Are your clients missing their scheduled appointments? Are you spending time calling your clients or texting them from your personal cell phone to remind them of their appointments?
Using an automated appointment reminder system can increase your revenues, increase your customers satisfaction, give you and your staff hours back every week, all while only costing you a few dollars every day. Whether you're a small business or a large enterprise, it probably makes sense to use an automated appointment reminder system, and in this blog post we'll look at five reasons why.
Your clients value your services. But everyone sometimes forgets an appointment. Whether we forgot to put it in our calendar, accidently put it in for the wrong day, or haven’t looked at our calendar in days, we all forget about our upcoming appointments. Giving clients slight nudges with a text, voice, or email reminder 1-2 days before their appointments immediately solves these problems and ensures that your appointment is top of mind. Numerous studies have shown that simple appointment notifications reduce no-shows by as much as 90%.
You might be asking, "Isn't that why we charge a cancellation fee?" Since cancellation fees are often waived and, even when enforced, are usually less than the cost of the appointment, you’ll make more money if all of your clients show up to their appointments.
Most people don’t cancel an appointment as soon as they realize there is a conflict in their schedule. Instead, they tell themselves, “I’ll call to cancel later today or tomorrow,” at which point they forget to follow up. Although this thought process isn’t malicious, it still ends up being disruptive to your business and increasing your no-show rate. The earlier you know of a cancellation, the easier it is for you to fill that vacant appointment.
Appointment reminders serve as a tool to encourage your clients to let you know if they aren’t planning to come. A simple text reminder easily triggers the thought, “Oh yeah, I need to let them know I’m not coming. I meant to do that days ago.” Many of our clients tell us that getting the advanced warning of cancellations is one of the best parts of using Reminderly.
If you use a tool like Reminderly to send text message reminders, your clients can simply text you back in real-time that they need to reschedule. Making it extremely easy like that for your clients greatly encourages them to respond immediately.
Getting advanced notice that your clients need to reschedule gives you plenty of time to fill that vacant appointment slot, which directly leads to more revenue.
Over 85% of customers say that they want appointment reminders. The vast majority of customers view them as a helpful service. It is worth noting that there are differences in the how people want their reminders - either via text, voice, or email. Although text messages are by far the most popular, there are still many people that prefer calls or emails. Finding an automated reminder system that can provide all three methods is important.
If your customers miss an appointment because they simply forgot, the only person they should blame is themselves. But we all know that some of that blame will also be directed at you. Furthermore, if it takes several weeks or more to get a new appointment with you, they may become extremely disappointed with your services and may even find another service provider, even though the initial missed appointment wasn’t your fault. Simple appointment reminders can avoid all of this.
Since customers want appointment reminders and are much more likely to simply make their appointment or communicate about it in advance when they receive them, reminders make for happier clients or patients, which in turns means higher customer loyalty. This improved loyalty not only prevents customers from defecting to your competitors but also improves positive word of mouth advertising, and all of this directly affects your bottom line.
Appointment reminders can be a time-consuming hassle for your staff. For large practices, a staff member can spend half of their day making appointment reminder calls or sending email appointment reminders. And even for a small company or sole proprietorship, individual phone calls are very time consuming and disruptive of workflow. An effective appointment reminder system should require minimal effort to send out the daily reminders. Your reminder system can send out hundreds of reminders in less time than it would take you or your staff to make one reminder call. This frees up time to focus on critical activities that can’t be done by computers, and this additional focus time on service quality, marketing, and so forth will likely lead to increased revenues.
Your appointment reminders should be customized not only to your clients' preferences but also to your specific business. If you need them, you should be able to include additional reminders for forms, other information that you need your clients to bring in, or actions they need to take before your appointment or meeting. This will help ensure that your clients or patients come prepared for their appointments. Having to delay starting the appointment because your clients didn’t come prepared will cause them to be disgruntled and you to potentially lose money if the appointment needs to be rescheduled.
Most automated appointment reminder software starts at just a few dollars a day, so it frequently pays for itself in a few days. When deciding which appointment reminder system to purchase, you should look at these key aspects:
Price. Cost is of course an important factor for companies. You want to make sure that you are getting a good value. It is worth noting, however, that although many appointment reminder systems claim similar features, some of the lower cost solutions have hidden costs such as poor customer service, low message delivery rates, and poor interface design. At Reminderly, we always aim to offer a superior product at an average price.
Ease of implementation and use. Any solution that you choose should be easy to set up and even easier to use. You shouldn’t need to have long training sessions every time someone new at your company needs to use the solution. It should fit seamlessly into your existing business workflows.
Send text messages, voice calls, and emails. Because your clients may have different preferences, you want to be able to send reminders across different communication channels.
Customization. Your business is unique from those of your competitors. Because of that, you should look for a reminder service that can completely customize the reminder messages that it sends on your behalf.
Integrations. Make sure your reminder service can integrate with your existing calendar. Reminderly works with Outlook, Google Calendar, Excel sheets, Zapier, and more. If you have specific integrations needs, please contact us to see how we can best help.
Customer service. Make sure that you choose a company with great customer service. Hopefully you rarely need to use it, but when you need it, you need it. At Reminderly, we regularly have clients come to us because they ran into a problem with a different reminder service and couldn’t get in touch with that company for weeks or months. We pride ourselves on our high quality support - we are there when you need us!