Customer service and Patient care should be the number one priority for all businesses and healthcare practices. But the reality is that running a business involves a lot of other tasks—managing employees, processing forms, working with insurance companies and, of course, scheduling appointments.
If your business counts on those appointments for revenue it can be very frustrating when you have no shows or missed appointments.
Why Do People Miss Appointments?
A professional study in 2017 by MGMA an organization comprised of over 45,000 medical practice administrators, executives and leaders determined that of people who missed an appointment in that year 52.4% simply forgot to attend or cancel. Another 28% said they wrote down the wrong date or time and 23.8% said they had to miss the appointment due to work or traffic.
That’s a significant number of missed appointments for simple reasons that a short text reminder could easily reduce.
How Effective is Texting in Business?
Pew Research Center estimates that nearly two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone and that 97% of smartphone owners utilize text messaging more frequently than other features or apps. Nearly 91% of Americans have their cell phone within arm’s reach 24 hours a day.
Studies have also show some additional remarkable statistics that show the effectiveness of texting for business compared with other forms of reaching clients.
- Text messages have a 98% open-rate compared to 20% for email
- 95% of texts are read within 3 minutes!
- The average millennial exchanges 67 text messages per day!
A study published by the American Congress of Rehabilitation medicine showed the following when using SMS text appointment reminders.
- The no-show rate for patients receiving a text message reminder was 11 percent
- The no-show rate for patients not receiving a reminder was 16 percent.
Benefits of SMS Text reminders
- Quick message delivery – very easy to do while answering phones.
- Less intrusive and more convenient than traditional reminder methods – such as phone calls.
- Can be sent in large batches to multiple numbers – Broadcast out once a day any message.
- More cost and time effective than traditional methods – A single text license is as low as $29 a month.
Most people fully intend to attend their appointments, but life gets in the way. They forget, have other commitments come up, or are confused about when the appointment is. Giving people a choice of communications methods (phone, email, direct mail, text etc) gives them the flexibility to interact with your company in the way that is most comfortable to them. Creating an enjoyable experience when working with you will do more for customer retention than just the product or service itself.
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