Engaging patients with text and voice reminders

Maximize Client Retention: The Power of Automated Appointment Reminders

For healthcare, the beauty and wellness industry, and other sectors where scheduled appointments drive business, automated appointment reminders are a great way to reduce no shows and improve client satisfaction. In the article below, we'll dig into some of the pros and cons of using appointment reminders, so you can make a decision for yourself.

Appointment Reminder Pros

Reduce No Shows

No shows cost your business money--even if you charge a missed appointment fee to recoup lost income, you're seeing a reduction in revenue. A simple appointment reminder can be the difference between a successful client visit and a missed appointment.

Whether you're reaching clients through email reminders, text messages, or phone calls, these customer notifications can help your business thrive.

Increase Your Revenue

With a reduction in no shows, you'll see an uptick in your business revenue. But this isn't the only way that appointment reminders can improve your bottom line. Customers appreciate special offers -- using your appointment reminder software, you can send marketing messages, like a birthday coupon or a discounted service bundle. These messages will help customers find new services they'll enjoy and can lead to more appointments.

Make Contact More Accessible

Whether you're running a small business or a Fortune 500 company, communication with clients is always a priority. If it's difficult to reach your business for scheduling or questions, clients may be frustrated or go with a competitor. Automated reminders make it easy for businesses to facilitate communication with clients.

For example, sms appointment reminders can provide a direct callback number or a link where the client can confirm their scheduled service. This confirmation request can also provide directions for rescheduling, making it easier for customers to manage their schedule.

Improve Administrative Efficiency

Your administrative staff is at the heart of your business, as they book appointments, avoid double bookings, handle payment processing, and manage your online calendar. One way to make their jobs easier and free up time for other important tasks is integrating appointment reminders into your workflow. No longer will they have to send reminders manually--instead, they can count on a reliable automated system.

Appointment Reminder Cons and How to Mitigate Them

Implementation Cost

Like any service, you'll have to pay for sending appointment reminders. However, the cost of integrating this new service will quickly be offset as you reduce no shows and attract new clients. A lower no show rate can add up to big savings--studies show that in healthcare settings, an average of 27% of appointments result in no shows. For beauty and wellness businesses, these numbers are lower -- but even one missed appointment (and a cancellation fee) could lead to a lost client.

Appointment reminders can keep your schedule full and see fewer no shows. The cost-benefit analysis on this one is clear!

There's a Learning Curve

Your business already relies on numerous systems to keep things running smoothly -- so you might be worried about adding in another program. Will it make administrative tasks too complicated? How hard will it be for staff to learn?

When you choose appointment reminder software, look for a program with an intuitive interface and functionality that is robust but not overwhelming. The software should also integrate with your scheduling software or existing calendar. With this integration, the new software will plug into your existing workflow seamlessly, reducing the learning curve for your employees.

May Overwhelm Clients

Appointment reminders are helpful for cutting through the noise of the digital age. However, too many messages can start to irritate your clients or cause them to ignore your reminders. If your reminders get lost in the flood of marketing messages, it could lead to missed appointments and client dissatisfaction.

To avoid spamming clients with phone, email, and text reminders, limit their frequency. You might try an email a week in advance, and a text message in the days leading up to the appointment. By spacing out your appointment reminders, you make it less likely that your messages will get lost in the flood of information.

It's also important to give clients a choice. Some will prefer communications across multiple channels, while others might want to only receive text messages. Letting clients customize their appointment reminder preferences will make them feel in control. You should also give them the option to opt out of communications at any time, so they don't feel like they're locked into a decision.

Hard to Reach some Demographics

If your business serves a wide demographic range, you'll probably find that there's no one-size-fits-all approach to appointment reminders. Younger clients might prefer text messages only, while older ones may like the formality of a phone call. If you're relying on only one form of automatic appointment reminders, you might be underserving portions of your client base.

The easiest way to overcome this hurdle is to mix up your delivery channels. If you can offer appointment reminders through text message, email, and phone calls, you'll have a better chance of reaching all your clients. As mentioned above, giving clients the option to choose how they want reminders can also minimize this problem.

Can Feel Impersonal

While automated appointment reminders are easy to use and efficient, they may come across as impersonal or robotic. Clients appreciate a personal touch, even for routine messaging like automated reminders. Don't worry, this hurdle isn't hard to overcome--with the right appointment reminder software, you can easily customize your messaging to match your business's tone and make customers feel seen.

To help you find the right voice for your appointment reminders, here's a quick guide to customizing your text message reminders. You can apply the same principles to voice calls and email too!

Customizing Appointment Reminder Messages

Keep It Concise

Because most people only spend a couple of seconds reading appointment reminder messages, you want your messages to be brief and to the point. Text messages cut off at 160 characters, and you want to avoid sending more than 2 messages per reminder. Abbreviations and numerals can help you keep your messages within the limits.

Always include your business name, appointment date and time, and what clients should do if they need to reschedule. You may also want to include location, provider name, and required documentation.

Find the Right Tone

Even with limited characters, you can inject some personalization.  Whether you want to seem personable and fun or authoritative and assured, your reminder software should let you customize messages so you can strike the right tone. Here's an example of how you can edit text reminders.

Original message:

  • Your appointment is at 10:00 AM on November 12. Acme Hair Salon's phone number is 555-555-5555. To confirm or reschedule your appointment, please give us a call. Let your stylist know if you have any questions before your appointment.

This message gets the vital info across, but it feels rather cold. A hair salon wants customers to be excited about their scheduled service. Here's one way to liven up the message without sacrificing the important details.

Updated message:

  • Hi, [Client Name], your [service name] with [stylist name] at Acme Hair Salon is coming up on 11/12 at 10am. To confirm or reschedule, give us a call at 555-555-5555. We can't wait to see you!

The updated message keeps all the key information, but adds a peppy tone to the reminder. When a client sees text reminders like this, they can start getting excited for their appointment.

Why Choose Reminderly?

Want to find out if automated appointment reminders are a good fit for your business? Reminderly allows you to send automated email reminders, phone calls, and sms messages from one intuitive platform. It also integrates with existing calendars and gives you full control over how and when you reach out to customers.

Businesses like Shell and Allstate use Reminderly to power up their operations, and so can you. To start sending appointment reminders today, sign up for a free trial today. With your 14 day free account, you can see how easy scheduling reminders can be.

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