Save yourself thousands of dollars each year from missed appointments with our guide to setting up appointment text message reminders.
Missed appointments are not just a nuisance — they’re a drag on your bottom line.
In fact, they cost the US healthcare system $150B each year. And the issue of no-shows isn’t unique to the healthcare industry.
Let’s say you run a hair salon and have eight no-shows a week. If your average revenue per ustomer is $46, that’s $288 per week. That translates to $1,152 a month, which ends up costing $14,688 per year.
Luckily, text message reminders are easy to set up and will help reduce missed appointments.
It’s not just businesses’ profits that benefit, either. Our 2022 text message marketing report found that 61% of consumers want to be able to text a business, with over 50% prioritizing reminders and appointments as a reason to be in touch via text message.
With 98% open rates, text trumps phone and email reminders by a wide margin.
When you couple this with customers’ preference for text reminders (and the time-consuming process of making appointment reminder calls), it’s not a difficult decision to start sending appointment reminder texts.
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If customers or prospects visit you in-person or virtually at a set time, text reminders will make your job infinitely easier and more profitable.
This is especially true if you’re sending appointment reminder texts for:
They’re also helpful for organizations like schools and non-profits when it comes to parent-teacher conferences, campus tours, volunteer reminders, meetings with vendors or partners, meetings between church leaders and congregants, and more.
While you can totally send text appointment reminders and confirmations one-by-one to each client in real time, why make life harder for yourself?
You’ll save time by integrating an SMS service provider with your scheduling software or by scheduling the text message reminders individually.
We’ll walk you through both options.
One of the easiest ways to remind your customers about an upcoming appointment is to send automated text appointment reminders through an integration with your scheduling software.
When an appointment is created in the scheduling software, it’ll ask your SMS platform to schedule a text message reminder for that specific appointment.
The exact process depends on which SMS platform you’re using, but we can show you what it looks like with SimpleTexting.
If you want to send out automatic text reminders, you’ll need to set up the SimpleTexting and Zapier integration. Here’s a guide on how to do it.
If you’re unfamiliar with Zapier, it’s an online automation tool that connects your favorite software apps. They offer a free plan that includes 100 tasks per month — which could be 100 appointment reminder texts.
With over 2,000 apps available, chances are you can connect whatever appointment or scheduling software you use to SimpleTexting through Zapier.
If you use a custom-built scheduling software or don’t see your platform listed on Zapier, check out our SMS API.
If you don’t know what an API is, read this beginner’s guide to using an API for SMS. We also have a team of in-house integration specialists who will set up and maintain a custom integration for you on certain paid plans.
Let’s say you want to schedule out text message reminders instead of having them send automatically through your scheduling software. In that case, you can:
You can schedule appointment reminder texts to send to all of your contacts at once, specific contact segments, or individual contacts.
As long as your SMS reminder service has two-way messaging (meaning you can send, receive, and respond to text messages), you should see appointment reminder replies in your inbox.
For example, if you send an appointment reminder and someone asks if they can reschedule, you can respond with a text message proposing a new date and time.
Make sure someone on your team is monitoring these replies so they can reschedule the appointment or answer questions well before the actual appointment.
Now that you know how to set up a reminder text, it’s time to craft your message.
Every appointment reminder text should include:
To make the text message feel more personal, include the name of the person sending the appointment reminder so the recipient will know who to address if they have questions.
You may also want to include a request that they reply “YES” if they’re still planning to come to the appointment or “NO” if they need to cancel or reschedule.
How you position this text is up to you and will depend on the formality of your business. A hair salon will write a text differently to a lawyer’s office, and vice versa.
Here are a few appointment reminder text message templates you can customize to your brand’s tone of voice:
Medical Office Appointment Reminder Templates
Veterinarian Appointment Reminder Template
Spa and Salon Appointment Reminder Template
Auto Repair Shop Appointment Reminder Templates
Personal Training Appointment Reminder Templates
Real Estate Showing Reminder Templates
Home Service or Repair Reminder Templates
Before you send your first appointment reminder text, keep these five best practices in mind.
SMS business texting apps allow you to use custom fields to address your recipient’s by name.
We all lead busy lives – your customers should be able to get all of their info from a quick skim of your text message.
As we’ve mentioned, no-shows are detrimental to a business, so minimizing them should be a priority. You may even choose to let them know how important it is to show up on time or reschedule.
Here’s an example:
“Hi Lauren! Your manicure appointment is scheduled for March 5 at 2:00 p.m. If you need to reschedule, please let us know as soon as possible so we can fill your appointment slot and schedule a more convenient time. See you soon!”
Instead of calling to confirm, enable customers to reply ‘Y’ or ‘N’ to confirm or cancel their appointment ahead of their arrival.
There is always a chance your recipient will need to cancel their appointment. Send your reminder with enough time to allow you to fill their slot, but also close enough to their appointment that they’ll remember it!
We’ve found that the sweet spot is 36–24 hours before the appointment.
If you have questions about sending text reminders to customers, our team of experts would love to answer them.
We’re available seven days a week. Text or call us at (866) 450-4185 or use the chat at the bottom of your screen.
Drew Wilkinson is the Head of Marketing at SimpleTexting. Drew has more than a decade of experience managing successful integrated marketing programs to build brands, raise awareness, and generate demand.More Posts from Drew Wilkinson
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