Clock representing the best time to send appointment reminders

The Art of Timing: Discover the Best Schedule for Sending Appointment Reminders

Appointment reminders are a vital tool for keeping your clients aware of their scheduled services. If implemented well, they can reduce the number of no shows you see, and create a smoother client experience. To get the most out of your automated appointment reminders, timing and frequency are important considerations. Send too many reminders, and clients may tune them out or become annoyed that you're cluttering their phone or inbox. Send too few, or too late, and clients may forget their appointment, or not have enough time to reschedule if needed. The guide below shares a few tips to help you maximize your appointment reminder impact.

When Should You Send the First Reminder?

While some businesses send an initial reminder when an appointment is first scheduled, this is optional -- studies have shown that this reminder has little effect on client show rate. For appointments that have been scheduled months in advance, consider sending the first reminder at least three weeks in advance of the appointment. This gives your client ample time to ensure they don't have any conflicting events, have transportation to your location, and know how they're going to pay. This window also allows plenty of time for rescheduling -- it's a win-win for both parties. Your client won't have to eat a cancellation fee, and you'll have enough time to fill the new opening in your schedule with another appointment.

For appointments that are scheduled on a shorter basis (roughly a month ahead), consider sending the first reminder three days in advance. This window still gives your client time to get time off work if they forgot to initially, and because it's within a few days of their appointment, it will be at the top of their mind.

When Should You Follow Up?

If you've sent the first appointment reminder three weeks, use the three days prior reminder as your follow-up. If you started with an appointment reminder three days before the scheduled service, send a final reminder the day before or the day of the appointment, at least three hours before the visit. This message can also include helpful info, like provider name and directions to your office, helping your client show up on time.

What's the Best Time to Send Reminders?

With an appointment reminder service, you can easily customize when appointment reminders are sent. But when should you send them for the best results? As a rule of thumb, avoid standard rush hour times--6:30-8:30 am, and 4-7 pm. During these windows, your clients are likely commuting, tackling the first problems of the workday, or focused on their post-work plans. Even if they do check their text messages or email, they're preoccupied and are more likely to forget.

Evenings are also not preferable--your clients will be spending time with friends or family, trying to relax after work, and not wanting to be bothered by their schedule. That leaves late morning and early afternoon as the best time slots for sending appointment reminders.

How Many Appointment Reminders Should You Send?

As noted above, for appointments scheduled months in advance, three email or text reminders are adequate for capturing client response. And for appointments arranged on shorter notice, two text message or email reminders is sufficient. Multiple reminders give you the best chance of being seen by your client, but any more than two or three messages, and your clients might ignore them.

Getting Started With Appointment Reminders

Timing isn't everything when it comes to appointment reminders. Factors like communication channel, your target demographics, options for response, and messaging can all affect the efficacy of your appointment reminders. To learn more about best practices when you send appointment reminders, explore topics like common reminder mistakes, customizing appointment reminders, and writing effective text message reminders.

If you're ready to start sending automated appointment reminders with ease, give Reminderly a try. Whether you want to send text message, phone, or email appointment reminders, Reminderly integrates with most existing calendar apps, making it easy to send appointment information, confirmation requests, and customer satisfaction surveys. Our free 14 day trial is a no-risk, no payment required way to see if this appointment reminder software is the right fit for you. Get started when you sign up today.

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