Phone Call Reminders Vs Text Reminders Vs Email Reminders
What is the best type of appointment reminder to send to your patients or customers? Different situations may call for different types of outreach. Should you send a phone call reminder or is it better to send a text reminder? Maybe this situation calls for an email reminder.
In this post, I will discuss the plusses and minuses of these three different outreach methods and some of the more common uses for them.
Phone Call Reminders
Phone Call Reminders definitely have some advantages in certain situations.
With a phone call reminder, you are able to communicate a large amount of information. For example, if you need to give details about a medical appointment such as fasting beforehand, or some other preparations, a phone call reminder is a great choice. Also, if you are attempting to reach an older population, in many cases a phone call reminder is the best choice. Many older people either do not have texting or emailing capabilities, or simply prefer a phone call. One other advantage is that with an appointment reminder service like appointmentreminders.com, you can usually originate the phone call reminder from your office caller ID. Another time that phone call reminders come in handy is if the text message reminder fails. In this case, you can simply roll the failed text message reminder to a phone call reminder.
However, phone call reminders can also have drawbacks
With a phone call reminder, you can really only give the information one time. Especially if the call is answered by a person rather than a machine. So, if the patient or customer does not write down the information during the call, they may not be able to retrieve it without calling your office. Another problem with phone call reminders is that many people simply do not answer calls. In younger populations, many people will either ignore them altogether, or not check voicemail messages.
Are email reminders the best choice?
Well…that depends. Like phone call reminders, email reminders can also contain a lot of information. They can also contain links to downloadable forms, or redirect easily to websites. One other great advantage of email reminders is that they can be sent with your company branding to give an authentic look and feel to your email reminder. They can also be sent to customers or patients who you may not have a phone number for.
Email reminders also have some disadvantages
Email reminders can often end up in spam folders or simply be ignored all together. Often times, customers or patients may not be checking their email in a timely fashion. Again, and often with an older population, many people either do not do emails at all or do not check them regularly.
So then what about text reminders?
Most people these days prefer text reminders over phone call reminders or email reminders. Especially when you are simply reminding your customer or patient about an upcoming appointment and don’t need to give a lot of details about it. Another advantage of text reminders is that most people open them within a few minutes and can respond quickly to the reminder. Also, the information about the appointment is always available for them to go back to in case they forget. In addition, most people these days are able to send and receive text messages.
When should you not use text reminders?
Text reminders when compared to phone call reminders or email reminders can really contain a very small amount of information. Text messages are limited to 160 characters. However, the phone company will string together several text messages on the backend so that from the users standpoint, the messages are much longer than that. Still, it’s a very inefficient way to send over a large amount of information. Also, text messages are not able to contain company branding or logos and often come from an unfamiliar shortcode or phone number leading to some amount of distrust. Also again in an older population, many folks may not have text messaging capabilities or have to pay for each message.
So which method is the best? It really depends on several factors. Who are you trying to reach? Is it a younger population (text reminders) or an older one (phone call reminders)? What information are you needing to send in the reminder? To you need to include links to websites or forms (email reminders). Other factors to consider is what information do you have? Do you have email addresses for everyone? Do you have phone numbers for everyone?
Each outreach type has advantages and disadvantages. To really decide, you will need to look at your specific situation and determine what works best!