How to use text message appointment reminders to reduce no-shows and spend time more effectively.
Remember when you used to receive those recorded messages from your doctor, reminding you of your next appointment? You might not now, or even then, because this tired method of sending a reminder can easily be ignored, and crucially isn't saved anywhere for you to refer to.
We live in the era of the text message, whether by SMS or social media app, and that's why it's time your small business got on board with text message appointment reminders as a method of tightening up your day to day operations, with a positive impact on the bottom line.
Whether it is a hairdresser, physio, doctor, music tutor or tradesman, so many SMEs rely on appointments - scheduling them and fulfilling them successfully. If this process becomes derailed through customers no-showing or rescheduling, don't underestimate the damage it can result in.
A Frost & Sullivan report found that an impressive 98 per cent of SMS messages were opened, compared to just 22 per cent for email. An appointment reminder isn't a marketing shot that your customers can take or leave - it is vitally important that the message is received and read for the sake of your business.
A personal touch
We are accustomed to receiving text messages from friends, family and work colleagues, and for this reason, when we receive one we sit up and take notice. Don't be afraid to personalize the message and make it informal and friendly for the customer, but be aware that all the essential information, including times, addresses and relevant contact details, should be included clearly.
This next image shows that you can send text message appointment reminders directly through the Shore software. This fast, simple and enjoyable feature can keep you and your customers in the loop and greatly reduce no-shows.
If you want to know more and get started right away contact our Shore representive by request a demo!
Proven to be successful
A recent study by Apptoto found that compared to phone calls (23 per cent) and emails (12 per cent), text messages have a better response rate when it comes to customer reminders. That might be because emails can so easily get lost in the pile of junk mails we receive in our inbox on an average day, along with seemingly more pressing professional and work related emails.
The number of cancelled appointments has been reduced by 60% through the text message reminder function and 100% of their patients are satisfied with Shore's services. Read full customer success story.
Cut down on no shows
Missed appointments can have disastrous consequences when it comes to SMEs. As a small business owner, you will know that time is money in every sense of the saying. That's why you need to ensure your day is spent servicing customers, rather than scratching your head over administrative failures. There is also the problems caused by customers showing up late due to miscommunicated appointment reminders - having to curtail following appointments can be to the detriment of your other customers, and lead to an unwanted reputation.
You might like to consider alternatives such as WhatsApp or Messenger, which are widely used, but do come with their own drawbacks. These kind of platforms are not used by every phone user, and in some cases rely on the user having a wifi connection in order for them to use the app, unlike a telephone SMS which just requires a 3G or 4G connection.