As your business continues to grow, you need an efficient way to manage your business’s scheduling records. Once you enter appointments into your system, the next step is to send appointment reminders to your customers. Good communication with your customers can benefit the business flow, while poor communication leads to no-shows and scheduling gaps. The solution to keeping your business schedule full is to use reminder software.
Just ask Matt Clark at Horizon Rehabilitation: “Prior to using ReminderCall, we had a 20% Patient Unseen Rate (No Shows+Cancels) that we simply couldn’t fix. We tried a No Show Penalty fee, we tried different scheduling methods and therapist education/consultation and it was a constant source of frustration and financial drain. However, once we started using the ReminderCall.com system; our % of Patients Unseen dropped to less than 5% nearly immediately[…].”
What is Reminder Software?
Reminder software is an application system that enhances your current appointment system’s capabilities. The software provides an efficient way to notify your customers of their appointments in advance. Using the different software features makes it easier for your staff to send reminders and frees up their time. The software continues to send reminders even on off-days when your staff is away. Since the phone numbers and appointment times come from your schedule, there is less of a chance for human error.
Checking Your Appointment Scheduling System Before Using Reminder Software
Here are some suggestions to consider before you start using reminder software. Take a moment to think about these 3 questions: What is your current business scheduling procedure? Does your business have a good cancellation policy in place? How does your business manage your waitlist?
What is your current business scheduling procedure?
It is important to know how long your different types of appointments take. If your business is a healthcare office, you can consider reserving different days of the week for certain types of appointments. For example, you could schedule 45-minute procedures on Wednesdays and reserve 15-minute consultations for Fridays. You could also schedule telehealth appointments on Tuesdays. This allows the providers to be more focused and helps reduce their stress.
Does your business have a good cancellation policy in place?
We recommend that you enforce a cancellation policy to prevent no-shows. The policy should include the cancellation cut-off time and the cancellation fee. This will help maintain the communication standards between your customers and your business. It will also reduce the costs that you incur from no-shows. You want to encourage your customers to reschedule their appointment, instead of giving them the easy option to cancel.
How does your business manage your waitlist?
A waitlist organizes the overflow of customers who want an appointment when your schedule is already full. It is important to consider which customers to prioritize on the waitlist. This depends on urgency, length of appointment, and any other factors that your business considers to be important. We recommend that you reach out to your customers once there are available appointment slots. Not only does it help fill your schedule, but it also shows that your business is willing to accommodate your customers’ needs.
If your customer decides to cancel and reschedule their appointment, use your waitlist to fill the empty schedule gaps. As you go through the waitlist, make sure that you check the appointment type and whether it fits in the open appointment slot. You can check your records to see if the customers on the waitlist have specified their preferred method of contact. If you’re a ReminderCall customer, you can use 2-Way Texting or the Quick Text feature to offer a new opening to a customer from the waitlist on the fly.
Sending Reminders Using Reminder Software
Text message reminders are often used for quick and short messages. It is important to keep in mind that there is a 160 character limit for text messages. Include your business number in these text reminders.
“You have an appt. with Dr. Smith tomorrow, May 25th, 2021, at 8:30 a.m. Please reply with C to confirm or call 888-858-6673 if you need to reschedule your appointment.”
To see how this works, try sending yourself a text reminder now using our free demo.
If you are a ReminderCall customer, as your recipients reply–you can see their text confirmations in your ReminderCall account. After reviewing the confirmations, you have the option to initiate a 2-way conversation. Both of these features are in the Replies link, located in the Activity area of your Dashboard. You can also use text reminders for recall appointments. Use recall reminders to alert customers of the need for a yearly check-up or inspections.
For example, if you’re a healthcare provider, you can remind patients to schedule their yearly physical. Or, if your business provides termite service, you can remind customers that it is time to schedule their yearly inspection. It is important to remember to get customer opt-ins before you send them non-medical yearly reminders.
Voice Reminder Calls
Voice reminder calls are the best solution for medium-sized messages. Customers are more willing to comply when you use a familiar business representative’s voice along with the script. This allows your business to provide your customers with their appointment information and it adds a human touch to the call. You can also use voice calls for confirmations. Calls, unlike text messages and emails, do not get blocked by the recipient’s phone carrier or spam filter. You can always verify that the calls have been delivered by checking your ReminderCall Dashboard.
Email is a good method to use when you want to include more information in the appointment reminder. There are a few ways to use ReminderCall email reminders. For example, if a person has scheduled their next appointment, you can send an email that serves as an appointment receipt or acknowledgment. This helps maintain a record of the appointment.
You can send email reminders a few days before the appointment. This allows you to include links to intake forms and other paperwork that can be filled out ahead of time. The email can include the reminder information, your business’s address along with a map, links, and added information. For example, consider creating a COVID-19 vaccine appointment reminder. You can send an email that includes a confirmation number, location details of the COVID vaccination site, and a link to the consent form to fill out beforehand. Other important information includes bringing identification, a description of the appointment procedure, and what to expect after the appointment.
Your business can also include news, such as moving to a new location or new policies that are being implemented. This allows your business to be transparent with your customers and builds a deeper level of trust.
Examples of Using ReminderCall Software Features
- If your business offers plumbing services, consider sending an automated text reminder the night before the appointment. Then send a Quick Text asking them to confirm they are home before you meet with the customer. This will give your business representative enough time to make arrangements if there is a last-minute cancellation.
- If your business is a hospital or a clinic, consider using a combination of the different reminder features. First, send 2 types of emails: one for the appointment acknowledgment and the other for important information. Then, send a voice reminder call to see if your patient needs to change their appointment. Lastly, send a text reminder the night before the scheduled appointment to inform the patient that their appointment is tomorrow.
- If your business offers pet grooming services, consider using both voice reminder calls and text reminders. Send a voice reminder call 2 days before the appointment to see if your customers have any questions. Then send a text reminder the day before the appointment.
There are different reminder software strategies that can work for your business. We recommend that you try each strategy and see which one works best for you. You can also call our customer service department at 1-(888)-858-6673, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. PST. We can help you come up with a strategy that best fits your business.