Appointment confirmations help reduce no-shows and boost revenue for appointment-based businesses. With Reminderly’s intuitive set-up and no-fuss integrations, text notifications are easy to automate. Within a matter of weeks you’ll be seeing fewer last minute cancellations, fewer missed appointments, and devoting way less time to follow-up with no-show patients or clients.
Although phone calls and confirmation emails are also good options for automated appointment reminders, in this blog post we’ll look specifically at automated text messages as an easy, reliable way to achieve the results you’re looking for.
Over 80% of Americans say they want to receive reminder messages about upcoming appointments. And nearly that many people feel positively about business texting, meaning they want to interact with businesses that send texts and offer two-way communication via sms messages. Another positive thing about sending sms text message confirmations is that texts have significantly faster and higher open rates than do other communication channels. They also have a solid response rate, as most people find it convenient to quickly respond via text message.
Appointment reminder text messages are a perfect way to support your clients or patients. They not only serve to remind them of their scheduled appointments but also function as a call to action to get your customers to you on-time and prepared.
Those actions vary somewhat from business to business, but generally they include things like:
Hopefully you now see why sms confirmations are a good idea for nearly all appointment-based businesses. Let’s get down to some top tips for how to create the text messages that will work best for your business.
Let’s take these one by one...
Even when a client already remembers their upcoming appointment, they appreciate having all the key details assembled for easy access in one text message. Here’s a template for a simple appointment reminder message that includes the key details, even sneaking in help with directions by including a link:
Thanks for booking your upcoming appointment at <company name> on <day, date> at <time>. <Click here> for directions to our office. Please respond Confirm or Cancel.
The above template offers the simplest possible way to respond, prompting the recipient to respond “Confirm” or “Cancel” right then and there on the text thread. This approach is sufficient in many cases, but it’s also possible to offer phone and/or web-based response options, as shown in these two templates:
Thanks for booking your upcoming salon appointment at <business name> with <provider> on <day, date> at <time>. Please respond Confirm or Cancel, or call <business phone number> to reschedule.
Thanks for booking your upcoming hair appointment at <salon name> on <day, date> at <time>. Please respond Confirm to let us know you can make it, or visit <online scheduling link> if you need to reschedule.
Text messaging is an increasingly important tool for businesses because it casts a really wide net: people of all ages, races, genders, and so forth text. That said, it’s important to consider the particular needs of your customers when deciding on the components and tone of your confirmation texts.
Here, for example, is an appointment confirmation text template for a tattoo business that tends to have Gen-Z and Millennial customers:
Hi <customer name>, this is <artist or manager name> from <parlor name> sending a friendly reminder about your appointment on <day, date> at <time>. Please reply 1 to confirm you can make it. We’re excited to see that new ink on you!
Details like using the customer’s first name and expressing enthusiasm fit well with a younger clientele that feels very comfortable texting with businesses.
Next, let’s look at an appointment reminder template for a healthcare appointment at a practice with mostly older patients:
Your upcoming appointment with <provider name> is on <day, date> at <time>. Please text back Confirm or Cancel, or call our office at <phone number> if you have questions. Reply Stop to opt out.
Here we’ve got a more formal, straightforward tone. The options to call the office or to unsubscribe from further texts accommodates patients who still prefer to talk on the phone rather than text, and for the small number who would like to opt out of texting with your business.
This tip is related to the prior one about customer needs, but is more about having your business’s automated reminder messages fit seamlessly with your brand. An appointment confirmation text is not a marketing campaign (see #5, “keep it simple”). But it is a chance to convey in miniature the tone you want your business to set. For instance, a financial consultancy needs to radiate reliability, and if that comes through in their appointment scheduling communications, it can only help with client trust:
<Ms./Mrs./Mr. client last name>, your upcoming appointment at <consultancy name> is on <day, date> at <time>. Please respond Confirm or Cancel, and bring in any financial statements you’d like your consultant to see.
By contrast, it would be a missed opportunity for a veterinarian’s office to come across as stiff. People have pets because they’re fun, and they should associate your office with fun too:
We’re glad to see that <pet name>—🐶🐱🐰🐹🦎🦜🐟—is booked for their regular check-up! We’ll see you both on <day, date> at <time>. Please click into your <client portal> if you need to reschedule or want to share any notes in advance.
While it’s true that your confirmation texts offer valuable ways to be on brand and meet your customers’ needs, it’s also important to remember that people are busy, their phones are jammed with messages, and keeping it simple is often the best way to connect with them. With that in mind, here’s one last text template that accomplishes a lot (key details, friendliness, prompt to respond, funnel to website) in a really simple way:
Hi <customer name>, your appointment at <business name>is on <day, date> at <time>. Please respond Confirm or Cancel. See you soon! <web link to business’s “contact” page>