No matter what industry you are in, no-shows can be very expensive. It is wasting the time of your staff and putting unnecessary holes in your schedule that you could have filled with another client or customer. But, in order to reduce the number of no-shows, it is important to understand why people do not show up in the first place.
Whether you are a healthcare practice or a tattoo parlor, there is often at least a small amount of fear that goes into making an appointment. The whole experience could seem very intimidating. To combat this often inevitable feeling, it is important to educate your client or customer about what’s going to happen during the appointment. That way, at least the fear of the unknown is out of their heads.
Studies show that 36% of no-shows happen because someone simply forgot about their appointment. In order to combat this, it can be very helpful to use appointment reminders for your clients and customers. More specifically, utilizing reminder texts can be the best way to reduce the number of no-shows.
Using reminder texts has shown to be more effective than utilizing reminders in other mediums (phone calls, emails, etc.) Unlike email, texts are less likely to sit in your inbox or linger into your spam folder. According to Mobile Squared, 90% of text messages are read within the first three minutes of receiving it. Allocating automated reminders is an almost foolproof way of ensuring that your clients will be reminded of their appointment and adjust their schedule accordingly, or at least, give them enough time to cancel if needed. When using text messaging, you’re able to use a two-way interface that gives your client the option to confirm or cancel without having to use any manpower to do so. This helps keep the process secure and discreet if your client is dealing with fear or scheduling issues.
If you’re planning on using reminder text messages, be sure not to send other reminders from multiple platforms. This may confuse your client, especially if they aren’t sent at the same time. Pick one medium of communication and focus on being consistent throughout that one medium. Since text messages often have a character limit, it forces you to make your message concise. That way, there is no way that the true essence of the message will be lost. Also, using reminder texts uses less staff power than getting someone to call or email your clients. It is precise, quick, and secure.
In order to make sure that your reminder texts are as effective as possible, it is important to think about the timing of these messages. If your patient has an appointment that is scheduled far in advance then you might want to send mass text messages (for example, a week in advance and the day before) in order to ensure that they remember. In the text message, be sure to include personalized information like the time of their appointment, the location, and the doctor that they’ll be seeing (if this applies). If you don’t include one of these key elements, then they may still be in the dark about the nature of this appointment. You may want to add a text with minor instructions as well before the appointment, to ensure that it can happen any interruptions.
Also, be sure to keep your company’s cancellation policy in mind. Remind your client far enough ahead in time so they’ll be able to cancel without having to deal with fees.
Reminder texts are a great way to reduce the number of no-shows that you have. Once reducing those no-shows, you can not only save money but save your staff’s energy in the long run. It gives you a direct line of communication with your client so they can easily be reminded of future appointments. Maintaining consistent communication is important within your business, and utilizing reminder texts allows you to do just that
The Benefits of Appointment Reminder Texts
While it may seem like it's just easier to call, especially if you need some information or a decision has to be made, a phone call is actually a complicated meeting between two people. After all, a phone call needs someone on each end of the line to be successful, and missing a call means starting from scratch again. In many instances, a text is actually an easier and more efficient way to reach your audience, particularly if you don't need a response right away or if you'd rather free up your resources.
With a simple appointment reminder text, you can communicate asynchronously with your audience and say everything you need without requiring a person on both ends. Consumers are also getting used to the practice, and a majority nowadays prefers for simple communication messages to be sent via text rather than via voice, and that's better for both your organization and your audience.
Reduce Your No-Shows and Last-Minute Cancellations
With text appointment reminders, you'll be able to give your customers advance notice of an upcoming appointment with friendly appointment reminders that have the power to reduce those pesky no-shows and last-minute cancellations. Not only does a text message reminder allow you to conveniently reach out via the power of automation, but it also gives your customers the ability to quickly inform you if they're not going to make it or if something came up.
Customize Appointment Reminders for Planning Ahead
In addition to the appointment reminder text, text-based reminders allow you to tailor the message to each customer, including the details of their appointment and what they may need to bring. That can help avoid confusion on the day of the appointment, and it'll also mean that each client is ready for the appointment well in advance. The best part is that unlike a phone call, which may be forgotten shortly thereafter, a text is a permanent record that can be referred to at any time.
Save Time and Money With Text Appointment Reminders
No matter what kind of business or organization you run, it simply costs more to get a human to make that phone call and catch up with your customers. They might not have to physically make the call if you're using some kind of dialer, but they do need to be available when the phone call connects, and they still can only talk to one person at a time. With appointment reminder texts, you can send texts to as many people as you want without needing a huge floor of associates to sit behind each phone. That can help free up resources to be utilized in other places, which can save you both time and money.
Give Better Customer Service With Reminder Texts
You can get a lot done on a call, but that means someone has to be available and willing to talk on the other end. If you're not careful, that can mean placing a lot of calls every day but only speaking to a few people. Even voicemail messages are starting to get ignored these days as the number of spam calls ramps up -- or the person you're trying to reach could just be screening their calls. Unlike a call, an appointment reminder text allows you to reach out without setting time aside, and that can give customers the feeling that you're there for them without the annoyance of a call that has to be answered immediately.