The power of reminders to increase business bookings
When it comes to a booking based business like your health practice, you need to harness every tool you have to both increase bookings and ensure bookings that have been made are kept.
A full calendar of reliable, repeating and paying clients is the ultimate aim. How does Better Clinics online booking software assist you in achieving your aim of being fully booked?
There is a strong reason we should be issuing reminders for our appointments – it really works.
Cast your mind to an appointment of your own – have you ever had an alert on your phone shock you into the realisation that you have a booking in 30 mins? Happens to us all. Works too.
The human brain is a fickle thing – information comes in and information leaks out. If we never sent reminders we cant be sure the client was truly unaware or simply needed a nudge.
Recent studies by Cochrane Library have shown that:
“Overall, the attendance to appointment rates were 67.8% for the no reminders group and 78.6% for the mobile phone messaging reminders group.”
Adding 10% more security to your bookings? That’s a very quick and easy win.
Manual is dead
For the same reason you should be using online booking software as opposed to manually keeping a calendar – you should also be automating your reminders.
Using staff time, or your time, to send reminders, emails, texts or calls is a massive waste of time and better spent elsewhere.
The extra organisation, forgetfulness and waste of resources involved in manual reminding processes weighed against automated systems with zero touches needed should be enough to put manual reminders to be put to bed permanently. The time has come for ‘set and forget’.
SMS is one of the most killer tools you have at your disposal when it comes to reminders.
99% of sms messages get read. Those of you who use targeted email campaigns will know how good that open rate percentage is.
Not only do you have great read rates they are also much more hassle-free to do a quick check – making them an easier choice than emails.
Built-in to the Better Clinics software, luckily is an excellent automated sms booking reminder service for your convenience. When a booking is made and a phone number received, you can create a rule which creates a reminder sms without you having to lift a finger or fire a single neuron.
While email doesn’t have the same cut through and read rate as sms, it is none the less an important tool in your arsenal.
Some people will simply prefer this method over mobile phone and you should be able to cater to various whims and needs.
Further than this you can use a solution such as Better Clinics to integrate with Mail apps like Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor. This creates a fantastic secondary opportunity to include a little targeted marketing in your reminders..
You can choose to couple reminder emails with offers, surveys, social links and a variety of other marketing initiatives in one go. Simply setup your email reminders in the software, attach a template with all of your offers (bring a friend, 5th session free etc) and social details under the reminder and away you go.
An extra barrier can be placed here if you wish it – and you probably want to seriously consider it!
It involves the inclusion of a cancellation fee reminder. Whilst you don’t want to seem like an inflexible, cold, money grabbing operation, you also need to protect your business with reasonable rules.
Most people will have these cancellation terms explained at the moment of booking, but a second reminder in the body of your text or email may bring the fire you need to make sure they don’t miss their appointment.