SMS Appointment Reminder Systems: Easy and Effective Coordination
Your clients' number one priority is their customers. Whether they are staffing companies working to connect job seekers with their dream employers or doctors' offices helping patients remember the dates of upcoming check-ups and procedures, getting people to their appointments on time, every time, is good business.
Believe it or not, the best way to help your clients do exactly that is with texting. Implementing an SMS appointment reminder system can make coordinating communications easier and more effective than ever before.
The Value of SMS Appointment Reminder Systems
Cell phones have become ubiquitous in the modern technology landscape. As many as 96% of U.S. residents own mobile phones of some kind, and a whopping 81% of the population specifically own smartphones. While younger demographics may still be the most likely to own and regularly use these devices, even 91% of seniors aged 65 or older have cell phones, with more than half of those being smartphones.
An overwhelming majority of customers depend on their mobile devices for most of their information as well as communications—Americans are estimated to check their phones at least once every ten minutes. It should come as no surprise, then, that text messages would be the most efficient and effective way to send appointment reminders.
Sending appointment reminders through an API has been proven to offer many significant advantages. In a recent survey from the Medical Group Management Association, for instance, 88% of medical organizations said that they used SMS messaging for customer communications around appointments. Moreover, they reported the following benefits:
- Increased revenue
- Improved patient attendance and compliance
- More effective appointment scheduling and fewer unfilled appointments
- More space in doctors' schedules, allowing them to see more patients
- More time for staff to focus on other duties besides manually scheduling appointments
In short, SMS appointment alerts can enhance and streamline operations as well as improve communications between your clients and their customers—making life a little easier all around.
SMS Appointment Reminder Applications
Texting can be used for more than just sending an automatic reminder for an upcoming appointment. Here are just a few examples of how your clients can use SMS to better connect and engage with their customers:
- Scheduling appointments. With the right SMS platform, customers can view open appointment slots and choose the one that works best for them, all via text. This saves customers the time they might otherwise spend on hold waiting for a representative to pick up the phone and allows staff members to focus more time on other more urgent calls and other duties.
- Instant confirmation. Upon making an appointment, an automated confirmation can be sent via text to confirm the customer has chosen the correct time and date for their appointment. Customers can respond with "Y" or "YES" if everything looks good, or "N" or "NO" to initiate a schedule change.
- Schedule change alerts. If schedules change and an appointment needs to be moved or canceled, or if there is an emergency situation they need to be made aware of, your clients can send a text to their customers right away to alert them. Most people read their texts within three minutes after receipt, meaning customers will likely get these notifications sooner by text than any other method.
- Interactive appointment reminders. Instead of just sending a text to remind customers of upcoming appointments, your clients can ask their customers to respond with a "Y" or "N" to confirm one last time that nothing has changed since the appointment was initially made. If customers respond with any questions, a staff member can easily respond and engage with customers 1-on-1 as necessary.
- Appointment follow-ups. An organization can share a quick survey after an appointment to gauge customer satisfaction and make changes as needed to ensure the best customer experience possible. Or, if a follow-up appointment is necessary, a reminder text can be sent later that day or the next to initiate scheduling via SMS.
Texting is also a great way for you to keep in touch with your clients. Use SMS reminders to alert your clients to upcoming changes in your product or policies, or to touch base and confirm that their experience is everything you are hoping to provide. With the right SMS platform, your clients will be able to easily reach out to you anytime should they need support.
SMS Appointment Reminder Implementation and Integrations
So how do you get your clients set up to send SMS appointment reminders?
The right SMS platform provider will help get you set up in minutes. Look for a provider that offers a white-label application that can easily be customized according to brand personality as well as unique industry or organizational needs. Both SMS and MMS capabilities should be easy to integrate with existing software via a top-quality API. And, of course, the provider themselves should be easy to reach, should you need any technical support of your own along the way.
Texting is no longer just a popular option for communicating with customers—increasingly, it is becoming an expectation that customers have. Just as your clients do their best to provide their customers with everything they need to succeed, so too is it up to you to provide your clients with the same. And the best way to do that is to ensure they can connect with their customers as easily and effectively as possible—via SMS.