SMS has developed throughout the years like all technology does. At first we were only able to send text, and then SMS capabilities were augmented so we could send images. Now, we can send almost anything through a text message, such as appointment confirmations and reminders. SMS messaging is extremely convenient as we constantly have our phones with us. Aside from convenience, here are three other reasons why SMS appointment confirmations and reminders should be used.
Improved patient experience
Patients are one of the main pillars of a practice’s success, thus it is important to ensure their experience is as enjoyable and smooth as possible. With SMS appointment confirmations and reminders patients can easily confirm an appointment through email or text by simply pressing the confirm button in the email or responding “yes” to the text, eliminating the dreaded phone tag. This method allows patients to choose when they would like to give their attention to the matter as well as it automates the confirmation process. In addition, practices can send follow-up texts or emails, making the patient feel like they are being taken care of, for an improved patient experience.
Reduces no-shows and/or cancellations
With our phones constantly in hand, practices using SMS appointment confirmations and reminders have an increased success at confirming appointments, or being notified of the need to reschedule as 98% of text messages are opened in comparison to only 20% of emails (SpotOn, 2019). Additionally, automated text reminders have been proven to reduce no-shows by 40%, and cancellations by approximately 95% as less than 5% of scheduled appointments are cancelled after clients receive a reminder (SpotOn, 2019) helping your practice maintain a consistent cash flow and improve its profitability and financial success in the long run.
Increasing demand and expectations for convenience and simplicity, have led 58% of consumers to present a more positive outlook towards companies that have SMS capabilities, and 28% of consumers to likely recommend a company to their friends if they have such capabilities (SpotOn, 2019). Therefore, dental practices will reap the benefits in the long term if they implement SMS appointment confirmations and reminders as patients will be more likely to refer their dentist, contributing to an increase in patients, case acceptances, and resultingly, revenue for their practice.
SMS appointment confirmations and reminders are the next step for dental practices. They improve the patient experience, reduce no-shows and cancellations, and may lead to more referrals for your practice. For these reasons, as well as increasing demand for convenience and simplicity, dental practices should gravely consider using SMS appointment confirmations and reminders in their offices.
Reference: SponOn. (2019, May 28). Infographic – 8 Reasons Businesses Should Use SMS Appointment Reminders. Retrieved May 4, 2020