How to Use SMS to Automate Appointment Reminders

Jul 15, 2017 by SlickText.com

texting for appointment reminders

Karen runs a local dental clinic with her team of dentists and assistants. Every day, the clinic receives about 10 to 20 patients, but this number can spike up to 40 to 50 patients on weekends. One of the challenges that Karen’s clinic faces is patients who miss their appointments, especially on weekends. This usually happens when the patient has scheduled a routine dental check-up a few weeks to months before their appointment.

Missed appointments are costly for Karen. She loses money as the patient forgets to set another appointment. The missed slot is also difficult to get filled by another patient, as dental appointments are usually set by patients at least a day before they come in.

This business challenge is one of the many challenges that online texting service helps solve through SMS appointment reminders. By simply using an online texting platform, businesses can quickly send reminders about upcoming appointments or event schedules to their clients.

Here are ways businesses can use SMS to remind customers about their appointments:

1. Send out appointment reminders.

A short 160-character text is enough to include the date and time of the appointment plus the purpose of the visit. You can also include information about the location. A text reminder can be written this way: “Hi, John. We would like to remind you of your dental appointment tomorrow at 10 p.m. here at our Eatonville office. See you!”

2. Set the right time for sending out.

When sending an appointment reminder, the key to making it effective is to release the message at the right time. If you send it days before, the recipient might just forget the appointment again. If you send it at the last minute, they may have already made plans and if they choose to cancel or postpone, then you may not have enough time to fill up the missed slot.

The right time depends on the industry and the type of service that you offer, but it is best to send out reminders at least a day before the appointment.

3. Keep the service personal.

You can ask the clients if they want to receive appointment reminders from you. If they request for this service, you can also ask them when they want to get it through text. It’s like letting them set the alarm for themselves.

4. Reschedule with ease.

When you send them a text reminder, you can also ask the client if they want to confirm or reschedule their appointment. Ask them to confirm their by replying “yes” to your text message. If the client wishes to reschedule, they can reply “reschedule” and then send you their preferred new date and time. Alternatively, you can also include a link to a website where they can see your free time slots and they can set their new appointment online.

Want to make it easy to remind customers about their appointments? SlickText helps you set up and automate appointment reminders as part of your SMS marketing campaign.

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