Can Texting Really Reduce Cancellations by 60%?
How important are meetings with new and existing customers for the health of your business? Although it is a very simple question to answer (hint: it’s very important), appointment management can be a tricky process.
For most business owners, appointment management is easy to maintain. The true challenge is ensuring that clients maintain their end of the bargain.
Late-arrivals and cancellations can be costly for any business. For example, imagine a doctor that owns her own practice. She averages about 10 appointments a day for $200 each. However, she has about five cancellations per week which is a $1,000 loss. By using texting (SMS) for appointment reminders, she can cut down her weekly cancellations to two thus bringing weekly cancellation losses down to only $400.
SMS is a great way to remind customers and clients about their upcoming appointments with your business. It provides the “just in time” reminder that automated emails may miss. In addition, using SMS with scheduling can help so businesses fill the gaps that cancellation leave behind. Whether it’s for a doctor’s appointment in the next few days or hair stylist confirming an appointment after it’s been scheduled, SMS can be an effective way to ensure customers keep their appointments with your business as well as maintain profit goals despite unavoidable cancellations.
Clients Never Forget With a Text
Did you know that text messaging is the most common smartphone activity in the U.S? The average American sends and receives about 32 text messages a day (Informate).
Since SMS is both used often and checked frequently, it is an effective means for appointment management. Common best practices include:
- An initial text can be sent immediately or a day after a client schedules an appointment.
- After confirmation, texts can be sent the day of or multiple times in the days leading up to the appointment.
- Because of ease of use, clients can easily respond to the text confirmation so they can move or cancel the meeting if needed
- Having a confirmation text a few days before the appointment can provide time for businesses to fill a spot if a cancellation occurs.
Deployment is a Breeze – SMS & CRM Are Very Compatible
Now that the benefits of SMS to manage appointments are crystal clear, how do you implement it into your existing scheduler? One of the benefits of using SMS for appointment management is how easily it integrates with virtually any CRM or API. This simple integration translates to easy implementation. A gateway SMS campaign can be integrated with a business’s scheduling software application to send triggered alerts to clients with upcoming appointments. Running all scheduling activities through one system reduces the chance of human error and provides a more seamless integration experience.
Most SMS solutions have the integration process mapped out to make implementation easy as possible. For example, the True Dialog integration process happens almost instantaneously – with one phone call we can have you up and running.
If you have any questions about using SMS for appointment management, feel free to contact us, we are happy to help.