mobile phone for appointment reminders

How and When to Use 3 Types of Appointment Reminders

It is well documented that appointment reminders help clients keep track of scheduled appointments, reduce no shows, increase patient engagement, and boost revenue. When automated appointment reminders became accessible for both large and small businesses, it was a game changer. While many larger organizations rely on appointment reminders to remind clients of their upcoming appointment, they can be extremely useful for any type of small business as well, especially those that cannot spare the mounting cost of no show clients.

With automated appointment reminders and custom appointment reminders, your staff can save time and instead spend their time at work focusing on other important aspects of their job without worrying about sending manual messages and customizing every single reminder in order to have fewer no shows. Knowing how and when to send reminders is integral to having fewer no shows and growing businesses. In this post, we will discuss three types of appointment reminders, why they are beneficial for your clients, and when to send appointment reminders.

Voice Reminders

Voice reminders by phone are perfect for some customers and an annoyance for others. Typically, clients that appreciate voice reminders are those that are older. Many people in this age range may still have landlines and regularly make phone calls to communicate, as opposed to sending SMS messages or sending emails. A voice reminder messages is perfect for someone in this age range.

How: In Reminderly's software, you can easily schedule voice message appointment reminder calls and customize the message. We offer an example template, as well as the opportunity to fully customize the message. In addition, we offer the feature to use a professional voice actor to pre-record a message to your clients.

When: When to send the appointment reminder has two types of answers, including the number of days before the appointment and the time of day for the phone call reminder. For many appointments, excluding those that occur multiple times per week for several weeks (such as physical therapy), a reminder message is most effective when it's sent the day before the appointment. As for the time of day, we recommend sending appointment reminder phone calls during the traditional lunch hour and the late afternoon to early evening. However, we recognize that these can vary depending on your client populations, so we have the flexibility to send it at the time that you think will work best for your clients.

Email Appointment Reminders:

Email appointment reminders are the most accessible type of appointment reminder that spans multiple age groups. Both younger and older generations typically have experience with sending emails and check their email inbox frequently. An email message does not have a strict character limit, as text message reminders do, so this is especially effective if the email reminder needs to contain a lot of information. This may be very useful for healthcare offices doing new patient intake, advising the new client on completing intake forms, office policies related to Covid-19, or finding the office and parking.

How: Sending an email reminder is quite simple, especially when using the Reminderly appointment reminder software. Similar to voice reminders, email reminder messages can be fully customized. We offer a text template, if you would prefer to use an established model, however, we also offer the opportunity to fully customize the message. Additionally, you can create your own template to use in the future. At Reminderly, we understand how important your time is, and starting a reminder message from scratch is not necessary.

When: As with phone call reminders, email reminders are effective one day before a client's appointment. However, because email reminders require less interaction than answering a phone call and are skim-able, we encourage clients to send an email reminder one or two days before their appointment. Email reminders are effective at any time of day, however, they are most effective in the morning and during the workday. You can schedule your reminder message to be sent at any time of the day, however, we know that many clients plan their schedule several days in advance, so two days before an appointment is typically very effective in giving clients the opportunity to plan ahead.

Text Reminders:

Text message reminders are both very user friendly and minimally invasive. With a 160 character maximum per SMS message A short message ensures that clients can skim it in seconds and absorb the important information. While limiting a reminder text message to 160 characters may seem like a challenge, Reminderly offers examples of effective text reminders to assist you with creating the perfect message. We also offer customer service to make your work even simplier. Additionally, SMS reminders are so easy to skim and that for some industries, sending two or more reminders can be very useful for clients. This would be effective for annual dentist appointments or a yearly physical that are booked so far in advance that many clients easily loose track and become no shows. Research shows that only sending single text reminders may not be enough. This is easy to fix, however, and our software is built to be fully customizable so that you can send multiple SMS reminders as necessary.

How: As with email reminders and voice calls, Reminderly allows you to sync your schedule with current calendar system (Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendars, Excel files, and more). This flexibility to use whichever calendar or scheduling tool with our software only adds mere minutes. Additionally, as soon as you create an account, you can begin messaging clients in real-time. Clients can reply directly to your text message reminders.

When: Because text messaging is so common and user friendly, timing recommendations for text reminders are flexible depending on the industry and client. To begin, sending a text reminder the day before the appointment is common. Up to three days before the appointment is also fairly common and effective. Text message appointment reminders are also effective throughout the day, unlike phone calls, which are most effective in the afternoon and early evening. Text reminders are generally sent between mid-morning to late afternoon. While a client may receive the text reminder during work hours, or a work break, these are more effective than a client receiving a text reminder early in the morning, interrupting a meal, or after they have gone to sleep.

Automated Appointment Reminders Reduce No Shows

With Reminderly, sending appointment reminders really is as simple as it sounds. Our appointment reminder software is quick and easy to use, and it's designed to be accessible to people with varying degrees of comfort with technology. Many studies have been conducted and proved that automatic appointment reminders are extremely effective at reducing missed appointments. The fewer clients that no show, the greater revenue a business can generate.

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