Overwhelmed by too many confirmation calls

Simplifying Client Communication: The Case Against Appointment Confirmations

When businesses send appointment reminders via email or text, many of them include a link to confirm the appointment, or encourage clients to call the office for an appointment confirmation. While some businesses might find this beneficial, there's also an argument to be made that these appointment confirmations take up valuable time for clients and staff alike. In this blog, we explain why your business may want to only ask for cancellations, not appointment confirmations.

The Drawbacks of Appointment Confirmations

You May Overwhelm Clients

For some clients, the choice to schedule an upcoming appointment is a sign that they're serious about visiting your business. If you require them to respond to an appointment confirmation text or confirmation email, they may feel burdened when they need to call your office to confirm their appointment. If your business operates on short schedule cycles and clients are booking appointments no more than a few weeks in advance, asking for an appointment confirmation may be redundant. Instead, consider sending a simple appointment reminder call, email, or text message. Provide contact details where a client can reach you if they need to reschedule or cancel, but otherwise, you can trust that the appointment reminder is enough to keep clients aware of their scheduled appointment.

Your Staff Has Limited Time

Requiring an appointment confirmation call isn't just an expectation for clients--it also puts a burden on your administrative team. The more time they have to spend answering the phone for appointment confirmation calls, the less time they have to attend to other business operations, like taking care of clients in-office, filing relevant documents, and managing your business schedule. By using automated appointment reminders that don't require clients to respond with appointment confirmation messages, you're putting less stress on members of your staff, and freeing up time for them to be attentive to your customers.

How to Maximize Appointment Reminder Effectiveness

Even if you choose to not request confirmation messages from clients, it's still a good idea to notify customers when they have an upcoming appointment. Instead of appointment confirmation texts, a simple reminder with appointment details like date, time, location, and service provider name can gently prompt your client to make sure their scheduled appointment still fits with their calendar. Clients will appreciate this friendly reminder, and you'll see fewer forgotten appointments and no shows as a result. Here's a few best practices to manage appointments and reminders.

Offer Cancellation Information (But Don't Make It Too Easy)

It's bound to happen--sometimes a client will receive an appointment reminder and realize they have a schedule conflict. When this happens, it's helpful to have cancellation info easily at hand in your appointment reminder. However, you don't want to make cancellation too simple, or clients may casually reschedule or cancel. Requiring a call to your office for appointment cancellation is a good idea--that way, clients can reschedule at the point of contact, and you can make them aware of your cancellation policy. This makes it less likely that clients will cancel an appointment without thinking twice, leaving you with costly gaps in your schedule.

Notify Clients of Upcoming Appointments in a Timely Manner

When it comes to appointment reminders, timing is everything. Remind clients too early, and they may forget their upcoming appointment--remind them too late, and they may be left without enough time to arrange transportation or reschedule without a cancellation fee. As a rule of thumb, send the first appointment reminder text message, email, or call three days before the scheduled appointment. Then follow with a message the day before. Sending multiple messages reduces the likelihood that your client overlooked one of the reminders, and by keeping reminders limited to two or three messages, you won't overwhelm your clients.

Provide Specific Appointment Details

Appointment reminders are at their best when they're brief, match the tone of your business, and provide all the relevant information that a client needs at a glance. For example, here's a sample reminder text message you might send to a client for their appointment tomorrow.

Hello, this is [business name]. We're looking forward to seeing you tomorrow at [appointment time]. If you have any questions, please call [business phone number].

This template establishes credibility by opening with your business name, and helps ensure that a client doesn't mistake the reminder for a spam text. Then it provides the relevant schedule details and an easy point of contact for your client. In a matter of seconds, they can get the info they need, without worrying about an appointment confirmation.

Send Appointment Reminders Easily With Reminderly

Whether you're looking to see how appointment reminders could help your business, or you already use appointment reminder software but want to make a switch, Reminderly offers an easy-to-use, powerful software package bundled into an intuitive interface. From one account, you can integrate with common scheduling software, create custom appointment reminder email, phone, and text messages, send customer surveys, and manage future appointment reminders.

From fewer missed appointments to more satisfied customers, you'll see how Reminderly can help you manage upcoming appointments and drive business growth. Get started today by signing up for our free two week trial, no-risk, no payment info required.

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