Appointment scheduling is vital to many businesses’ smooth functioning and growth. But reminding clients of their appointments can result in a large amount of labor for a company’s employees, and therefore detract from other critical work.
Meanwhile, even enthusiastic customers or patients sometimes forget their appointments, leading to no-shows. While in the past, businesses relied on phone calls to keep customers aware of their upcoming appointments, technology has made it easier for business owners to remind clients of services they’ve booked. Rather than tasking employees with hundreds of phone calls, an app for appointment reminders can seamlessly integrate technology into a company’s appointment calendar. And ultimately, that benefits the company’s bottom line, all while increasing both customer and employee satisfaction.
Appointment reminder software is something all small businesses should be aware of, as it’s a straightforward, easy way to up customer satisfaction and retention.
Customers forget that they’ve made appointments all the time – even enthusiastic, engaged ones. That’s because services are often booked weeks, if not months, in advance. It can be hard for even the most enthusiastic client to keep track of everything they have going on, and sometimes the ways they keep track of engagements span multiple calendars, devices and note-taking apps. This has led to a huge problem nationwide with no-shows. According to a study by the National Institutes of Health, missed appointment rates in the U.S. hover around 27% in healthcare. Meanwhile, missed appointments affect all sorts of businesses, from salons and spas to car mechanics.
But these no-shows, while frequent, aren’t simply an inconvenience for whoever’s managing a company’s calendar. They can also significantly undercut a small business’s revenue. According to the magazine Healthcare Finance, missed appointments cost appointment providers $150 billion each year. Businesses have been using online scheduling for years. So why not online reminding, too? A simple reminder is usually the difference between a client showing or not.
Gone are the days when small businesses kept track of reminders to send on Post-It notes. Though there’s nothing wrong with a good Post-It, appointment reminder software can be seamlessly integrated into the platforms a particular company already uses. That means the app can link with a company’s existing Google Calendar, Calendly, iCal, Outlook and more to make reminding as easy as possible.
The process begins straight away when clients book appointments. Simply book a client for their appointment, and their reminders are automated to follow. As a business owner, you’ll be able to track when they’ve been sent via the platforms you like using the most, making automated appointment reminders as simple as possible.
There are plenty of ways to reach out to clients. Appointment reminder software is customizable, meaning a customer can be contacted the way they prefer. There are all sorts of ways customers can get notifications, whether that’s via text message, or a phone call, or an email reminder (or even all of the above). Meeting customers where they are – whether that’s via text or in their inbox – is a great way to keep that no-show number low.
Business owners can decide what information they’d like to include in their reminders. Sometimes it is helpful to include more than just the date and time of the appointment, such as directions to the appointment, reminders about the type of services booked, and any suggestions as to what the client might like to bring to their appointment. These templates are a great space to get across any information that otherwise might have fallen through the cracks. This sort of nimble functionality is precisely what has made appointment reminder software so popular with business owners in a variety of fields. And customers usually appreciate being sent any additional information that will make their experience of getting to, and preparing for, their appointment easier.
Sometimes, though, life happens. And even though that client was supposed to have time this Tuesday, something has come up. Or maybe they scheduled something in a rush, totally forgetting about the conflict they have every Thursday. An appointment reminder service is a great way to get these customers’ to realize their conflicts early – not five minutes before they’re scheduled to arrive, when it’s far too late to reschedule a different client in their place.
Appointment reminder software doesn’t just remind clients of their bookings immediately before. Businesses can automate requests for appointment confirmations, at a timeline that best suits them. Sometimes a request for confirmation is all it takes for a client to realize they ought to reschedule. And with ample time to schedule someone else in for their slot, your business can avoid the dreaded no-show and maximize revenue. Not to mention, another customer might be grateful that a new spot just opened up, especially if your business is often booked and busy.
But appointment reminders can go beyond this, too. Some businesses like to send out follow-ups after a client has stopped by. These can be tailored to the company’s needs, but sometimes these follow-ups ask for feedback about the client’s experience. Other times, these follow-ups are simply a friendly “thank you” for coming by.
It’s not just the business that stands to benefit when clients are reminded via sms or email. The customer is grateful for this, too.
By increasing contact between the business and the client, clients often feel more connected to the business. These clients appreciate the reminders, because it can be hard to keep track of everything going on. Even clients don’t like being a no-show – they made an appointment for a reason!
Meanwhile, a business’s busy staffers can worry less about doing the work of appointment reminders if they know their business has invested in an appointment reminder app. This work often takes valuable time away from their main role, ostensibly what they’re there, and excited to do. Why would a manicurist spend valuable time texting clients appointment reminders when she could seeing more clients instead? Why would an office manager take time out her day to send text reminders when she’s got new hires to onboard?
Reminderly is a fantastic service to start your appointment reminder journey with. The software is web based and can send reminders via phone calls, emails, sms and more, and offers an easy-to-use interface that makes the best appointment reminders seamless. Contact us at Reminderly try our 14 day free trial if you’re interested in learning more, or if you think we could be a good fit for your business.