How SMS Appointment Reminders Reduce No-Shows and Improve Business Efficiency
SMS reminders are becoming more and more popular to help businesses manage their appointments. However, as commonplace as it is, there are still plenty of business owners who may not be taking advantage of the technology. We’ll look at how these simple reminders can streamline the process, reduce the number of no-shows, and improve the overall efficiency of your business.
How SMS Reminders Work
The basic concept of SMS reminders for appointments is straightforward. You can set a time to remind people about their appointments based on your industry and the customers you’re serving. For instance, a nail salon may want to set a reminder for customers 24 hours before their manicure time, whereas a doctor might want to set several reminders for the days leading up to the appointment.
SMS reminders can become more complex, though, as you wade deeper into the details. At Mitto, we recommend erring on the side of starting a conversation. This may mean giving clients the option of rescheduling an appointment through text message, as opposed to sending them a one-sided text where they’ll need to call if there’s any type of issue. The more flexibility and options you give them, the more likely they are to form a loyalty to your business.
Reducing the Number of No-Shows
No-shows for appointments do more than just disrupt the business day and reduce revenue intake. It can start an uncomfortable conversation with the client, one who doesn’t want to have to pay for an appointment that they likely legitimately forgot about or otherwise couldn’t attend. While last-minute emergencies are always going to happen, you can still reduce the number of no-shows with the help of better SMS campaigns.
The key to getting people to engage with your messages is to limit your communication to information that the customer either needs to know or will legitimately want to know. So, if you’re sending them endless details on every promotion, they can easily miss an appointment reminder in the flurry of notifications. If a customer is comfortable enough to give you their cell phone number, it will pay off in the long run to use it as wisely as possible. When people have these reminders, they can plan a little easier. Whether they need to rearrange work, childcare, or errands, they can make adjustments to honor their commitment.
Improve Your Communication Strategy
It can be easy to think that a chaotic business environment is a byproduct of the industry, location, or clientele. However, business owners typically have more control than they think, even if that means they need to rethink a lot of their policies and procedures. Setting SMS reminders may be a relatively small decision in the grand scheme of things, but it forces everyone in the office to consider how better communication can translate to fewer arguments and assumptions. They can see in real time how these small changes can impact the staff, customers, and prospective customers alike. Plus, going the extra mile for customers is rarely ever wasted — even if customers don’t always seem appreciative of it at first glance.
The right provider will explain the many use cases of text messaging and how those use cases played out in different businesses. Your strategy will depend on who’s setting the appointments and what you’re offering. The next step is finding an SMS API that’s reliable enough to send out messages on time, every time, and adaptable enough to meet your clients’ needs.