In the healthcare industry alone, missed appointments cost providers more than $150 billion every year in the United States. Imagine the toll if you add on missed appointments for salons, car repairs, meeting with investment advisors and more. When asked, 60 percent of respondents said that getting a text reminder via SMS messages would make them less likely to miss an appointment compared to phone call or email. This article is part of our Become a Textpert series designed to help you kickstart your messaging expertise.
Scheduling via SMS messages is when a series of messages are sent to schedule, confirm, and then remind people of their commitments. Messages are scheduled via an automation system to deliver at the frequency you desire. Each message that’s sent can result in other messages, depending on how your recipient responds.
SMS messages can be used for a variety of business use cases around scheduling. Anytime you need to schedule an event, appointment, series of meetings or personal appointments, intelligent messaging is your answer.
Your options are many, but include:
Reduce Costs: In our example above, a missed healthcare appointment costs $200, on average. Even if you only had one no show per day, at the end of the week, that’s 5 missed appointments at a cost of $1,000. Over the period of one year, the cost spirals to $52,000.00. Text messaging puts reminders—literally—in the palm of your customers’ hands. It’s simple and intuitive for people to either confirm or reschedule within seconds of receiving the reminder message.
Lower Effort: Today’s consumers want control over their options. They want to use whatever channel is most convenient and lowest effort to take care of their scheduling needs at their leisure. Text messaging for scheduling provides them with the autonomy and immediacy they desire. Automating the process also reduces effort and time for your staff in relation to scheduling—time they can spend focused on your customers and running your business.
Increase Revenues: See the reduction in costs for missed appointments above. By using text messaging to confirm or know you can reschedule a newly released time, you’ll see that money you thought lost now flow into your business. Time, once lost, cannot be resold.
Using conversational text messaging to schedule events and meetings is simple. It also results in far fewer missed meetings or last-minute cancellations.
Scheduling message campaigns generally follow these steps. We’ll use an event as the example, but the process for a meeting is very similar.
Offer your meeting via text message. Simply send a message to an individual or a list that includes the link to your online scheduling application.
Capture their appointment. Be sure to have your calendar integrate with your CRM to add the appointment to the individual’s record. When an individual schedules a time in your calendar, their record updates and will trigger your message campaign for confirmation and reminders.
Create your message content, using best practice templates included in your Converse App to create your confirmation and reminder messages, as well as your offer to reschedule online.
Define the timing for your messages. How often do you want to remind your attendees of the meeting? What offers do you want to send along with the reminders?
Define your response flow. Do you want to offer the option to reschedule their meeting time? If so, you’ll want to define the Keywords for them to respond, and the conversation flow for cancellation or rescheduling.
It’s really that simple. People will love the ease of scheduling a meeting or registering for an event online, with immediate confirmation on their mobile device. Since more than 90% of messages are read, your appointment reminder has a much better chance of being seen, thereby reducing no shows. The ease of replying with a keyword to reschedule, should the need arise means you’ll have less empty slots in your schedule, increasing your revenue and the people you can serve.
Find out more about Converse Apps and transform your campaigns and communications—into relevant experiences that your potential and existing customers will thank you for sharing. It’s easier than ever to reach and engage your audiences with relevant content that drives business growth.