If you’re a small business owner, you know that you’re faced with a sink-or-swim situation. You have many important aspects of your business that require your attention. In this blog post, we’ll look at an easy way to up-level your professionalism and give your business a boost: start using automated appointment reminders now, even if you’re not sure you need to. Automating your reminder system will enhance your business’s professionalism in these three key ways:
For small businesses, first impressions are everything. For that reason, even if right now you have plenty of time to track your upcoming appointments and send reminders and follow-ups yourself, it’s a smart idea to convey reliability by using a reminder app.
With an app like Reminderly, you can automate your text reminders, email reminders, and/or automated phone calls to go out in a consistent manner. For instance, you can schedule a sms confirmation to be sent 24 hours prior to each appointment. This will reduce your no-shows and eliminate the possibility that you yourself forget to send the reminder. It will also prevent you from sending your appointment reminders in inconsistent ways (i.e., the customer receives a reminder text three days before one appointment but only one day before the next appointment).
By using customizable templates, your reminder messages can be a perfect fit for the type (or types) of appointment you offer while maintaining consistent language from appointment to appointment and across customers.
And with the two-way communication functionality offered by Reminderly, it’s easy for your clients to text you back if they need to reschedule or ask a question. That’s the kind of reliable access that’ll have them not only coming back but also spreading positive word-of-mouth about your small business.
I’m sure you’ve been in a situation where you suddenly realize, “Oh, this [restaurant/business/healthcare provider/fill in the blank...] is new, maybe they are just starting to get their systems in place." Some potential clients are very forgiving while others will use it as a signal that they should take their business elsewhere.
With that in mind, consider these two stories about massage therapists.
My wife and I were recommended a local massage therapist and both booked appointments. She collected our phone numbers and sent text reminders the morning of our appointments, and they were obviously written by her when she found a spare moment that morning. I also received somewhat random follow-up texts from her, and it was hard to tell if she was texting just me or if I had received a promotional group text that went out to all her clients. I soon got the impression that she didn’t have a full client list and would dive into texting as a way to fill slots when she saw that her upcoming week was looking light. Sensing a lack of professionalism, we decided not to keep booking with her.
With another massage therapist I saw, the experience was totally different. I used his online booking system to grab a slot, and I immediately got an automated confirmation email that included his cancellation policy. A sms reminder came exactly 48 hours before my appointment and included a link with directions to his office. Overall, his appointment scheduling software and reminders were so easy to navigate that, though I’d never met or even spoken to him, I had a great impression of him and his business.
Even if you’re in a type of business that doesn’t typically use appointment reminders—tattoo artist, tax professional, house cleaner, or what-have-you—using a scheduling app and sending automated reminders can be an easy way to set yourself apart from your competition.
You may be finding it easy enough to book appointments and send reminder notifications for your current clientele, but how will it be when you have double, 5x, or 10x as many clients as you do now? As your client base grows, having a smooth system for soliciting and receiving confirmations will keep your no-show rate low, and it’ll help you stay focused on what’s most important for your business rather than always dealing with the hassle of routine customer communication.
It’s worth considering finding user-friendly appointment reminder software that works for you now. That way, it’ll already be in place when your clientele has grown to a larger size. When you compare reminder services, you’ll want to look for one that integrates easily with your appointment calendar. Reminderly offers a range of integrations to work with Google Calendar, Outlook, Calendly, spreadsheets, and other popular calendar apps, and it works on iPhone as well as Android.
As noted above, you also need to find a reminder app that facilitates real-time two-way conversations so that clients can easily communicate with you or another staff member when needed.
While the reminders are of course the most important piece of any reminder service, a good reminder app will also offer a number of other benefits. These can include:
Send promotional updates to your whole list or to customized segments to notify them about:
Easily tell your whole client list about: