Appointment Reminder Software FAQs
Appointment Reminder Software can be used by many organizations, businesses and professionals who need to remind customers about upcoming appointments. For instance, therapists must communicate with clients about the time and date of their next session.
Of course, manually reminding users is time-consuming and costly. It can be a significant administrative overhead.
Fortunately, appointment reminder software can help. These clever solutions let you avoid following up clients, patients and customers yourself by doing all the work for you in the background.
In this in-depth post, we discuss what appointment reminder software is and how it works. We then discuss how much it costs, the benefits it offers, and which types of organizations are embracing it. Ultimately, you’ll learn how it reduces the costs associated with running your enterprise, freeing up your time and reducing your overheads.
What Is Appointment Reminder Software?
Appointment reminder software is a tool you can use to automate your reminder systems. Instead of manually emailing, texting or calling your service users to tell them that they have an upcoming appointment, a computer program does it for you.
Appointment reminder software functionality differs tremendously depending on which solution you choose. For instance, high-quality vendors let you send reminders through multiple communication channels because customers vary considerably in their communication preferences. Some want email only, while others prefer SMS.
High-quality appointment reminder software also allows customers to reply to you, letting you know whether they can attend or need to book a new appointment. If they can reschedule or cancel, it allows you to use your appointment booking systems more dynamically, improving productivity.
How Appointment Reminder Software Works
Appointment reminder software works by allowing you to configure reminders and then evaluate their performance over time.
Create Appointment Reminders
Quality appointment reminder services let you set up custom messages of your choice to send to your service users. Choose from call, text or email reminders, or a combination of all three.
For phone call reminders, the appointment reminder service will usually provide a library of pre-recorded messages for your convenience. All you need to do is pick and choose the ones that are most relevant to your business. If none are suitable, you can also record your own.
Text message reminders offer a similar level of versatility. Software allows you to configure your communications how you like and give customers the ability to reply with up to three keywords, such as “confirm,” “cancel” and “reschedule”.
Messages might say something like:
“Dear [name], this is a 24-hour reminder for your appointment on Tuesday February 1 with Dr. Smith. Please text “confirm” if you wish to attend. Text “cancel” to cancel your booking or “reschedule” to book a different time.”
You can also write email reminders in a similar fashion while also including your logos, company brand colors, content and links.
Good appointment reminder software lets you provide the following types of information:
The room or building number the customer should come to
The name of the person they are meeting with
The cost of the service
The location of the appointment
Instructions on how to get to the appointment
Entry codes or other instructions for getting into buildings
Information to give to a reception desk upon arrival
Instructions for where to park
Choose A Data Source
The next step is to link a data source to your appointment reminder software. This way, it has all the information required to communicate with patients, customers and clients.
Quality software integrates with multiple data sources.
Basic integrations for instance, could include scheduling appointments through interfaces provided by the appointment reminder software, or linking it to your Google Calendar or CRM Excel file.
More sophisticated approaches involve combining the appointment reminder system with third-party EMRs (if you run a clinic). Integration services can sync most repositories of customer information with modern reminder solutions.
Set Times And Dates For Appointment Reminders
The third step is to choose when you will send out reminders to customers. High-quality solutions offer a high degree of flexibility here, allowing you to customize precisely when they receive communications and how.
Solutions for instance, let you:
Set up multiple appointment reminders for the same appointment. For instance, you might set a reminder a week in advance, and then deliver subsequent reminders a day before and then an hour before.
Solicit feedback from your services. For instance, you might send an SMS to customers, asking them to rate their experience with you out of five.
Trigger calls. For instance, if a customer isn’t responding to text message reminders, software will automatically roll over to calls to improve uptake and response rate.
Set recurring appointments and reminds — great for therapists, personal trainers, house cleaning services and any other business requiring regular customer interactions
The best systems are those that you can “set and forget.” They provide enough flexibility to allow you to perform a one-time configuration of reminders without the need for constant settings tinkering.
Analytics And Reply Checking
Once you’ve set up appointment reminder software and have sent out communications, the final step is to analyze how they are performing. The goal here is to determine whether the appointment reminder software is generating real value.
Most solutions present you with basic metrics, such as whether messages got delivered and how many customers replied. However, some go further, delivering regular reports, showing you things like customer experience and appointment uptake. You can also get instant messages letting you know when people confirm or cancel their appointments which sync with Google Calendar and other solutions.
How Much Does Appointment Reminder Software Cost?
Naturally, the price you pay for an appointment reminder system depends on the features you require and the vendor you go to. Our prices start at just $9.95 per month.
Basic accounts provide you with simple appointment reminder functionality described above, but without the ability to sync or integrate with other apps. Mostly, vendors target these at individuals with small budgets, such as independent professionals and freelancers.
While these don’t offer enterprise level integrations, they do still give customers the ability to schedule appointments only and send reminders. Solutions will typically provide in-app interfaces to improve reminder organization.
More advanced accounts offer the ability to both link calendars and upload files. For instance, if you have contacts stored in a CSV file, you can upload it and integrate it with your appointment-reminder software.
Prices for services like these range from $25 to $50, depending on the vendor you choose. The extra cost reflects the extra benefits you enjoy.
For instance, you’re able to do things like originate calls from your caller ID and link unlimited Google Calendar entries. You can also upload Excel files of customer contact details and use these for your reminders.
Small Business Products
Small business options are for small teams that need to set multiple reminders. For instance, an accountancy firm with five partners might use this software to schedule appointments with a few hundred clients per month.
Prices for these services range from $50 to $75 per month. In return for higher fees, vendors offer increased integration. For instance, customers on this tier can utilize our API to upload files and download reports at no extra cost.
Premium And Enterprise Products
At the top of the range sit both premium and enterprise-level products. These are for larger businesses who need to send a high volume of reminders.
Prices tend to range from $75 to $125 for these services. Not only do they include additional reminders compared to standard packages, but they also offer fuller integration services.
For instance, our Premium option includes automatic notifications and custom parsing. It also comes with optional HIPAA compliance for medical and healthcare organizations.
A Note On Pricing
Prices per reminder start at around 10 cents. However, the higher the volume, the more they fall.
With us, for instance, if you send more than 1,000 reminders per month, prices fall to around 8.3 cents per reminder. If you send more than 5,000, prices go down to 7.3 cents, and those sending more than 100,000 reminders can pay as little as 5.8 cents.
The Benefits Of Appointment Reminder Software
Appointment reminder software offers organizations many benefits. Here’s what you can expect:
No-shows and last-minute cancellations harm your enterprise, whether you are an auto mechanic or a hospital. When service users book appointments and then don’t use them, there is an opportunity cost. You could have been using that time to serve another customer and generate revenue.
Appointment reminder software helps to reduce the incidence of no-shows and cancellations. Text, email and voice reminders encourage service users to communicate with you about their plans well ahead of the appointment time, allowing you to rebook if necessary. This approach helps to fill void periods.
Improved Customers Service
Appointment reminder software also enables you to reduce the number of touchpoints that you have with your clients. Not only does this save you time, but it also allows you to improve customer service.
Calling clients and personally asking them whether they plan to attend their appointment is annoying and intrusive. What’s more, people aren’t always available to take your calls, meaning that you might miss them.
Appointment reminder software allows you to deal with both of these issues simultaneously. By communicating via text, email and automated calls, you avoid intrusiveness and increase the likelihood that service users will receive your communications.
No Need To Change Your Current Scheduling Or EMR Software
Many small businesses worry that they will need to stop using their existing scheduling and EMR software to accommodate appointment reminder software, but that’s not always the case.
For instance, with our solution, no additional software is needed. We create and manage your account online. There’s no requirement to dedicate administrative resources to it, or upgrade the software. It’s all done for you.
Integrate Your Existing Data Easily
We also assist with integrating your existing data. Our solution lets you integrate your Excel and CSV files, Google Calendar and more. Our advanced API integrations are ideal for medical enterprises that need to remain HIPAA compliant. Our software integrates with most third-party EMR vendors.
Automated Messaging Saves Time And Resources
Manually messaging customers, clients and patients is time-consuming, dull and expensive. Worse still, it takes a lot of human labor to accomplish — something you want to avoid.
Automated messaging services take care of this rote task for you. You don’t need to hire a member of staff dedicated to scheduling, appointment reminders and chasing up service users. Instead, the software does it all for you, at a fraction of the cost of a full-time member of staff.
When you free up reception and service reps in this way, they are able to dedicate their time to other activities, such as enhancing patients’ in-office experience.
See Whether They Have Read Your Messages
Conventional SMS and email platforms don’t show you whether service users have read your messages. Because of this, you don’t know whether you got through to them or not.
Appointment reminder software addresses this issue. It provides you with a feedback dashboard, showing you message open and response rates. This way, you can improve your chances of predicting a no-show and reallocate your time.
Coordinate Multiple Calendars Through A Single Platform
If you run a business, you often need to coordinate calendars belonging to several individuals. Teams need both individual and group timetabling.
Effective appointment reminder systems accommodate this requirement. Customers can book appointments with multiple team members without creating conflicts or double-bookings. Furthermore, as a manager, you can block time when individual colleagues are available, and when they are not.
You can also carefully calibrate appointment volumes by room and location. This way, you can avoid overbooking your facilities.
With everyone living busy modern lives, it’s not always possible for clients and service users to attend their appointments on time. Issues at work, traffic and unforeseen events can all get in the way.
However, appointment reminder software addresses this issue and builds customer loyalty at the same time. It does this for several reasons.
