10 Reasons Why Appointment Reminders are a Great Idea
Is your office running as smoothly as it should? Do your clients turn up on time, every time? Or are you playing catch up to fill the holes in your schedule.
As a service provider, you need your clients to remember their appointments. Missed appointments cost you time and money, and it doesn’t take many of them to turn an organized, fully booked day into an unproductive nightmare. Clients you really need to see may be missed, as you and your staff scrabble to rearrange your schedule, and other clients become annoyed by having to wait.
Technology has simplified the way in which you can connect with clients, and you can now automatically send Text, Voice and SMS reminders to reap a host of benefits for both you and for your clients.
- Reduce No-shows
The most common reason for missed appointments is the client simply forgetting. Aside from the inconvenience, these represent several lost opportunities; there is the client who didn’t show, the client who could have taken their place, and the client who could have been a returning client.
A reminder in the form of a simple text message can dramatically reduce these lost opportunities by as much as 90%.
- Reduce Waiting Lists
Automated reminders provide clients with advance notice to reschedule or cancel their appointments. This allows you to move other clients off the waiting list and prevents them potentially going elsewhere for quicker service.
- Clients Appreciate Them
Contacting busy clients can be a real challenge. By automating communication and allowing clients to respond at their convenience, you can dramatically improve response rates. Long-term clients may be embarrassed by missing an appointment, so a gentle reminder makes it easier for them to keep appointments.
- Reduce Appointment Administration Time
Valuable time and fruitless phone calls can be wasted trying to remind clients of upcoming appointments. Automating this system avoids this, and by automatically updating their appointment status, there is no need to field calls confirming or changing appointments. Using an automated recall reminder can also uncover those patients who simply forgot to make another appointment, and generate new appointments for you.
- Improve Staff Productivity
A major advantage of automating appointment reminders is the time it frees up for staff to focus on productive tasks and the clients in the office. Sending out bulk text messages takes only a few minutes, a fraction of the time spent trying to call each patient individually. By automating client communication, you can re-capture lost time for your staff and for yourself.
- Improve Health Outcomes
Using an automated system to smooth out your working day and maximize patient contact time allows you to better relate to each of your clients and their needs. You can create opportunities for feedback to ensure you are providing the best quality of care you can.
- Improve Patient Satisfaction
Time is valuable, and in today’s technology driven environment, many people prefer to receive a text rather than have to answer a call. It is more convenient, less intrusive, and allows them to respond immediately, or later when they can, no matter where they are.
Client frustration is reduced, as they now have a written reminder of the exact time and date of their appointment, and by improving arrival times, you stay on schedule and they don’t have to wait.
Putting an end to missed appointments also puts an end to the question of whether to charge a missed appointment fee or not. These can be very divisive, and you may lose a client or at least a lot of goodwill.
- Maximise Revenue
Each missed appointment costs money, and even a low no-show rate can have a great impact on annual revenues, calculated over a full year. Automatically reminding clients allows you to better utilise your working day, improve collection processes, and maximise your revenue stream.
- Save Money
Individually calling clients can be a costly exercise, especially with most people having a mobile contact number. Sending an SMS directly to their mobile phone is cost effective, and has the same result without the added cost. It also eliminates the expense of paper-based mailing campaigns.
- Expanded Your Clinic Hours
By scheduling automated messages to after-hours times and weekends you are effectively increasing your clinic hours at no cost. This also allows you to maximise your contact and communication time with each client.
Sending appointment reminders to clients is essential if you are going to maximise these benefits and run your business smoothly. In today’s busy world, time is scarce and clients have busy lives. Automatic reminders can be the single most important thing you do to ensure you stay at the top of their to-do list, and utilise your time effectively.