SMS is the king of immediate, actionable messages. Not only do people get them in their mobiles, they read them straight away. Hence, it has proven to being a fantastic way of reminding customers of appointments or upcoming events.
Here are 5 tips to unleash the power of your SMS reminders.
1. Send it 24 hours in advance
The main point about SMS is that it’s immediate: people read it as soon as they get it, and act on it instantly. If you send an appointment reminder a week in advance, your patient has 1 week to forget about it. Always aim at 24-48 hours before the appointment so that it’s close enough to be an actual reminder, and yet gives you and your customers time to act upon it.
2. Write straight to the point
Don’t go over to 3 SMS to remind someone about an appointment. Remember to include the relevant information like DATE and TIME. For first timers you can also include the address (or link to your practice Google Maps location!).
3. Brief but personal
You can still be approachable by customising the message without going overboard with number of characters. Here at directSMS you know you can set up a personalised template so that the customisation happens automatically, which can save you time!
4. Call to action
Always, no matter what, tell your customer or patient to get back to you with a final answer. This will raise the attendance rate dramatically. Things like “confirm by replying YES” or “to confirm call XXXX XXXX” work wonders.
5. Own the number or include a Sender Name
If you are a frequent sender of appointment reminders, it’s great if you can link a number to your practice. This way, if your patients saved the first message as YOUR PRACTICE, next time you send them an appointment they will know it comes from you. This builds rapport.
If using a sender ID, including a dedicated number in the message can always do the trick if you still want to receive an SMS as confirmation. We can offer this service by having an Inbound SMS Number incorporated in your account.