It reminds clients about appointments which they may have forgotten
It gives customers the opportunity to rebook if they are busy or otherwise engaged
It maintains a positive relationship with clients, and avoids awkward conversations about why they missed their appointment last time
Lastly, appointment reminder software allows you to create customized reminders to send to your clients. This way, you can include specific details that help them get the most out of their session with you. For instance, you could include instructions about what they should bring with them alongside generic date, time and place information.
Which Organizations And Businesses Should Use Appointment Reminder Software?
Appointment reminder software is helpful for a wide range of organizations and businesses. In the following section, we list some examples.
The medical industry was among the first to embrace appointment reminder technologies. Hospitals, clinics and dental practices all wanted tools that would help them reduce no-shows and the administrative burden of scheduling.
However, it wasn’t as simple as setting up conventional appointment reminder software. Solutions also needed to be compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) signed into law by Congress in 1996. Among other things, this act required that all healthcare establishments put in place measures designed to protect patient confidentiality.
Many types of medical businesses can benefit from HIPAA-compliant appointment reminders. These include clinics, hospitals, dentists, doctors’ offices, optometrists and podiatrists.
To remain HIPAA compliant, appointment reminder software must satisfy several requirements. It must not share company or patient data, it should only store a minimal amount of data about patients to enable reminders, and it should encrypt data when transmitted.
Such services are now available from us. These allow them to follow additional HIPAA guidelines, sign BAA’s (business associate agreements), and delete patient data when no longer required.
Modern appointment reminder systems also store patient data in a HIPAA-compliant manner using digital partners who supply HIPAA vaults. These maintain patient information across multiple regions and apply high levels of security to comply with the law.
Appointment reminder services are also suitable for a vast range of businesses who regularly schedule appointments with customers.
Solutions let counselors, psychotherapists and CBT professionals set up quick and easy reminders with patients. They’re able to remind patients multiple times per week and use platforms that cover more than one location.
Scheduling software is helpful for bookkeepers who want to remind their clients about their financial reporting obligations, particularly around tax season.
Customers may sometimes forget when their lawn is due for care. Reminders allow lawn care professionals to drive sales and provide their clients with treatment and mowing when required
Heating and air conditioning
Many HVAC units require regular maintenance and servicing, according to the manufacturer’s schedule. However, homeowners and business managers may not know when this needs to take place. Appointment reminder software allows you to pre-program maintenance reminders and drive sales.
Personal trainers and instructors need to regularly remind clients about upcoming classes. Appointment systems let them motivate customers and jog their memories if they’ve forgotten an upcoming appointment.
Salon and spas
If customers want to maintain the same hairstyle or the effects of cosmetic treatments, they often need to book repeat appointments. Appointment reminder software for salons and spas can automatically send them reminders about bookings they make months in advance, giving them the opportunity to confirm or cancel nearer the time.
Pest control professionals often need to conduct routine inspections to ensure that pest problems haven’t returned. However, appointments are often months apart, increasing the risk that clients will forget about them. Again, appointment reminder systems deal with this automatically, without the need for any administration.
Over time, car parts break down and vehicles require servicing. Most automakers recommend that owners get manufacturer-approved maintenance for their vehicles once per year. Automated reminder software lets mechanics inform their customers that they need to bring their car in for work annually.
Customers may forget that they have an upcoming shoot. Therefore, photographers can benefit from software that automatically sends out SMS, email and call reminders to their clients.
Clients may forget about viewings, open houses, or walk throughs. They may also be unaware of new listings that might potentially satisfy their buying criteria.
Realtors can address all of these problems through reminder messaging services and apps. SMS, calls and emails can all be used to announce price changes, appointment times, new listings and offers by other parties.
House cleaning services
Lastly, appointment reminder software is popular among house cleaning services. With these solutions, cleaning services can set up recurring appointments daily, weekly, monthly or at another interval of the customer’s choosing.
Is It Possible To Use Company Branding In Appointment Reminders?
The ability to use company branding in appointment reminders depends on your choice of channel. Email is the most amenable to branding, letting you include both logos and company colors.
Does Appointment Reminder Software Allow Bulk Reminders?
Some businesses, such as fitness instructors, work with groups. Therefore, they often need to send out bulk reminders.
Most software solutions allow for this. You can create appointment schedules for individuals in your list, a subset, or the entire thing.
Do Appointment Reminder Software Companies Require You To Sign A Contract?
Some appointment reminder software vendors will attempt to lock you into a contract for twelve months. However, Appointmentreminders.com lets you cancel any time.
Organizations and businesses often struggle with no-shows and last-minute cancellations. And that’s a problem. When customers, patients, and clients don’t turn up for their appointments, you incur an opportunity cost.
Appointment reminder software helps to prevent this from happening. It sends service users friendly reminders, giving them ample opportunity to tell you whether they are going to turn up or not. This way, you can plan out your time more effectively, reduce administrative costs, and boost revenue.