Automated appointment reminders have been around for a few decades. They have helped to take over a tedious task. Before automation was possible, people had to do everything manually… from filling out forms, scheduling appointments, calling in reminders to clients, tracking message deliveries, etc. Automation can improve efficiency for all your appointment needs.
It is estimated that the average person spends 30% of their time on tasks that can be automated. And businesses could lose 20% to 30% of their profits due to inefficient processes. Apart from the time and money saved from using automated appointment reminders, it can also boost your business eligibility and reliance.
According to Kevin Stirtz “The easiest and most powerful way to increase customer loyalty is really very simple. Make your customers happy.” By giving your customers little things they don’t expect and providing timely reminders and updates, you can achieve customer retention and the knowledge that you’re not just into making a profit but also constituting connections with them.
But how do you build good relationships with your clients, while using automation for your business, without hurting the other key components?
Utilize Text Messaging Reminders
Sending reminders via SMS to customers is one of the most-used features of text messaging nowadays and is a fantastic way to accomplish both key components. Being smart and creative about the timing of your reminders can set your business apart from the others and can help you build authentic relationships with your clients.
Automated text message reminders are very easy to set up. You just need to have the number of the recipient, the type of reminder, the body of your message, and the scheduled date of when your message is to be sent.
Always remember to make sure your appointment reminders are easily recognizable with a touch of personalization. Automated reminders can go out at many different intervals. You can send one when the appointment is booked, a specific time period before the appointment, or even as a follow up after the appointment. It is the best channel to use to make sure that you reach out to your customers timely and confidently.
Making Use of Electronic Mail or Email
Some customers may prefer receiving an appointment reminder through email instead. Emails often sound more professional and less invasive than sending reminders through an individual’s mobile number.
A great advantage of using email for automated appointment reminders is that there is some great software available that can also automate the sending of an appointment confirmation, reducing the amount of time an employee has to go through and reply to messages. The only downside of using emails for sending appointment reminders is that it sometimes redirects to the spam folder of your client, resulting in it being overlooked by the person receiving it.
If you are using emails to send appointment reminders, it is recommended to send it to the client three days to a week before the date of the appointment. This can also allow you to assess whether you need to send personalized follow up emails to ensure that your client hasn’t missed your reminder.
Reach Your Customers via Social Media or Apps
Since technology is thriving nowadays, some businesses are resorting to making use of social media and other mobile applications such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. to reach their clients automatically. This approach is reliable most of the time, especially to the people who use them on a regular basis. They are multi-functional, seamless to both client and provider, plus most businesses nowadays tend to use social media to boost their online presence and market, both locally and globally.
The negative for using this method is the extra cost the business pays to reach the client, plus the fact that not all people are using such applications.
When All Else Fails, Phone Calls Make A Way
The last option is to confirm your appointments with a good old fashioned phone call; either automated or from a live person. This is one of the oldest and most traditional forms of setting and confirming appointment reminders. These reminders are time-consuming and are more expensive though since you have to either allocate staff for it or outsource it to an outside agent to do it for you. The benefit to phone calls is that it can be the fastest way to determine if a customer is going to make it on your scheduled appointment or not, therefore giving you time to backfill that appointment slot.
Automated appointment reminders can deliver a big boost to your business and help you achieve your customer satisfaction goals. This in turn will solidify your current stream of revenue and grow it to new heights. By fully understanding these types of reminders, you could unlock strategies to increase your business profit and take actions to lead your market.