected.
We definitely don’t live in a perfect world. Having clear salon policies in place will give your staff and clients the guidance and tools necessary to handle these situations. That way, everyone can be treated fairly and nobody will miss the opportunity to receive the services and appointments that they need.
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- Start With Your Booking Policy
- Why are Salon Cancellation Policies Important?
- What Should Your Policy Include?
- Salon Cancellations Policy Samples
- How to Effectively Execute Your Cancellation Policy?
Start With Your Booking Policy
This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many salon businesses forget this step. A straightforward general booking policy tells clients and stylists what to expect, right from the start. Let’s look closer at what a booking policy should include.
A salon’s general booking policy should cover the following things:
Acceptance of policies: This should state that by booking with your salon, each client accepts the following policies. This will help prevent any confusion or arguments, later on.
Cancellation policy: Most salons require a minimum of 24 hours notice in order to cancel or change an appointment. After this time, they usually charge at least 50% of the service fee, to cover their losses. This amount is often more, of clients booked multiple services in one visit.
Pre treatment form policy: For safety reasons and depending on the services offered, some salons require that customers fill out in-take forms, prior to their visit. If these forms are not filled out, the salon has the right to refuse service.
Appointment refusal policy: This is also connected to health and safety. Your salon has the right to refuse service because of any concerns such as lice, skin infections, open wounds, etc. This could also be extended to cover covid 19 countermeasures such as refusing service to anyone with a continuous cough or fever.
Complaint / redo policy: You’ll want a clear process in place to help staff and customers in cases where they need to make a complaint or request a redo. Most salons have a short window (usually 24 or 48 hours) for redo requests to be made.
Late arrival policy: Don’t overlook this one- you’d be surprised how often it comes up. Most salon’s allow for a 15 minute “grace period” for late arrivals. If someone shows up after 15 minutes, the appointment is usually treated as a no-show.
No-show policy: These are the worst-case scenarios that you want to prevent and discourage at all costs. Remember to send 24 and 48 hour reminders to your clients before their appointments (salon software can automatically take care of this for you). No shows are usually charged 100% of their appointment fee.
Booking fee: Many salons charge a booking fee (anywhere from 25-50% of the service fee) at the time of booking. This helps ensure that nobody forgets about their appointment or cancels it unless absolutely necessary. After the appointment, you can simply deduct it from the service fee.
Why are Salon Cancellation Policies Important?
Every time someone books an appointment for services at your salon, they make a commitment to show up at that time. Your salon promises to have staff ready at the appointment time. If everything works out the way that it should, clients get the opportunity to receive services, staff have enough notice to prepare, and everybody wins. This is why appointments are very important.
Salon owners also need to anticipate the unexpected, such as late arrivals or cancellations. Having a policy in place for these events will give your staff the direction they need to make adjustments to their plan or deal with last-minute hiccups. This will make your salon look more professional.
Additionally, if a client cancels an appointment without giving enough notice (for example, many salons require at least 24 hours notice), you are able to change a cancellation fee. This can be very important when you’re trying to maximize your appointments and avoid having any losses from gaps in your calendar.
Can hairdressers charge a cancellation fee? In fact, most salons do have a hair appointment policy that includes a cancellation or rebooking fee. This is most often included with some text along the lines of:
“In the event that you need to cancel or change any service appointments, we respectfully request at least 24 hours' notice. If you forget or cancel your appointment without 24-hour notice, please understand that this will result in a charge.”
Most salons require clients’ credit card information and keep a credit card on file at the time of booking, for just this reason. Be aware that some clients may contact their banks and claim that they didn’t make any purchases when you charge a cancellation fee, so be prepared to see an increase in chargebacks when this happens.
What Should Your Policy Include?
The best cancellation policies give staff and clients the option to make changes with a reasonable amount of notice if they need to cancel. Having a timeframe to cancel or change services without penalty will result in more rebookings, giving customers the opportunity to receive services and making sure that staff members can still fill that appointment time. Most salon cancellation policy wording allows changes with up to 24-hour notice.
If you have a waiting list for services, you may need to take this into account, as well.
If a client must cancel any service appointments at the last minute, make sure to have a process to cancel an appointment for them. The best practice is to make sure that they understand the cancellation policy when they book their appointments. Prior to your appointment with a client, have them read and sign off on the cancellation policy and clearly outline any charges that could result.
You can also give them a copy of the page, for their records. Appointments are very important and use your staff’s time, as well as the clients’. A cancellation policy is a way to acknowledge that you value each other’s time and can help to build a trusting and respectful relationship.
