"This is ACME reminding you of your appointment on February 1st at 9:00 AM. Please call 123-123-1234 to reschedule. Thank you, and have a great day."
Appointment reminder messages are the quickest way to increase your revenues by as much as 20%. And I don't mean next quarter, I mean starting tomorrow!
Your customers value your services, but sometimes they forget their upcoming appointment and need a friendly reminder. Appointment reminders are critical for your business because they ensure that your customers show up or that you have enough notice to fill vacant appointments. And appointment reminders are a service that your clients want and appreciate. No-shows aren't usually deciding consciously not to come; more often, they simply forget or write down the wrong time. They want a quick reminder from you to ensure they don't miss their appointment.
Here are a few of the perks of automated appointment reminders through an automated service like Reminderly:
-Low cost. For a fraction of a percent of the cost of your appointments, you can ensure your customers are showing up. Can you afford not to have an automated reminder system?
- Quick to implement. You can start sending out your appointment reminders in minutes.
- See an ROI in days. If you implement a new appointment reminder system today, you can start seeing a reduction in no-shows tomorrow.
Automated text messages have become extremely popular for personal and business uses. Text messages are great for appointment reminders - they are short, easy to respond to, and well over 90% are read.
With that said, there are good reasons why many of Reminderly's clients use only voice calls or a combination of voice calls and text messages for their reminders.
Your appointment reminder call should include:
Your business name. Make sure to clearly state your company's name at the beginning of your message. If you are using a Text-to-Speech program, you may need to phonetically spell your company's name so that the computer can correctly pronounce it.
Appointment date and time. Make sure that you immediately state the date and time of the appointment. Many people will not listen to the whole message, so the most critical information should be at the beginning of the message.
Instructions for changing or canceling your appointment. Make it clear how your patients can cancel or reschedule their appointment. The easier the process, such as "press 1 to cancel" or "press 0 to talk with our staff," the more likely you will get an immediate response and have time to fill any canceled appointments.
Other information that you may want to include is:
Text and voice reminders have the same goal: to increase revenues by reducing your no-show rate. However, they are very different mediums, so you need to create slightly different content for each method.
Text notifications are limited to 153 characters per message, and you should rarely go over two messages (or 206 characters). You should also aim to keep your voice call reminders brief to discourage clients from hanging up, but you can add more information to a voice call. We generally recommend limiting them to a minute or less.
Abbreviations are very common in SMS reminders and are often the most effective way of limiting the length while packing in the critical information. However, with voice calls - and especially when using the computer to read your message - avoid using abbreviations. They may be confusing to the listener, and the computer may mispronounce them.
Long details such as addresses are easy to send via text and are saved on your customers' phones. However, many people won't be ready to take notes when you call them, so limit the details you include in your voice message. Instead, suggest that they visit your website or press zero to talk to your staff.
Client name and provider name
We don't recommend including your customer's name in voice reminders. Although including your customer's name personalizes the message, the computer phonetically reads the name, which frequently leads to mispronunciations. Similarly, a provider's name could be mispronounced, which can lead to confusion. If you need to include the provider's name, make sure to spell it phonetically, and send yourself a test call to check that the name is easy to understand.
See our other blog posts on text reminder templates and appointment reminder email templates for additional information.
You should have the ability completely to customize your appointment reminders. Every industry and company are different. Whether in healthcare or home construction, a small business or a large enterprise, your customers are unique. The information your clients need will vary from other companies. Make sure that you can completely tailor your messages to your specific needs.
Ability to have voice recordings, preferably created by a professional voice actor
The quality of text-to-speech has improved immensely over the past few years. In many cases, having the computer read your message is good enough. You should make sure though that you have the option to use pre-recorded messages in case you want that option in the future. We recommend you use a professional voice actor for these recordings because they use expensive recording equipment to ensure that the audio is high quality. Reminderly works with many professional voice actors, so if you decide to go this route, all you have to do is send us your script and we'll do the rest.
Multiple language support
If you have clients who are not native English speakers, you should offer them voice reminders in their native language. This will ensure that they understand the message. Reminderly's appointment reminder system allows you to specify which language you want sent to each client, or your clients can press 9 to hear the message in Spanish. Please note that this requires additional account setup, so contact Reminderly support for help.
Any appointment reminder calling app that you use should automate the ability to log touchtone responses. Your clients should be able to press 1 to confirm and 2 to reschedule. Your clients should also be able to press 0 to be connected directly with your staff. Choosing a system that uses touchstone responses allows your clients to quickly get in touch with you. Even if they reach your business's voicemail instead of a staff member, it enables you to follow-up with them, ultimately leading to fewer missed appointments.
If your clients miss your call, they may call the number back without checking voicemail. At Reminderly, we forward all incoming calls to your business phone number. Make sure that any service you choose has this feature so that you don't miss your clients' calls.