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SMS Essentials – Part 5: The Focus On SMS Reminders
One of the major reasons why clients do not show up for appointments is because they simply forget. This is especially true when clients have packed schedules. While a missed appointment every now and then may not seem like that big of a drawback, when it comes to running a business, one missed appointment can have far higher repercussions. SMS reminders can reduce the potential loss that a company might incur in cases where appointments are rescheduled at the last minute. Since almost everyone carries a cell phone, a simple SMS with the date, time and location of the appointment can go a long way. There a few factors that should be taken into account to ensure when using SMS reminders. Keeping these in mind can ensure fewer missed appointments.
The time at which a client receives a text message with a reminder is a very crucial part of the process. A reminder that is sent too early partially defeats the purpose, while a reminder sent too late gives you very little time to fit in another in case of a cancellation. Ideally, a reminder sent 24 hours prior to the scheduled appointment works best. However, this can be tweaked by monitoring analytics and gauging the time where the least number of appointments were missed.
Personalizing a text message adds to the brand value of a company. A business, no matter how big or small, can further build a positive image by lending a personal touch via an SMS. Appointment reminders sent with the name of the client you are expecting also adds a sense of reliability to your business.
SMSes are limited to 160 characters. When sending out scheduled reminders, it is essential to keep things brief and to the point. Customers who receive SMS reminders are already familiar with your business even if it is their first appointment. The date, time, reason for appointment, and location are all that is required. In addition to serving as a reminder, keeping things brief also gives customers the option of confirming, canceling or rescheduling.
Adding Response Options
When sending out an SMS reminder, adding an option that makes it easy for a client to confirm, reschedule or cancel an appointment can greatly decrease the number of no-shows for scheduled appointments. Providing customers with simple keywords in response to the reminder can make it effortless.
Despite the convenience of an SMS reminder, it may not always be the preferred medium of communication for all your customers. Before making it your go-to method, it is always better to provide your customers with options of choosing how they would prefer to receive reminders. If a customer prefers an email or phone call as a reminder, then choosing that medium would be the best move. Choosing communication channels based on the customers’ preferences always works best.
The benefits of SMS reminders are extremely underrated. A simple reminder help with maximizing revenue in the grand scheme of things. Additionally, SMSes are far more cost-efficient than phone calls. A simple message to your customer can ensure that you remain on top of your customers’ appointment schedule.