Another thing to include is an appointment arrival time. Most salon services take a while to complete, and you don’t want anyone to miss the opportunity to see their stylist on time. Late arrivals can push everyone’s timetable back. In most cases, a 15-minute window is a reasonable amount of time.
This helps to keep things running smoothly, which can be very important on busy days like weekends, or when you want to avoid having anyone on the waiting list miss their chance to receive a service. Arriving on time is just as important as arriving at all.
Do not miss our post Salon Refund Policy.
Salon Cancellations Policy Samples
To help you get started, here are 12 ready to use salon cancellation policy samples. You can make your own adjustments to this information in order to meet your salon’s needs:
Complete Salon Cancellation Policy
We want to give every client the time and attention that you deserve for your service. We understand that sometimes circumstances arise and you need to make adjustments to your plans. If you must cancel or rebook your appointment, we respectfully request at least 24 hours notice.
Cancellations or missed appointments without 24-hour notice will result in a charge of part or all of the service amount.
Please understand that your appointment time was set aside just for you. Appointments made within the salon mean that we’ve reserved space and a stylist, specifically for you. Appointment dates for services help us to make sure that clients don’t miss the opportunity to receive services. So, we want to make sure that everyone is available to fill that appointment time.
If you cancel your appointment without giving at least 24 hours' notice prior to your appointment will result in a charge of 50% of the service amount. Any “no shows” will be charged 100% of the service amount.
Depending on the services booked, in the case of multiple services at a single appointment, a cancellation without 24-hour notice will result in a charge of 100% of the primary service amount and 50% of any additional service amount.
The cancellation fee and any service fee will be charged to your credit card on file.
Our salon booking policy and hairdressing cancellation policy is intended to ensure that we have the opportunity to fill any last-minute availability. We don’t want to make any clients on the waiting list miss their chance to book an appointment or receive a service. Please understand that we’re committed to offering you the highest possible level of service during your appointments with us.
In order to help facilitate smooth booking and cancellations of appointments made within our salon software, our salon requires a credit card on file when booking your service. For some of our services, we have a salon deposit cancellation policy. This deposit amount will be applied to the final total for your service, on your appointment dates.
If you need to cancel because of a personal or medical emergency, please contact us as soon as possible, and we can decide how best to proceed.
Short Cancellation Policy
Each client’s appointment is important to us. We want to give your service the time and attention it deserves. As a result, we respectfully request at least 24 hours' notice if you need to cancel or make changes to your appointment time. Failing to give 24-hour notice will result in a 50% charge. Any no-shows will be charged 100% of their service amount.
Salon Late Appointment Policy
We want to make sure that all our clients have the opportunity to receive services. We understand that sometimes life is unpredictable, and so we allow for a 15 minute grace period for late arrival in case you are unexpectedly delayed. If you think you are going to be late, please call us so that we can adjust our schedule. Please understand that if you are repeatedly late, we will charge 50% of the service amount and require that you rebook your appointment.
Salon Deposit Policy
All of our appointments are very important to us. This is time we’ve set aside just for you and we don’t want anyone to miss the opportunity to receive services. Prior to your appointment, we require a deposit of 25% of the service amount. This will later be deducted from the service fee.
Tiered Cancellation Policy
For groups booking service appointments (such as wedding parties, etc.) we respectfully request at least 72 hours notice for any cancellations or schedule changes. Canceling this kind of appointment without giving 72 hours' notice will result in a charge of 50% of the service amount per guest. Please understand that larger bookings take a great deal of scheduling and planning and notify us well in advance if you need to change your appointment dates.
Cancellation Policy to Protect Clients
In the event that the salon needs to cancel your appointment without giving 24-hour notice, we will provide you with 50% of your service amount for the missed appointments as a credit towards your next appointment. Adjustments are necessary sometimes due to weather emergencies or power failures, and we’ll do our best to make sure that you don’t miss the opportunity to fill that appointment time soon. Please understand that we’ll try our best to make sure that we never need to cancel any appointment dates.
Salon Cancellation Policy Exceptions
We understand that sometimes adjustments are necessary and emergencies do happen. Members of our Client Loyalty Program will have the service amount cancellation fee waived one time per 12-month period if they need to cancel appointments made within the salon without giving 24-hour notice. Please understand that clients on our waiting list miss the opportunity to receive services if we can’t give them enough notice to fill that appointment time. If you must cancel your appointment time, then by giving our staff the maximum notice possible prior to your appointment cancellation, you also help clients on our waiting list receive the services they’ve been waiting for.
