Every stylist has to deal with no-shows and late cancellations for scheduled appointments. The average beauty professional faces one to two no-shows a week — adding up to nearly $5,000 missed income each year. Unfortunately, many professionals are afraid to hold their clients accountable with a no-show fee. Your clients expect you to show up on time — shouldn’t you expect the same from them? Learn how to set up a no-show and late cancellation policy that saves you time and money.
Good Clients Value Your Time
When a client books an appointment slot, they are purchasing time with you. If the client doesn’t honor their appointment scheduling, they are costing you that time. Of course, as humans mistakes happen, but the truth is: clients who consistently show up late are killing your business and, as a result, pay no-show fees in order to build your reputation and grow your brand, clients need to take your time seriously. Keep reading to learn how to create a transparent cancellation policy and no-show fee that fits your business.
No-Show Fees Are an Industry Standard
If you’re worried that a no-show fee or late cancellation policy will come across as extreme, don’t be. Nearly 80 percent of stylists charge no-show fees for late clients who surpass the cancellation window — meaning your clients likely face the same fees with every other beauty professional they see if they miss their appointment slot. Having your own cancellation policy in place incentivizes your clients to show up in a timely manner, respect your schedule, honor your boundaries, and (most importantly) ensures you get paid.
How to Create a No-Show Fee & Late Cancellation Policy
Start charging a no-show fee for clients who arrive late to appointments, cancel last minute, and simply don’t show up with StyleSeat’s NSLC (No-Show Late Cancellation) billing tool. Putting a guideline in place not only acts as insurance for your time and money, it also incentivizes clients to make their appointment. StyleSeat notifies clients of your cancellation policy by automatically displaying your guidelines on your profile and including them in appointment reminder emails.
To create your no-show fee and late cancellation policy on StyleSeat:
- Navigate to the More Tab and select Payments & No-Show Protection.
- Here you can choose how strict you would like your cancellation policy to be (flexible, moderate, or strict).
- For example, if you select a flexible 50 percent no-show fee, and your client doesn’t show for their $50 appointment, they will be charged $25 according to your cancellation policy.
- Once enabled, clients will be required to enter a credit card when they book an appointment.
- If a client cancels within 24 hours of the appointment, they will be charged your Late Cancellation fee. If the client no-shows, you have the option to charge your no-show fee.
At the end of the day, you have full control over your cancellation policy. If a loyal client who usually arrives in a timely manner but cancels late, you can always choose to waive the fee. Have a first-time client who gets lost and misses their appointment? You can easily bypass your penalty. No-show fees and late cancellation protections are here to help you build your business and foster healthy client relationships, how you use them is always up to you.
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27 thoughts on “Should I Charge for No-Shows and Late Cancellations?”
Can there be a no call / no show / late cancellation page that clients must agree to or stating they understand the policy to be directed to confirmation booking page. Some clients claim they did not see this disclaimer on the page or profile upon booking? This would be great, that way clients can’t say they did not see it….no you clicked the “I agree button”!!!
Hey Shamona, that’s great feedback. We definitely understand the need for an “agree” button. I’ll share this with the team and see what we can do.
I am having a late cancellation issue that is yet to be resolved. There should be a way that stylist can Late Cancel a client AND charge them. My client cancelled 20 minutes b4 her appointment, I told her about policy, she didn’t respond back. I then marked appt “cancel” but couldn’t charge-she has credit card info on file. I was told that the client had to cancel.. she didn’t actually book through StyleSeat- I booked the appt. Now I’m upset that I wasn’t able to actually charge her even after I told her she would be.
This is a great idea!!!
Hey Beverly, we’re sorry to hear this happened to you and we appreciate the feedback. Our team is actively discussing ways to improve the way professionals accept payments and the way they protect themselves from no-shows and late cancellations. I’ll make sure to share your thoughts with them.
If instead you choose the no-show option, it will give an option to charge. However how much they are to be charged(%) will be based on your settings.
There should also be an option for clients to pay and upfront non refundable deposit deducted from the service charge to secure an appointment as well.
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