This article is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advice. For specific advice applicable to your business, please contact a professional.
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 deposits for advance payments
- 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 cancelling (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 customize your cancellation windows, fees and payment methods in your Square Appointments account.
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 text reminders to clients before their upcoming appointments that reference the policy.
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Six salon cancellation policy templates
The following set of templates contains example policies that you can customize for your business. Just insert your information – such as salon name, location and rules – and include them on your website and in communications.
1. Deposit policy
Your salon may include an advance deposit for some services. This policy notes those advance fees, whether they are refundable and the payment methods. Typically, this type of booking requires a credit card to hold the appointment. This means a deposit requires partial payment in advance with the intent to pay the rest on completion of the appointment.
Template: A credit card is required to schedule this appointment or service. Your card will be charged a percentage of the total amount at the time of booking, and the remaining balance will be charged when the service is complete.
2. 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.
3. 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 text reminder features can help.)
Template: Appointments are of high importance, and keeping scheduled bookings helps keep costs low for you. We realize 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 customize your email reminders and confirmations to include your policies so clients receive them directly in their inbox.