How many appointments do you have to make in your own life?
Sometimes life is a shuffling of one appointment to the next as you go from doctor’s visits to contractor consultations to vehicle maintenance to everything in the middle.
And if you have kids, you know that this shuffling is multiplied many times over, as you manage not only your own appointments but theirs as well.
You have to recognize that your customers and clients are the same way.
They have busy lives and, therefore, it’s understandable that they forget to keep the appointment they’ve made with you.
It’s understandable… but a bit frustrating. Because the no-show means missed opportunities to provide your service, fill the empty slot, and earn more revenue.
In the medical field, for example, missed appointment rates vary but can in some cases be as high as 55% (source: ClinMed). According to one survey, 52.4% of tracked missed appointments were due to the patient forgetting to attend or cancel the appointment (source: MGMA).
As another example, for B2B sales call appointments, author Jeremey Donovan suggests that lowering the no-show rate to even a rate as high as 20% is considered a good goal.
The bottom line is that no-shows are a problem across the board - whether your business is in healthcare, consulting, body care, or anything else.
Charging a fee for missed appointments is sometimes appropriate to discourage no-shows and help recuperate the loss. But how can you help your clients and prospects remember so that you don’t get to that point?
The answer is something that more and more businesses have already turned to: appointment confirmation texts.
An appointment confirmation text is a text message sent to a client who has scheduled an appointment with a specialist, business, or other service provider. This text message confirms details about the appointment including time, date, and other pertinent information, for the purpose of helping the client to remember and keep the appointment.
Service providers send appointment confirmation texts to help reduce no-shows, and to provide clients with appointment details for their convenience.
One way service providers can send appointment confirmation texts is through texting software.
Texting software allows providers like you to manage a database of contacts and easily send mass or individual text messages at your convenience.
Here’s how you can do that.
One way to send your appointment confirmation texts and reminders is to set them up individually and manually.
There are 3 steps to doing that within your texting software.
Step 1: Create an Account
You would first create an account with an SMS platform (we’d recommend signing up for free trial to get a feel for how things work).
Step 2: Load in Your Contacts
There would be a few ways to do this:
Step 3: Set Up and Send Your Message
Once you have contacts loaded into your database, you can schedule your appointment confirmation texts.
You’ll first select the recipient(s) for the message.
Then you’ll input the content for your message and once it’s ready, you’ll click a button to send immediately, or schedule the message for a different time.
And there you go - Your message will be sent to your client at the date and time you specified. Not too bad!
If you don’t want to set up all of your appointment confirmation texts individually, you can also set up automations to help.
One way is by using the integration service Zapier.
Through Zapier, you can connect your texting software to your CRM tool, database provider, or scheduling tool.
Thus, you can set it up so that when someone is added to your CRM or scheduling tool, a general appointment confirmation text triggers automatically.
This method will be a little less nuanced than sending manually and you won’t be able to include as many individualized details.
However, it can allow you to send a generic appointment confirmation with some basic info that will help them remember the appointment.
So those are 2 ways you can use a texting service to send out appointment confirmation texts and reminders.
And if you’re doing this consistently, you’re sure to see a reduction of no-shows (and therefore, more revenue).
Not to mention, your clients appreciate receiving the reminders and having the appointment details handily accessible on their phones.
Now that you know how to set up appointment confirmation texts, what kind of content should you actually include in your messages?
In order to be effective, your texts should include helpful information for your client or patient.
You want to make sure that your recipients aren’t confused about who you are, what appointment you’re referring to, or other important details.
Some of those details might be:
In addition, you’ll want to make sure that the tone of your text is appropriate to your industry and brand’s voice.
For example, if you’re an independent business coach, you may have established a tone that is informal, friendly, and even casual.
On the other hand, if you work for a health office or a law office, your tone will be much more formal and professional.
Need some examples? Check out the next section.
Below are some different templates and examples of appointment confirmation texts and reminders organized by different industries.
Check these out for some ideas on what kinds of texts you should send for your own business.
Confirmation Text Examples
From: Women’s Health Clinic of Lincoln - Katie, please reply YES before 8AM tomorrow to confirm your appointment for Tuesday, July 3rd at 11:10AM. Please fill out these forms ahead of time: [link]
From: Massage Wonder - Rachel, you’ve made a deep tissue massage appointment for 1:00pm on Thursday, March 5th. Visit our website at least 24 hours before your appointment if you need to reschedule: [link]
From: Nicholson Chiropractic - Thanks for booking an appointment, Tyson! Looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday, May 20th at 10:10AM. Rebook here: [link]
From: Children’s Health Center of Omaha - Nicole, your consultation regarding your daughter Mia is confirmed for Friday, June 19th at 11:30AM. We’ll ask for medical history and will address any questions or concerns you may have. Please contact xxx-xxx-xxxx with questions in the meantime.
From: LabLight - Joel, please reply YES to confirm your lab appointment at 7:30AM on August 9th. Fast for 12 hours before coming in for the most accurate results. Reply to this text with any questions.
