person receiving automated appointment reminder call

The only appointment reminder template for phone calls

The voice call appointment reminder:

"This is AMCE 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."


Why appointment reminders are important

Implementing appointment reminders in the quickest way to increase your revenues by as much as 20%, starting tomorrow! Your customers value your services, but sometimes they forget their appointment and need a friendly reminder for their upcoming appointment. An appointment reminder is critical for your business because it ensures that your customers show up or that you have enough notice to fill the vacant appointment. Appointment reminders are a service that your clients want and appreciate - they sometimes forget or write down the wrong time. They want a quick reminder from you to ensure they didn't miss their appointment.


Appointment reminder messages are probably the cheapest and fastest way to increase your revenue. 

 -Low cost. For a fraction of a percent of the cost of your appointments, you can ensure your customers make their appointment. Can you afford not to have an automated reminder system?

- Quick to implement. With an automated reminder system like Reminderly, 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.


Why even do appointment reminders via phone calls in the age of text messaging?

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 over 90% are read.  


With that said, there are many reasons that many of our clients use only voice calls or a combination of voice calls and text messages for their reminders.

  • Your clients don't text. Depending on your client population, many of them may not use text messages. For example, older people frequently don't use text messages.
  • You don't have cell phone numbers. Often, your clients may not give you their cell phone number, instead opting to provide you with a landline number. In this case, you must use voice calls, or your clients won't receive the reminder. 
  • Use both text and voice reminders. Many of our clients use both text and voice reminders together.  
  • Send both to every client. Some will send a voice and a text message reminder to every client. This ensures that your clients will receive your reminder message regardless of their preferences.  
  • Send based on their preferences. If you collect your client's contact preference, an advanced reminder system like Reminderly can send a text message or voice call based on their choice.
  • Auto-detect if a number is a cell phone or a landline. Reminderly can determine if a phone number is a cell phone or a landline. We can then automatically send a text or a voice call accordingly. Many of our clients don't know if they have their clients' home phone numbers or cell phone numbers. In these circumstances, Reminderly can ensure that your clients get their reminders.



Components of voice call 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 "pressing 1 to cancel" or "press 0 to talk with our staff", the more likely you will get an immediate response and the ability to fill the canceled appointment. 


Other information that you may want to include is:

  • Location. You may want to mention your business address or directions. If there are familiar landmarks, that may also be helpful to include.
  • Transportation and parking instructions. It may also be helpful to give your clients additional transportation and parking instructions. We have had clients that offer free transportation, so they include how to sign up for the transportation in their message.
  • Cancellation policy. You may want to include a summary of your cancellation policy at the end of the message. For example, "If you need to reschedule, please contact us 24 hours before your appointment."


Differences between voice call reminders and text message reminders

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.  


Length limits

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 about a minute.


Abbreviations

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, especially when using the computer to read your message, avoid using abbreviations as the computer may mispronounce them.


Detailed information

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 reminder. 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 providers name, make sure to spell it phonetically, and send yourself a test call to make sure that the name is easy to understand.


See our other blog posts on text reminder templates and appointment reminder email templates for additional information.


When purchasing an appointment reminder system, you should make sure that their reminder calls have the following features:


Customize the messages

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. Though you should make sure 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 has many voice actors that we work with, so all you have to do is send us your script, and we will 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 get and understand the message. Make sure that your appointment reminder system sends reminders in multiple languages. At Reminderly, you can 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.


Touchtone responses.

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 from quickly getting in touch with you. This enables you to follow-up with them, ultimately leading to fewer missed appointments.


Call forwarding. 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.

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