How to reduce no-show appointments with SMS marketing?
Reducing no-show appointments can reduce the wasted time and resources for your appointment-based small business, whether you're in healthcare, beauty salons, plumbing, or more.
This article will focus on how to reduce no-show appointments to improve efficiency by using SMS marketing wisely and effectively. Keep reading to learn how to reduce no-shows and ready-to-use message examples. Let's make missed appointments a thing of the past! 💪
How to reduce no-show appointments?
According to the latest research, the primary reasons for no-shows are typically related to appointment forgetfulness, conflicts in scheduling, and miscommunication.* So, by fostering open communication, sending timely appointment reminders, and offering cancellation options, small businesses can significantly reduce no-show appointments. Let’s delve deeper into these solutions for the no-show appointments in the next section.
1. Reduce no-show appointments via open communication
Establish open communication with your clients by clearly stating the appointment details like time, date, location, etc. Verbal communication may not be enough for everyone and every time, so ensure you are sending an informing message or email just after the confirmed appointment.
But is email or SMS better for sending appointment confirmation? Email is a great way to maintain professional communication, but it can be insufficient if your clients do not check them regularly. That is why we strongly recommend sending SMS marketing messages as appointment reminders, which are faster and more inclusive. We explained this issue in our previous guide in detail: 3 reasons why SMS - text marketing wins over email marketing every time
Hey [First Name], your appointment at [Business Name] is confirmed for [Time] on [Date]. If your plans have changed, simply reply with C to cancel or R to reschedule. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need assistance. We can't wait to welcome you at [Business Name]!
2. Reduce no-show appointments by offering cancellation/rescheduling
It is likely that people forget their appointments or remember but need to cancel/reschedule their appointment, this is life 🤷♂️ So you should expect cancellations, but problems occur when they forget to call and cancel their appointments. However, every problem comes with its solution!
To ensure that they are coming to the appointment, you should keep tracking clients’ schedules regularly, remind them of their upcoming appointment, and provide cancellation/rescheduling options every time you contact them. And, of course, the best way to contact them regularly and effectively is mass text messaging!
Give them a cancellation/rescheduling option at least 3 times via text messages, 1 within a confirmation message, one a couple of days before the appointment, and a final reminder one day before the appointment day. If there is a huge gap between confirmation and appointment, you may want to send 1-2 more messages. Of course, you can always customize this messaging schedule to fit your unique business style and policies.
Hello [Full Name], this is a kindly reminder of your upcoming appointment at [place/time/date]. We look forward to seeing you, but if you need to reschedule, that is totally fine! Reply R to get a call for rescheduling or canceling your appointment. - [Business Name]
Bonus Trick: Some appointment-based businesses apply fees for no-show appointments. If you have this kind of policy, you should include this information in your appointment reminder messages. Here is a message example:
Last Call! 📢 This is your final reminder for your appointment at [Place] tomorrow at [Time]. We're looking forward to seeing you! If you need to reschedule or cancel, please reply with R to avoid any no-show fees. - [Business Name]
Appointment cancellation/reschedule message
Replying to customers about their cancellation/rescheduling requests is as important as appointment reminder messages to improve customer engagement. Here are a few cancellation/rescheduling message examples:
Thank you for letting us know about the change in your plans. We have successfully canceled your appointment. If you would like to reschedule at a more convenient time, you can always do so by visiting [Link]. If you have any further questions or need assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out. Have a fantastic day! - [Business Name]
Hey there 🙌 Your rescheduling request has been received. We’ll call you in 30 min. to change your appointment. - [Business Name]
No-show appointment message examples
Although you send 3 appointment reminder messages, you may still encounter a no-show. Maybe your customers were too tight to reschedule, you never know. 🤷♀️ That's why you can send them a no-show appointment message to show them that you still care for them. Also, if you have a fee policy, you can also inform them about the fee details in this message. Here is an example of a no-show appointment message for you:
Hey [Name], it seems you couldn't make it to your appointment at [Place]. We understand that things come up unexpectedly and hope everything is fine. 🙏 Please note that there is a [Amount] no-show fee associated with missed appointments. To learn more about our payment policy, visit [Payment Policy Link]. If you'd like to reschedule, please reply with R. Thank you! 🤍 - [Business Name]
Hi there! We are sorry that you were unable to attend your appointment at [Place], and want to remind you that there is a no-show fee of [Amount]. To review our payment policy and find out more about fee payment options, please visit [Payment Policy Link]. If you'd like to reschedule or discuss any concerns, please reply with R. We're here to help! 🌻 - [Business Name]
In this article, we have delved into ways to reduce no-show appointments using mass text messaging. SMS marketing emerges as a crucial tool for small businesses to connect with their customers and minimize such occurrences. To make it even more convenient, Pony Express HQ offers intuitive and cost-effective business texting software, complete with a free trial. Sign up today and kickstart your messaging journey with 100 bonus message credits.
Also, the following guides can be helpful for SMS marketing beginners:
Happy Texting 💬
The Pony Express HQ Team
*Source: Marbouh D, Khaleel I, Al Shanqiti K, Al Tamimi M, Simsekler MCE, Ellahham S, Alibazoglu D, Alibazoglu H. Evaluating the Impact of Patient No-Shows on Service Quality. Risk Manag Healthc Policy. 2020 Jun 4;13:509-517. doi: 10.2147/RMHP.S232114. PMID: 32581613; PMCID: PMC7280239.