If you run a business that relies on appointments and you’re not using SMS as an appointment reminder system, you’re flushing money down the toilet. We’ve got plenty of clients who have seen their business transformed by using SMS as an appointment reminder app. There is a sack full of direct benefits when you set up an appointment reminder system on SMS. These include:
- Employees become more productive – think of all the time and effort wasted on manually reminding your customers of their appointments, and then the same again when rebooking broken appointments.
- You know customers have received their appointment reminder – 97% of all SMS messages are opened within 3 minutes.
- It’s customizable – you can set the SMS appoint reminder message to accept cancellations, or as a one-way message forcing them to call if they want to cancel. And your message can be worded how you want it to be.
- Extra revenue and lower costs – with more appointments kept and rebooking made easier, your revenue will rise. And the hours saved on administering appointments will flow straight to the bottom line, too.
How this business saved hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars using an SMS appointment reminder system
The bosses at Briz Brain and Spine were sceptical when we first met them. They thought that using SMS messaging as an aid to administering their appointments would be difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. But using the 6 step method to set up their appointment reminders, they have saved 22 man hours every week. Whereas an employee was taken away from more productive tasks for around five hours every day just to spend on the phone and computer administering their appointments database, now it takes little more than a half-hour. (Read about Briz Brain and Spine’s experience.)
Just think what an extra 22 man hours of effectively free labour could do for your business.
SMS appointment reminders are easy to set up
For this sort of result, you might think you need some high powered software and hardware. You don’t. Even if you use an app as simple as Outlook Calendar or Google Calendar, we can show you how to export your appointment data in minutes.
Think about what you currently do, and how many people simply don’t show up for their appointments. SMS appointment reminders are proven to work when it comes to reducing appointment no-shows: just ask Briz Brain and Spine.
It’s probable that the appointment software you have right now has an appointment reminder function. If it does, it really is super easy to slash your no-show rates using SMS as an appointment reminder system to nudge your customers. Your software provider can easily integrate to send out SMS appointment reminders.
If your software doesn’t have a reminder function, these six simple steps are all you need to get all the benefits of SMS appointment reminders.
Step 1: Export your appointments to an Excel spreadsheet
We’ll show you how to do this. It takes just a few seconds, and you’ll end up with an excel spreadsheet or CSV file like the one below. You can set this up so that you send out SMS reminders 24 or 48 hours in advance. For a more personalized approach, you could include the name of your customer, too.
Step 2: Write your message
Of course, you’ll need to write a message to accompany the text. Most businesses use a standard message, so you only need to set this up once. You might want to include a phone number for the customer to call if they can’t make the appointment (a great way to ensure you have interaction only with those that are going to break the appointment and a great strategy to ‘sell’ a new appointment).
Step 3 Log into your directSMS account and set up your SMS appointment reminders
Setting up the appointment reminder in your directSMS account couldn’t be easier:
- Log into your account (the customer portal)
- Click on messaging tools, and click on “Send Mail Merge”
- Click on the “upload” button, and browse to select the excel or CSV file you created
- Enter your message: you can copy and paste your pre-prepared message, and it might look something like this below:
when you enter your message, keep the character count below 160 and you’re SMS appointment remainders will be sent in one message. More than 160 characters, and your message will be delivered split into two or more messages.
Set your sender ID to something like “XYZSports” – doing so will block customers from texting back.
Step 4: Send now or later
Preview your message to make sure you’re happy with it, and then either send now, or schedule for later.
Always schedule reminders for Monday’s appointments to be sent on the Sunday before
Step 5: Test your results
Spend two weeks before you start using SMS appointment reminders to measure how many no-shows you have. After you start using directSMS to send appointment reminders, measure the savings you make on time and effort to administer your appointments, and see how many fewer appointments are broken.
Step 6: Transform your business now
If you aren’t using SMS messaging as your appointment reminder system, sign up for a free trial account today and discover how the benefits will transform your business.