Before the pandemic the policy on a last minute cancellation was pretty cut and dry, if your client cancelled within 24-72 hours of their appointment, depending on the salon, they could expect to pay 50-100% of the appointment. With COVID-19 changing all of our other social norms, it has also changed some additional business norms as well. How are you dealing with the last minute changes of appointments for those that test positive, get quarantined, or otherwise must reschedule to avoid putting you and the rest of your clients at risk?
Depending on the amount of notice you receive for the cancellation, there may be some ways to fill the spot. If you are a client, you could consider a retail purchase upon your return to help make up for the income loss that your nail professional has taken without complaint, chances are good it is multiplied throughout the week. Here are some suggestions that you could try as professionals to fill your appointments, please feel free to add any ideas you might have to the comments so that we can all do the best we can in this trying time to take care of each other!
If there is enough time before the appointment you can put out messages on social media. Let your clients know that now more than ever it is important to follow you for updates, and let them know the channel you will be the most devoted to - Instagram, Facebook, etc.
Safe salon seeks conscientious consumer to fill available appointment created by a quarantined patron. This lets people know that you wouldn't normally have last minute appointments available so that they don't expect to walk-in or call at the last minute in the future. It also puts forth that you are a safe environment and your clientele care enough about each other not to come in when there is any risk.
Cancellation consolation - call Salon XYZ to accept the appointment for a (service name) at (time) today and receive a complimentary (five minute massage, accent nail, etc.). This verbiage is handy if you need to fill a more immediate appointment, the client has left a message in the night that you retrieve at 9am and the appointment is at 1pm or something similar. It gives something small as a consolation for stepping into an existing service and service time that doesn’t really have much flexibility.
Text a client you know is always looking for extra time in your chair. Sometimes we have that regular client that gets in for nails and wouldn’t mind getting in for toes if only our books weren’t so full. Start keeping better notes and reach out to those clients when presented with an opening to see if they would like that rare opening to take care of themselves.
Edit some photos and set up social media posts. If the call has come at the last minute or even worse is a no show, use this time to polish your social media. Watermark those photos you never have time to do. Schedule the next week of posts. Put up a story showing some cleaning, some practicing, or some learning, that helps build your position as the local expert.
While we may not be implementing the cancellation policy in the face of COVID, there's no reason not to try recouping that loss in a different manner. Filling the appointment is ideal so hopefully this has given you some ideas on how to go about it tactfully and in a professional manner! Good luck out there nail compatriots!