A confused client missed his appointment because there wasn't an appointment reminder

Confusion and how it results in no-shows

Appointments are complicated and require a decent amount of logistics to coordinate. Your clients are not the only clients that struggle to keep and show up for their appointments. Appointments require the date, time, location, necessary items (such as insurance cards or for optometrists, your existing glasses), parking locations etc. When these details are challenging to locate, clients can easily become confused and frustrated. This may push a reluctant client over the edge to no-show. In this blog post, we will present several ways that client confusion results in no-shows, how to manage the logistics of appointments, and how appointment reminder services can reduce no-show rates by 90%.

Common Confusion:

“I forgot that I had an appointment!”

We hear this a lot. You hear this a lot. As life returns to normal after the Covid-19 epidemic has become more manageable, many people find appointments hard to keep track of. Most of the world was locked down for months and years, so remembering upcoming appointments, not only when they are but where they are, is a common struggle. This happens to the best of us.  Receiving a sms reminder after booking an appointment and again shortly before appointment is an incredibly effective way to communicate all of the necessary information to your clients. The most important aspect of this appointment reminder is just that - it reminds clients about appointments so that they do not forget and no-show. Automated appointment reminders not only ensure that patients have not forgotten, but also ask patients to confirm.

“I couldn’t find the office, so I went home”

This happens more than anyone realizes and many patients or clients are too embarrassed to disclose their confusion. Traffic may pose a significant hurtle, as may construction and road closures, one-way streets, and expensive parking. Those concerns are only during the commuting portion of the office visit. Once parking, there’s another challenge, which is locating the office itself. Many businesses and healthcare practices are in big buildings or building complexes. A client may need to walk for five or ten minutes to their appointment. All of these concerns point to the importance of clear directions. With customizable templates for appointment reminders, sent by text message, phone calls, or emails, businesses and healthcare offices can easily provide directions to the office. For example, a dentist office may remind a client, “park in the lot off of Main Street (bring your ticket for validation), take the blue elevator to the 8th floor and we are the first office on the right.”

“I knew that I had an appointment, but couldn’t remember what it was”

This happens a lot. There’s a nagging feeling in the back of a patient’s mind that they’re forgetting something. They have some sort of wellness appointment but they can’t remember what it is. They look through their Google Calendar and their email but can’t find a reminder. The day comes and goes and the patient still cannot remember what appointment they had. This is true for a variety of appointment types, not just wellness visits for physicians, but for hair cuts, auto mechanics, massages, financial planning appointments, meetings with advisors, etc. Using appointment reminder services is crucial for any business to enhance their management system so that the managers can focus more intently on the business and spend less time sending appointment notifications.

For offices that do send email reminders, text reminders, and voice reminders, clients can search their email inbox, text messages, or voicemails for this information. It’s quite simple, a client needs to type “appointment” or “appointment reminder” into a search of their sms or inbox to sift through all of the communication to find the right message. This is the crucial patient reminder message that has all of the information necessary to attend the appointment.

“I forgot about my appointment and now I’m too embarrassed to reschedule”

Shame and embarrassment frequently go hand-in-hand. Shame is one of the most intense negative emotions that a human can experience, and has a variety of negative impacts. In the case of attending appointments, feeling ashamed about missing an appointment may lead a client to quit seeing the healthcare provider or wellness provider entirely. A variety of studies show that with an appointment reminder system, patient engagement increases exponentially. This positive reinforcement boosts this patient engagement and also exponentially increases the extent of patient satisfaction and subsequent future appointments.

If a client is too embarrassed to reschedule after a no-show, appointment reminder apps can help with that too. After a no-show, an appointment reminder app can be used to inform the client of the missed appointment, and prompt them to reschedule for a future date. This connection and communication is crucial to patient engagement as it places a small but important amount of distance between clients and providers so that communication isn’t overly personal in a way that could easily lead to shame. By providing automation for appointment booking reminders, a patient can re-book an appointment without disclosing to the provider when and why they were a no-show.

Enter Stage Left: Reminderly

There are a myriad of appointment scheduling and appointment reminder services and after reading this blog post, you hopefully can see necessity of appointment reminder messages and the many ways that it can improve your businesses workflow, employee and client wellness, revenue, and reduce confusion. The information that we at Reminderly need is most likely already in your system. This may include a phone number (for calls or text message reminders) or an email address for email appointment reminders. We take those pieces of information and provide a fully customizable appointment reminder message that you can amend to fit the needs of your clients and the right tone for your business. We offer all-in-one appointment reminder software so that you and your office or business can do what you do best. To further demonstrate the necessity of our services while helping your business function, we offer flexible pricing and 14-day trials.

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