Having a salon booking and cancellation policy can be one of your greatest assets and resources. In an ideal world, clients will make their scheduled appointment times, but when they do not, it is important to have a set of guidelines in place.
People costs are probably the biggest expense for your business and missed appointments can add up. Having clear booking and cancellation policies helps you and your staff provide better customer service and manage your clients’ expectations from the get-go, while protecting your business, staff, and clients in the instance of missed appointments. If you do not have a clear policy in place, it can be difficult to enforce fees for missed appointments or decline to book new appointments with clients who habitually no-show.
Here’s how to create booking and cancellation policy templates to help you run your business more smoothly.
What to include in your salon booking and cancellation policy
A cancellation policy is usually part of your larger booking policy. A booking policy sets the basic guidelines for client and salon interactions, telling everyone what to expect from the start. It may include a variety of stipulations, including:
- If you require full pre payment prior to the appointment.
- How much you charge for no-shows.
- How flexible you are on late arrivals.
- How much you charge for cancellations.
When you create your cancellation policy, you want to frame it in a clear and concise way, so that clients know what to expect when interacting with your salon. You’ll want to include the following information:
- Timeframe before canceling (such as providing a minimum of 24 hours’ notice to avoid a fee).
- When a client should arrive (such as five minutes before their scheduled appointment).
- Last-minute cancellation terms (such as fees for late cancellation).
- Payment collection terms (such as payment due in full when services are rendered).
- Salon contact information.
Once you’ve established your policy, you can customise your cancellation windows, fees and payment methods in your Square Appointments account.
Scheduling that puts time in your hands.
How to enforce your salon booking and cancellation policy
Once you’ve defined your policy, you need to make sure it’s enforceable. That starts by making sure your clients know about it.
First, you want to add your policy to your website. A booking or contact page is a great place to list all of your salon policies. Square Appointments allows you to create bookings and include policy pages for your website. Make sure you use wording that is firm and straightforward to explain policies so there’s no room for questions.
If you also take appointments over the phone, train your staff to share your policy when appointments are booked. You can also use Square Appointments to send email and SMS reminders to clients before their upcoming appointments that reference the policy.
6 salon cancellation policy templates
The following set of templates contain example policies that you can customise for your business. Just insert your information (such as salon name, location and rules) and include them on your website and in communications.
1. 24-hour cancellation policy
If a client needs to cancel, the 24-hour cancellation policy allows them to do so without a fee. After the 24-hour window, there’s a fee to cancel, typically between 25%–50% of the cost of the services booked.
Template: If you need to cancel your appointment, please notify us at least 24 hours before the appointment. Cancellations with less than 24 hours’ notice will result in a late fee, which is equal to 50% of the scheduled service.
2. Late appointment policy
Late client arrivals can throw off an entire day of appointments and result in unhappy customers. It is important to outline what constitutes showing up late for an appointment and that it could result in a refusal of services.
Template: To respect the time of clients and staff, we ask you to be on time for your appointment. Clients who arrive more than 15 minutes late will be required to pay a late fee. Clients who arrive more than 30 minutes late will forfeit their appointment and need to reschedule.
4. No-show cancellation policy
One of the most costly events for your salon is when clients don’t show up for their appointments. Create an enforceable fee policy for last-minute cancellations and no-shows by requiring a payment card be added at the time of booking.
Template: If you do not show up for an appointment, you will be charged 50% of the missed service.
5. Salon cancellation policy to protect the clients
Sometimes you may have to cancel a client appointment because of a sick staff member or other unforeseen circumstances. This policy explains what clients should expect in this circumstance.
Template: We reserve the right to cancel an appointment. Should such a cancellation occur within 48 hours prior to your appointment time, a new appointment will be scheduled without additional fees, based on availability.
6. Flexible policy
Especially for small salons, a flexible policy can create accountability between you and your clients. You can set the expectation that you will send reminders, but it is up to the client to make it to their appointments on time. (Square Appointments’ email and SMS reminder features can help.)
Template: Appointments are of high importance and keeping scheduled bookings helps keep costs low for you. We realise that unforeseen circumstances might require schedule adjustments. If you need to cancel an appointment, we request at least 24 hours’ notice, if possible.
A set of strong salon booking and cancellation policies can help make managing your business easier. Square Appointments includes tools that help you communicate your policies to your clients, whether it is on your website, booking site or through notifications. With Square Appointments, you can customise your email reminders and confirmations to include your policies so clients receive them directly in their inbox.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. For specific advice applicable to your business, please contact a professional.