Adults all over the United States have smartphones and access to the apps that help them get through their days. Phone-use data shows that texting has become the most frequently used data service. Businesses who want to stay in touch with customers can benefit from using text messages to share sales information. Many companies that rely on appointments are also using text messages to send reminders as a way to avoid and reduce no-shows.
Why Using Appointment Reminders Can Help Reduce No-Shows
No-shows are costly for businesses. When customers do not show up for appointments, businesses still have to pay their employees and other overhead costs. Businesses are regularly looking for ways to reduce their no-show numbers. Appointment reminders have proven to be helpful tools to reduce costly no-shows.
Appointment Reminders Have Fewer No-Shows and Last-Minute Cancellations
When businesses use appointment reminders, customers get a friendly notification. But, the choice is still up to the customer regarding whether or not to attend the appointment. Fortunately, appointment reminders have helped reduce 38% of no-shows, especially when businesses used automated text-message reminders. Text-message reminders also reduce rescheduled or canceled appointments to less than 5%.
Using a simple text message to remind customers of their scheduled time slot gives you the opportunity to refill the vacant time and reduces the cost of employees preparing for an appointment that does not happen.
Accessing voice mail isn't always convenient, you may not be in a position to listen and pay attention to the full message. Some may still have to enter a password to access their voicemail or go through a phone tree to get to it and even then messages can cut out or are garbled. Text message reminders are easier for customers to access from nearly anywhere. Adding to a calendar, returning a call, or confirming or canceling the appointment can be quickly done with a few taps on the screen.
It Can Help Your Clients Prepare Ahead of Time
With a gentle text-message reminder, your customers can prepare for the meeting. Yes, most smartphones have calendar apps, but some people do not use them effectively. Having the text-message reminder helps customers who do not use their calendar app. In fact, 75% of Millennials find text-message reminders to be helpful, and they appreciate it when businesses use them.
To help your customers, even more, you can add a link that they can click on to instantly add the appointment to their calendar app. If they make the appointment in the office, your office staff can give them reminder cards that include a friendly reminder to add the appointment to their smartphone calendar, too. Include your text message number so they can add it to their contacts. This way, they know who is messaging them with the reminder.
Produce Positive Customer Feedback
Customers prefer to use businesses that use text-message reminders. In fact, they are also likely to recommend them to their friends who need similar appointments. Customers have a positive outlook on businesses that use text-message reminders. They see the businesses as being tech-savvy. Customers also think that businesses understand them and their needs when they use text messages over voice or email.
Businesses that use text-message reminders should include the information in their marketing tools. Text-message reminders are affordable and easy to implement.
How Hiring an Answering or Reminder Service Helps your Business
When you hire an answering service, you increase your productivity as the service makes the calls and sends the texts. This allows your employees to do other more important work that cannot be automated. You do not have to pay someone by the hour to send the texts and make the phone calls, too.
Making reminder phone calls is not a fun job for your staff, especially when they have to make the calls in between their other duties. They often find that contact information is incorrect, so many of their calls are made in vain, which makes them feel like they are wasting their time. When you hire a reminder service, you prevent your office staff from becoming overworked, frustrated, and stressed.
Saves Money and Resources
Hiring a service saves you time and money. The answering service specializes in connecting with customers so you can let your staff focus on the customers when they arrive in the office. An answering service can send out customized messages to each customer, which reduces the chance that they miss their appointment, thus saving you money.
You can save money and time by hiring an answering service as they offer you the chance to send out a fully customizable message to every patient, reducing the likelihood of missed appointments. The affordability and reliability of an answering service let you increase your profits by letting you use your office staff in more beneficial ways.
Builds Relationships with Customers
When your customers receive text messages from you, your business stays at the forefront of their minds. Along with reminders, you can send occasional messages about special events and offers. When you send your messages, make sure to put the most important information at the beginning, so it shows up in their notifications.
It is also important to give your customers a means to respond to the message, so they can let you know immediately if they plan to attend the appointment or they need to reschedule or cancel. You should be able to reply with a text message to see if your customers would prefer a follow-up phone call or text.
Insights as to How to Contact Customers
As you build your text-messaging abilities, it is important that you keep updated records about your customers’ preferences. Some people might not want text-message reminders, and this information should be boldly noted in their customer files. Many businesses are turning to online customer databases and CRMs so they can keep track of interactions and special requests. Each time you meet with a customer, you should ask about contact information updates.
Using text-message appointment reminders offers plenty of benefits. From reducing no-shows to increasing profits, simple, customized text messages can help in several ways. If something as simple as sending text messages can help improve your bottom line by reducing no-shows and cancellations, what is keeping you from using them in your office?