Many businesses, from medical practices to law firms, carefully schedule their days to ensure that they have the right amount of time to spend with each patient or client. When clients fail to show up on time for their appointments, it can cause retention issues, decreased efficiency, and lost revenue for your business.
While automated appointment reminder calls cannot entirely eliminate no-shows, they can decrease the number of clients who do not show up for appointments and increase the odds that your schedule will keep running smoothly. Are you wondering how to set up automated appointment reminder calls? Check out this simple guide.
The Benefits of Automated Appointment Reminder Calls
Setting up automated appointment reminders can have many advantages for your practice or business.
1. Appointment Reminder Calls Reduce Missed Appointments
Missed appointments can be incredibly frustrating for your entire practice. A client might fail to write down an appointment date and time when it’s scheduled, or that important appointment might just slip their mind. According to the American Journal of Managed Care, one and, in many cases, two appointment reminders can effectively reduce missed appointments.
2. Automated Messages Go Out Automatically
With automated appointment reminder messages, you won’t have to worry that you’ve forgotten that essential reminder or that your staff has had to create a list and call each patient in turn, consuming valuable time that they could be devoting to other tasks.
Instead, you can trust that your clients or patients have received those critical reminders with relatively little effort on your part, making you feel much more confident, overall, that they will remember the appointment.
3. Clients are More Likely to Reschedule
A client who misses an appointment because they forgot about it probably won’t remember to reschedule that appointment. In fact, it could take weeks before the client even remembers that they were supposed to have an appointment.
A client who receives an appointment reminder, on the other hand, will be much more likely, in general, to reschedule that appointment. With an interactive appointment reminder, they can do it right then!
Interactive appointment reminders can make this process even easier. If clients need to cancel an appointment, they can simply respond with the appropriate option, including pressing one button to cancel or another to connect directly with a receptionist to reschedule the appointment. As a result, you won’t have to deal with unexpected holes in your schedule.
4. Automated Reminders Allow Your Office to Focus on Other Tasks
As mentioned above, if you make manual calls regarding your appointment reminders, someone in the office has to take the time to call each patient and wait for a response. That can mean a substantial chunk of time out of the average business day. Automated reminders, on the other hand, may take substantially less time and effort out of your day.
5. Give Patients or Customers More Information the Easy Way
Sometimes you may want to provide your clients or patients with more information before they come into the office. You may need to share information about parking, masking policies in the office, or paperwork your clients may need to bring with them for their appointments.
Sharing that information through an automated appointment reminder is a great way to ensure that your patients all have the right information, and that you don’t forget to share critical information during those calls.
How to Set Up Automated Appointment Reminder Calls
Wondering how to set up your automated appointment reminder call? Just follow these simple steps.
1. Set Up Your Account
Before you set up your appointment reminders, you need an account that identifies who you are and what process you may need to go through. Look for a web-based platform that allows you to create, schedule, and send your reminders from anywhere.
2. Create Your Message
Consider the information you want to include as part of your message. When considering how to set up an automated appointment reminder call, it’s important to consider what information you want to share with your recipient and how you want to include it as part of your message.
If you don’t have specific information you want to include, you may choose from a selection of prerecorded messages to get started.
3. Upload Your Contacts
You may want to upload contacts individually or integrate your appointment reminder system with the platforms you’re already using to connect with your customer base.
4. Schedule Your Reminders
Automated appointment reminders can be set up to go out whenever you choose, or they can go out automatically based on your calendar. Integrating with your calendar system can help ensure that appointment reminders go out smoothly.
Tips for Setting Up Automated Appointment Reminder Calls
As you’re considering how to set up automated appointment reminder calls, make sure you take these key tips into consideration.
1. Carefully Consider What to Include
As you decide how to set up automated appointment reminder calls, carefully consider what information your clients need and, therefore, what you may need to include as part of your message. You should:
- Clearly identify yourself. Make sure your recipients know who you are.
- Include your contact information.
- Provide any relevant information that your recipients may need to know about your business location or what they need to know before coming for their appointment.
Be sure to carefully think through what your clients might need to know most before arriving for their appointments. What are your current masking or social distancing policies? Have any of your policies changed recently that customers might need to know about? Is there a specific place where your customers need to park? Providing that information in a clear, concise message to your clients can make it easier for them to come in for their appointments.
2. Offer Response Options
Sometimes, you may want your clients to respond to your appointment reminder. If your client gets the call, only to realize that they will need to cancel the appointment, they may not want to take the extra step of calling into the office.
Offering them an option that allows them to respond on the spot can make the process smoother, increasing the odds that clients will actually cancel ahead of time if there’s any reason why they can’t make their appointment.
3. Keep It Simple
Make sure your message is as simple as possible. Offer a clear, concise message that clearly lays out what your customers, patients, or clients need to know. Keep in mind that your clients do not have limitless time to spend listening to your message, so you should make sure that you keep it as simple as possible.
If you have extensive information you need to provide, consider email or text communication, or direct clients to your website so they can check out those key details.
4. Put the Most Important Information First
While your appointment reminder messages may contain a wealth of important information, your clients may not necessarily have the time to listen through the entire message. If they have regular visits and appointments with you, they may no longer need to hear the whole rundown.
To help make things easier for your clients, and to ensure that they get the information you really need them to have from your appointment reminder calls, try to put the most important information, generally your office’s name and the date and time of the appointment, first. You can then follow up with any other information you want your clients to have.
5. Carefully Consider the Most Relevant Format for Your Clients
Before you set your appointment reminders, carefully consider the most practical method of issuing reminders to your clients. What can most effectively be delivered over the phone via a reminder, and what do you need to communicate by another method?
For example, your reminder call might note that the recipient needs to visit your website for more details on parking, what guests need to bring with them to their appointments, or your office’s latest safety protocols.
What To Look For in Your Appointment Reminder System
Choosing the system that will issue your appointment reminders is a critical part of figuring out how to set up automated appointment reminder calls. You want a system that works for you. Choosing the right one can make a huge difference in its success and the time it can save you.
1. Does It Integrate with Your Scheduling System?
When you choose a phone appointment reminder system, make sure it integrates with your appointment reminder system. You want a platform that makes it simple to automate appointment set up so that it will genuinely reduce time and frustration for your employees.
2. What Options Does the System Offer?
Take a careful look at what options are included as part of your appointment reminder system. Can you include both text and voice messages? Does the platform include a customizable template that will make it simple to send out messages or pre-recorded messages? Those options may allow you to use the system more effectively.
3. Can You Customize Your Messages?
You may want to use a basic template to communicate appointment reminders to your clients but prefer to personalize the elements of that call to your recipients. Can you include their name or personal information? Do you have the option to change information for specific reminders, including ensuring that clients bring the right paperwork or test results to their appointments?
If your appointment reminder software doesn’t offer those convenient elements, it could make it more difficult to communicate with your clients.
4. How is the Quality of the Calls?
You want a service that offers high-quality calls that are easy to hear and understand, whether you’re using a prerecorded template or recording your own custom template. If your calls aren’t going through clearly, your clients are missing out on vital information, from the date and time they’re supposed to be present for the appointment to information about your office’s policies.
Set Up Your Automated Appointment Reminder Calls Today
Are you ready to set up your automated appointment reminder calls? Need more information about how appointment reminders can benefit your business? VoiceShot can help. Contact us today to get started and see how your business can benefit from intelligent and interactive appointment reminders.