How to use text messaging for appointment reminders

Increasingly, businesses that have historically never had to worry about appointments are finding themselves trying to reduce no-shows. Did you know you can also use text marketing for appointment reminders?

Everyone needs an appointment

It used to be that appointments were used only in a few businesses, so people were used to remembering them. As rules change, more and more businesses are finding they now have to use appointments in order to safely manage the risk of coronavirus. Appointments are the perfect way to ensure you’re keeping everyone safe, but there is always a risk of customers forgetting and not turning up. You can’t stop making appointments or overbook and risk too many people turning up at once, so what do you do? 

Help stop no-shows

With text reminders, you significantly reduce the risk of no shows by reminding customers about their appointment without the need to make time-sapping reminder phone calls. Unlike other forms of marketing, text messaging has high open rates and fast response times, meaning customers will soon let you know if they can’t make it. 

It’s relatively easy to miss or ignore an email and reminder calls are not only time-consuming for you to make, they are unlikely to be made at a convenient time for every customer. Text reminders are the perfect way to get a short message across to customers without intruding on their day.

Not only do text messages cost significantly less than traditional methods, but the reduction in no shows will also mean you’re better off. The best thing to do is to send reminders with enough notice that they can rebook if necessary, without causing too much disruption, but not so much notice that they forget to show up. Most businesses send reminders 24 hours before an appointment, but of course, this part is up to you. 

What to include

The main information you should include is the recipient’s name, date and time of their appointment, and where the appointment is being held. If suitable you can also include additional information, such as anything they need to bring, link to a map, photo of the front of your building or other important things they may need to know.

As well as reminding people about their upcoming appointment, it’s good practice to give them an opportunity to rebook. You may be thinking that giving them the ability to change their appointment could cost you but actually, the more intuitive and user-friendly your messages are, the better! Surely, it’s better to have someone rebook than not turn up and disappear forever? 

With Smart Messenger Text Messaging you can include links and attachments so that recipients have everything they need in one place.

If you do have a cancellation and a waiting list of people, you may wish to text your waiting list to inform them of the availability.

Mind your tone

How you word your message is key. It should be informative and get to the point but you also want to make sure it’s coming off as friendly and welcoming. Customers should feel as though they can easily call or text you back should they need to and they will be met with a friendly tone. The best advice is to keep the message as short and simple as possible, after all, you’re just reminding them about an appointment, not marketing to them!

Business cost

You might be thinking that text reminders sound like they’ll be a great addition to your business but are wondering if they’re costly to implement. The answer is no, with Smart Messenger we can build a package to suit your needs so whether you’re sending messages to ten or a thousand people we’ll find the right solution for your business. Our prices start from just £10 per month.

If you’d like to find out how text messaging can help reduce your no shows and boost customer satisfaction, get in touch.

 

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