Flexible Salon CAncellation Policy
Our salon policies are meant to help keep clients and staff safe and ensure that guests receive the best possible services in a timely manner. If you must cancel within 24 hours, please give us a call as soon as possible so that we can make any changes or cancel your appointment.
Last-Minute Cancellations Policy
Late cancellations are appointments canceled within the 24 hour period leading up to your appointment time. Appointments canceled less than 24 hours in advance will result in a charge of 50% of the initial services as a cancellation fee. If guests must cancel service appointments made within this period, 20% of this amount can be applied as a rebooking fee and used towards the cost of a subsequent appointment.
No Show Cancellation Policy
As per our policies criteria, and no-shows will result in a charge of 100% of the service amount, billed to your credit card. Missed appointments are hard on our staff and leave other guests waiting. Our policies, including our 24 hour cancellation period give us the opportunity to fill missed appointments and offer services to other clients. If you have to cancel within this period, please let us know as soon as possible.
Multiple Services Cancellation Policy
If a booking for multiple services is canceled less than 24 hours in advance, the salon will charge clients 100% of the service amount. We will also require a credit card on file and a 50% deposit to guarantee any further service appointments.
Right to Refuse Service Cancellation Policy
The safety of our staff and our clients is our top priority. As such, the salon reserves the right to refuse service to anyone if we feel that they pose a health or safety risk. This includes but is not limited to lice, skin infections, open wounds, contagious illness (such as a new, continuous cough or a fever), or rude/ obnoxious behavior. Thank you for your understanding.
Strong and clear cancellation policy templates are a salon owner’s best friend. They will help to create effective policies to discourage clients who are prone to forget or cancel service appointments. Additionally, having clear expectations and rules for appointments made within your salon will make it much easier for stylists and staff to focus on doing their jobs. This way, everyone can spend less time figuring out what to do in each specific situation. As an added bonus, your late appointment and cancellation policies ensure that nobody misses out, because they give clients on the waiting list a chance to book last-minute appointments. Your salon cancellation policy wording protects both your business and your clients.
How to Effectively Execute Your Cancellation Policy?
- Use salon software and get ahead of cancellations and no-shows: Track appointments, send 48 hour confirmations and 24 hour reminders. This will prevent no-shows, cancellations and clients late for their appointment time.
- Take deposits and online payments: Ask for credit cards, remember to take deposits for appointments and use online payment methods for booking services. People will be less likely to forget or cancel salon appointments for services if they’ve already paid part of the service amount using their credit card.
- Consider exceptions for loyal clients: Sometimes, keeping a loyal customer happy is more important than sticking to strict policies criteria. Loyal salon clients might occasionally be allowed less than 24 hour cancellation for appointments. It’s about building and keeping a relationship.
- Have a “2 strike” policy: A “2 strike” policy for cancellations helps you establish rules without being too harsh. Maybe you want to give a warning, the first time and keep it on file. Then, charge a fee to their credit card if it happens again. Some salons also have a “strike” policy for no-shows, preventing them from booking services after so many missed appointments.
- Inform new clients: Most of your cancellations and no-shows will be from new clients. Don’t miss the opportunity to get them acquainted with your policies right away. Have a copy on hand for them to look at as soon as they book a service at your salon or online. Make sure that they understand and sign off on it.
Remember, a clear salon cancellations policy is the best way to avoid any confusion or hurt feelings, down the line. Your salon policies criteria should cover most situations but still allow employees or management to be flexible with loyal clients if it’s appropriate.
Above all, make sure that you roll out any changes to the policy in meetings with your staff. This will help them to be at their most professional and explain it all to your clients.
Having a salon cancellations policy in place will make everyone’s life easier. It will help you to avoid income loss from missed appointments and no-shows.
It will also help to encourage clients to give you enough notice when they need to make any changes to an appointment or service. This way, you won’t miss the opportunity to fill an empty space on your schedule.
And if you love these ideas or have some other ideas that you've used in the past to promote your salon business, why not share them with the Zolmi community in the comment section below. We would also be delighted to answer your questions, as well.
Effective cancellation policy to reduce the negative impact of patient no-show https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/jors.2013.1
Service Cancellation and Competitive Refund Policy https://pubsonline.informs.org/doi/abs/10.1287/mksc.1080.0457
A Cancellation Policy?: You're Joking! https://search.informit.org/doi/pdf/10.3316/informit.401485613314456