Reminder Text Examples
From: Pelton Family Dentistry - Hi Sam! Just a reminder that Sarah’s appointment is Thursday at 9:30AM. If you need to reschedule your child’s appointment, please call (xxx) xxx-xxxx.
From: Bellevue Vision Center - Robbie, your appt is at 2:15pm on Friday, January 28th. See you then! Questions? Call xxx-xxx-xxxx.
From: Renewal Physical Therapy - Bob, don’t forget about your appointment today at 1:30PM. Come ready to work and we’ll see you soon! Reply back with any questions.
Confirmation Text Examples
From: New Horizons Business Coaching - Sheila, thank you for booking a call for Thursday, Oct. 23rd at 10:30AM! Be prepared to share some info about your business’s size, revenue, and history. Click here to change the time: [link]
From: Smith-Brown Law Office - Mr. Hamilton, your consultation has been scheduled for Friday, July 3rd at 9AM. Call xxx-xxx-xxxx with any questions. Visit our website for information on how to best prepare for your consultation: [link]
From: Frederickson Health Consulting - Debbie, your consultation is confirmed for Friday, June 14th, at 11:40AM. Please arrive 10 minutes early to fill out forms regarding your current health and habits. Questions? Call xxx-xxx-xxxx or visit our website: [link]
From: An Apple a Day Coaching - Ashley, we know you want a healthier lifestyle and we’re here to help! Your consultation has been scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 16th at 9AM. Text back with any questions!
From: Raquel Larson, Upline - Hey Kelli! I’m excited that you scheduled a coaching session with me to help you get the most out of your business! Our session is booked for Friday, January 19th, at 2:30PM. Here’s my link if you need to reschedule: [link]
Reminder Text Examples
From: James the Wealth Management Guru - Hey Cassidy! Don’t forget our meeting at 12PM on Nov. 11th. Be ready with info on your income and investment portfolio. Looking forward to meeting you! Schedule a new time here if needed: [link]
From: John Nolin & Associates - Mrs. Thomas, this is a reminder of your accounting appointment tomorrow at 3PM. Remember to bring updated financial documents. See details here: [link]
From: The Trading Coach - Hey Jason! Be ready to hop on our video call on Tuesday at 7:30AM. I’m happy to answer all of your questions! You can reschedule here: [link]
Confirmation Text Examples
From: Chantelle Hair Salon - Hi Nikita! This is a confirmation of your coloring appointment on Thursday, August 1st at 3PM. Please refrain from shampooing or using heat tools on your hair before coming in. Looking forward to seeing you! Reply back with any questions.
From: Nail Love - Hey Charlotte! We have you down for a mani and pedi this Wednesday (the 13th) at 1:30PM. See ya there, it’s gonna be fun! Let us know ASAP via this text or on our website if you need to reschedule: [link]
Reminder Text Examples
From: Refresh Salon and Spa - Ready for your 'refresh,' Alyson? Don’t forget your spa appointment on Thursday, Nov. 15th at 11AM. Call xxx-xxx-xxxx with any questions.
From: Magnifique Boutique - Hi Audrey, almost time for your makeover! Your appointment’s tomorrow at 9AM. We’re so excited - see you there! Reply back with any questions.
From: Hal’s Auto Care - Aaron, your appointment for your vehicle’s tune-up is Thursday, Sep. 3rd at 10:20AM. Don’t forget that we offer a pickup and dropoff service - Reply back to this text if you’d like to take advantage of that.
From: Drywall Debonairs - Greg, just a reminder about your drywall project consultation tomorrow at 8:30AM. We’ll see you soon! Call xxx-xxx-xxxx to reschedule.
From: Ink Inc. - Hi Austin! Your tattoo consultation has been successfully scheduled for Monday, Dec. 2nd at 11:15AM. Come ready with your ideas! Visit this link to reschedule: [link]
From: Edison Elementary School - Hello, your parent-teacher conference appointment is tonight at 7:15PM. Please think ahead of time about any questions or concerns that you would like to discuss. Call the front desk at xxx-xxx-xxxx if you aren't able to make it.
From: Paw n’ Care Vet Clinic - Hi Bruno, your heartworm appointment has been confirmed for Wednesday, May 12th, at 4:00PM. We’ll be happy to see your smiling face! Have your human reply to this text if you have questions.
Any Other Industry!
We all appreciate the convenience of automation. And that’s true when it comes to following up with these appointment confirmation texts as well.
Let’s say you send an appointment confirmation text telling clients to reply “Yes” to confirm the appointment.
You may be wondering, “If they reply ‘Yes’ (or something else), can I send an automated follow-up message?”
A follow-up message could give your client more info without having to clump all the details into the initial text. And automation just makes everything easier and more convenient.
Well, stop wondering!
You can set up a Smart Reply workflow in your text alert service platform.
Smart Replies enable you to set up a “trigger word” and “auto-response message.” When your client replies to your text with the “trigger word,” your “auto-response message” is sent back to them automatically.
Here’s an example:
The possibilities for an automated flow like this are nearly endless, for the benefit of your client and with little effort on your part.
You have a no-show problem.
And it’s impacting your bottom line.
Why not give appointment confirmation texts a try to help lower that no-show rate?
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