Appointment reminder software is an important tool in the arsenal of any business that relies on customers or clients filling the schedule. A successful practice of any kind is built upon booking continuously, and it can be hard to do that if people forget, abandon, or consistently reschedule their appointments. That’s exactly why you need appointment reminder software.
Appointment reminder software can help to reduce the workload on office staff while keeping the commitment for a visit at the forefront of client or patient minds. It’s a simple and invaluable solution that’s so easy to implement, you’re likely wondering why you aren’t already using it.
The True Cost of Missed Appointments
No-shows and last minute cancellations really disrupt the flow of things. Yes, there’s missed profit, but it’s much more than that. Another patient or client who had a significant need for that spot could have filled it and had their needs met sooner. Your office employees could have been working on the projects they have prioritized, rather than playing phone tag or attempting to reschedule. When a patient forgets their appointment, it jams up the gears for everyone else.
Phone Calls May Not Be Enough
Think about how much time your staff spends attempting to call to confirm appointments, reschedule appointments, or to contact people who seem to be running late. One phone call for each scenario could take up a considerable amount of time. But how often do they actually reach patients or clients on their first attempt?
Most people don’t take personal phone calls when they’re at work. Some people don’t answer the phone from numbers they don’t recognize. We certainly shouldn’t answer our phones while we’re driving. We all live busy lives, and a phone call doesn’t always fit into what we have planned. By the time we have an opportunity to check our voicemail, it’s often already too late to return the call.
A text is a different story. Most people can find a few seconds to quickly read a text and even reply. Most smartphones even generate predictive responses, allowing them a simple reply with just a tap. If you could send appointment reminder text messages and allow detailed replies to reschedule, or ask for directions, imagine how full the schedule would be.
Sending Valuable and Encouraging Reminders
Art of Chat is here to make communication between staff and your patients or clients much easier. Use Art of Chat to text out automated appointment confirmations and reminders. Provide patients with the time, date, and details relevant to their upcoming appointment with the ability to simply reply, or a tappable TextCard that directs them to the information they need regarding their appointment.
Confirmations can go out the same day the appointment is scheduled. Sending a reminder within the period for cancellation and rescheduling (usually 2 to 3 days before the appointment) and sending a reminder the day before or the day of the appointment is plenty. Clients or patients won’t feel overwhelmed by two reminders.
Tips on Allowing People to Reschedule or Cancel Via Text
One of the most valuable things to remember when sending appointment reminders is that you may not want to make cancelling or rescheduling too simple. This isn’t to inconvenience the patient, but to allow you to provide better care or service for that patient.
If a patient feels as though they don’t really need to attend a medical appointment because they feel fine, they might be tempted to cancel. It’s important for the patient to understand the purpose of the appointment and why attending would benefit their wellbeing. If circumstances have changed, the office of the care provider should be made aware.
Consider making cancellations or rescheduling an option only if patients contact you by phone. You’ll have an opportunity to address their needs and wellness, as well as explain the importance of certain appointments if their purpose isn’t clear to the patient.
If you have a client-based business that isn’t as time sensitive or urgent as a medical practice, you can make contact by phone mandatory for cancelling and rescheduling. This option is also valuable for businesses that have a self-service scheduling mechanism, where patients or clients set their own appointments based on mutual availability via website or app. Remember though, to always allow people to opt out via any communication method.
Keeping Clients and Patients on Track
Appointment reminders by text allow you to relay valuable information to clients or patients whenever necessary. They also provide you with the opportunity to include information that the recipient can refer back to. If people are supposed to bring something with them or follow specific instructions, it doesn’t hurt to give them a nudge with a friendly reminder.
If patients show up but forget special instructions, that’s on par with a missed appointment. If someone needed fasting bloodwork but forgot to fast, the appointment is as good as missed. If they’re required to bring medical equipment or devices with them but forget to load them into their car, they’ll likely need to come back another day.
Including this information in appointment reminders adds another layer of security. Things will run smoothly if patients and clients have an easy-to-use checklist they can follow or instructions they can review prior to their appointment.
Your Office is Staffed with Hard Workers. We’re Here to Help
Your office staff works hard to help you keep your business or practice thriving. They’re constantly communicating and keeping things in order. They have a lot of important tasks to keep track of. Calling for appointment reminders is one (very important) thing in an ever expanding list of things they need to do to.
Tools like appointment reminder software will free up the time they need to focus on tasks that require dedicated attention. Software like Art of Chat isn’t here to replace your office staff. It’s here to make their workday a little bit easier.
Art of Chat is easy to use. Your employees will master it in no time. Once they’ve learned the basics, they’ll wonder how they ever lived without it. We’re here to help improve your business, your staff’s work experience, and your patients’ schedule. Getting started is simple.