It’s 2021: Phone calls are out. Texting, sliding into DMs, and Reels? In, very in. But if you own an appointment-based business and need to remind clients when they should show up, how should you replace the classic reminder call?
The answer is easy: You can send reminder texts that clients can view at their own convenience. And don’t worry: They will. Studies show small businesses that use SMS appointment reminders reduce their no-show rates by as much as 40%. That’s true of our platform, which includes built-in automated text reminders that do the work for you.
Even if you’re not currently using Schedulicity, it still makes sense for your business to send text message reminders. On average, an SMS appointment reminder costs less than a penny to send. But the value of reducing no-shows and building up customer loyalty with friendly reminders is priceless. Here are some best practices for all service-based businesses.
In this article:
- How to Send Appointment Text Reminders to Clients
- 4 Ways Text Reminders Increase Revenue
- What to Include in Client Text Reminders
- Text Reminder Templates
How to Send Appointment Text Appointment Reminders to Clients
The easiest way is to sign up an online booking or appointment scheduling platform that offers built-in automated text reminders.
Appointment text reminders are critical when it comes to scheduling, so your scheduling app should definitely send out texts for you—so you can spend more time seeing clients and making money. (Schedulicity sure does.)
Online scheduling software helps service providers better connect with their clients through any device they choose, and one especially powerful feature that online scheduling software offers service providers and class instructors? Automated text reminders. Because the feature is connected to your calendar, you won’t need to track which client books and when — the text messages just flow. Plus, reminder text means cutting down on no-shows and upping revenue — more on that in a sec.
If you need convincing that you absolutely must implement automated text reminders into your scheduling routine, here are four ways that sending texts can help both you and your clients—plus a template that tells you exactly what to say.
How Appointment Text Reminders Help Your Bottom Line
1. Text reminders reduce no-shows.
Nothing is worse for your bottom line than a canceled appointment—you’re left with a dead hour that you could have rebooked and a lower take for the day. But sometimes a missed appointment is as simple as a forgetful client letting the day get away from them, and they just needed a reminder.
We’ve run the numbers and one thing is clear: Text reminders drastically reduce canceled appointments. In fact, 66 percent of Schedulicity’s salon businesses cut down on no-shows with text reminders. What are you waiting for?
2. Clients won’t ignore texts.
Did you know that 90 percent of text messages are read within the first three minutes? That probably tracks with your experience—how often have you let a voicemail languish or dismissed an email notification? But it’s not the same with texts, which—if you’re anything like me—you read immediately.
A text communicates a sense of urgency that clients won’t ignore. Plus, texts are more comfortable—there’s no anxiety that comes with a phone call from an unknown number.
3. You’ll cut down on time spent scheduling.
Imagine having to call or email to confirm every appointment on your calendar. You’d end up in long email threads to reschedule appointments, or—even worse—playing phone tag. Running a business like a salon or fitness training simply doesn’t allow you the time to sit by the phone, and time spent hoping clients will call back to confirm could be spent making money. The beauty of automated text reminders is that it’s totally hands off: You get to focus on your paying clients while scheduling software does the work for you.
4. You can keep better track of your clients.
Do you have a client who repeatedly cancels? You probably have a vague system for keeping track—maybe a note in your phone or a Post-It stuck to your calendar. But scheduling software can keep track of who’s repeatedly canceling when they get their appointment reminders, and you can use that data to decide if a client is worth keeping.
Remember, you get to decide who gets to be your client, and one who cancels all the time isn’t worth your wasted time.
How to Write Text Message Reminders for Business (and What to Include)
Text messages give your clients an easier way to track when they last visited your business. Scrolling through texts is more personal than searching through emails or a calendar to track previous appointments, and personal touches are critical to interacting with your customers (which is why automated text reminders is one of our most popular features). The trick, though, is to send business texts that customers actually pay attention to.
The good news is, that might be simpler than it seems. What you send and when depends on a lot of factors, but these few tips can help you turn SMS appointment reminders into a valuable part of your customer service:
1. Make your appointment text reminders a two-way conversation.
You might not expect your customers to respond to an SMS appointment reminder, but they’ll get frustrated if they try, only to find they can’t. Make each text part of a conversation by using a business number that allows them to respond. Consider using short calls-to-action that prompt customers to verify their appointments by responding to the text.
2. Think twice about what you say.
The tone of a reminder text is as important as its functionality, so take the time to create text reminder templates that are appropriate for a wide range of situations. Make sure your scheduled reminders are quick and friendly. You’ll also want to make sure that if you send texts about missed appointments, they still sound gentle and understanding. as well as a gentle, understanding template for missed appointments. Ensure you make all templates easy to personalize.
If you’re a Schedulicity business, you’re in for a treat: We’ve already written friendly text reminders for you, so you can just set it and forget it.
3. Be smart about when you say it.
Even the most eloquent and thoughtful SMS appointment reminders won’t get much attention if you send them in the middle of rush hour or in the middle of the night. The best times to send business texts are during regular business hours, usually between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. If your customers are in a different time zone, be sure to schedule reminders on their time.
4. Put a little urgency behind it.
The instant contact you have with your customers is one of the greatest benefits of sending business texts. In addition to feeling more personal, you can also make a text message feel more urgent without seeming pushy. Stress the importance of attending the appointment and prompt the client to respond to verify or reschedule as soon as possible.
Again, if you’re on Schedulicity, our automatic text reminders will cover this for you — they make it so easy for clients to reschedule, so they’ll feel much less tempted to no-show.
5. Stick with the same number.
If you use a third-party text reminder service for your business, you might be tempted to use shared numbers, which change with every text you send. However, customers are less likely to pay attention to messages from random numbers. If you want to make SMS appointment reminders part of your workflow, then choose a dedicated number instead. That way, clients can add it to their list of contacts as a trusted number.
Appointment Reminder Text Templates
Now that you know what makes a successful reminder text message, you’ll want to craft your templates.
If you’re manually sending reminder texts or using a third-party service, that means either crafting something that’s easy to copy, paste, and edit (some service providers keep these in a note on their phones to save time) or manually writing a template you can customize and reuse.
If you’re on Schedulicity, though, we’ve done the grunt work for you—the message is already built into our platform. (Sensing a pattern here?)
But back to manual. If you’re looking for some inspiration, we’ve got just what you need.
Appointment Text Reminder Template #1: Upcoming Appointment
Hi, [NAME]! This is a friendly reminder from [PROVIDER/COMPANY] that you have an appointment coming up on [DATE/TIME]. Please reply “YES” to confirm or “NO” if you are unable to make your appointment.
Text Reminder Template #2: Booking Confirmation
Hello! We received your booking for an appointment on [DATE/TIME] with [PROVIDER/COMPANY]. We’re so excited to see you! Please reply to this message to confirm or reschedule.
Text Reminder Template #3: No-Show / Missed Appointment
Hello, [NAME]. We missed you at your appointment that was scheduled for [DATE/TIME]. We would love to get a new appointment in the books for you right away. Please reply here or call us at [COMPANY PHONE] to get scheduled!
Bottom Line: Clients Love Appointment Text Reminders
In a recent consumer survey, more than two-thirds of respondents said they prefer that businesses send reminder texts about appointments instead of emails or phone calls. Texts are not only unobtrusive, but their predictability makes appointments one less thing for your customers to worry about. To learn how you can simplify the process of sending reminder texts through your Schedulicity scheduling app, contact us today.