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Technological advancements have revolutionized nearly every aspect of people's lives, from telehealth to virtual schooling to global workplaces. And though some of these changes have undoubtedly brought complications, many of them have improved people's lives for the better. One advantage technology brings the ability to better manage time, including appointments – and that's where appointment reminder texts come in.
With mobile phones being a significant fixture in nearly every person's life, appointment reminders are one of the most reliable methods to quickly and easily contact customers to remind them of an upcoming appointment. Useful for every industry, appointment SMS is a seamless extension of regular SMS broadcasting and communication that helps save time, money, and resources that would otherwise be comprised due to no-shows or late customers.
Keep reading to learn more about how appointment reminders work, how to send text message minders, and examples of what these reminders may look like (read like?) across different industries.
How Appointment Reminders Work
Appointment reminder text messages are best sent using an SMS API service or SMS broadcasting software. Both tools allow companies to automate text messages and send reminders to specific customers in registered contact lists. This means that when a customer schedules an appointment, text messages will be automatically sent out at specific times, such as when the customer initially signs up and on the day of the appointment.
We recommend that appointment reminders be equipped with two-way communication so that customers can directly respond to the texts. For example, they could text '2' to reschedule, 'CANCEL' to cancel an appointment, or 'CONTACT' for a representative's phone number or email.
Pro Tip: Customers can quickly become frustrated with automated help systems and often prefer the choice of a live representative. If possible, provide contact methods such as a chat, call, or text. Having multiple choices promotes increased customer satisfaction. When combined with the power of automatic messaging, two-way communication provides the customer with a simple interface and streamlined method of managing appointments.
This convenience makes it more likely that customers will show up for appointments or reschedule or cancel them instead of showing up late (or, worse, not showing up at all).
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How To Send Text Reminders
When you initially sign up for an SMS service or texting platform, you'll have the option of pre-scheduling campaigns for specific dates and times. Similarly, you'll have the option to automate text messages responding to specific triggers, such as a customer making a new appointment online.
Create different reminder templates to automate the process and maximize your time and cost savings. For example, you should at least have templates prepared for new appointments, upcoming appointment reminders, and missed appointments. The specific components of your templates will depend on your industry and image; adjust the salutation (if any), personalized components, tone, and word count.
Pro Tip: Keep these messages short and to the point. Give the customer as much detail as appropriate (date, time, location, provider, etc.) while remaining succinct. This increases the value of your texts and shows that you are aware of your customer's limited time.
Text reminders should be a supplemental aspect of your traditional marketing and communication campaigns. This means that appointment reminders should not be the only SMS messages you send to subscribers. However, make sure not to bombard customers with too many messages, reminders, or otherwise, or they may opt-out entirely.
Customers may be more forgiving of text messages that fulfill a specific purpose. Still, no one likes to be inundated with multiple messages daily, no matter how helpful some messages are.
Examples of Appointment Reminders
TText appointment reminders are helpful for every industry dealing with time-sensitive appointments for customers, from restaurants to medical offices to auto shops. While this is undoubtedly useful for industries that deal with sensitive information, such as a doctor's office, it's also useful for every industry that wants to save time and maximize customer turnout.
Here are just a few examples of how ten different industries could integrate a text reminder into their customer communications:
- Auto: "This is Auto City with a reminder that your state inspection is due by 1/31/2023. Click here to schedule your inspection now."
- Food: "Hi Sandra! We look forward to seeing you at 5:00 PM on Saturday (4/5) for your reservation, party of 8."
- Banking: "An automatic transfer of $100 is scheduled for your checking account ending in 9965. If this is incorrect, please contact a representative."
- Retail: "Your order is ready! Follow the link to schedule a curbside pickup time and date: http://site.pickup.com."
- Education: "Thank you for signing up for Exam Reminder. Your COMM 201 exam is scheduled for 8:00 AM EST 5/28 RM 309. Reply STOP to opt-out."
- Hospitality: "Oh no! Looks like you missed your check-in. Please call 757-122-0976 to adjust or cancel your room reservation."
- Political: "This is confirming your RSVP for the fundraiser on June 5. Thank you for your support."
- Religion: "Rehearsals for the Christmas pageant are this Saturday at 10 AM. Call Martha at 757-876-9901 for questions and cancellations."
- Entertainment: "Lights, camera, action! This is Movie Mania reminding you that the virtual pre-screening has started. Join now at www.http//bitlink-09.com."
- Fine Arts: "We look forward to seeing you! You have successfully registered for the glassblowing tour on Saturday, September 9."
Pro Tip:Industries can tweak the appointment reminders as needed, adding personalization elements like names or changing the tone to be more informal. Consider whether customization would be appropriate for your industry and the appointment in question, and to what extent. Generally, however, including the recipient's name is a safe way to help strengthen customer relationships and brand loyalty.
Every industry that connects with customers, either virtually or face-to-face, needs to meet with these customers on specific dates and times and will benefit from utilizing SMS appointment reminders. These reminders offer an added convenience for both customers and companies alike.