When to use Text Reminders
Text reminders, also known as text message reminders, or SMS reminders, are one of the most efficient ways to remind your customers of their appointments.
The first text message was sent in 1992 and SMS technology has remained basically the same. It’s a simple, straightforward way to send a 160 character message to another cell phone.
To this day it remains one of the most popular, efficient, and preferred methods of communication.
Some Interesting Texting Statistics
- In 2019 there were over 2 billion text messages sent in the U.S.
- On average, consumers send 13 texts per day
- Adults prefer text messaging over any other type of communication
- 96% of U.S. adults own a cell phone
- 76% of millennials prefer texting
- 9 out of 10 consumers prefer to communicate with businesses through texting (including text reminders)
- It takes 90 seconds for the average person to respond vie text
Best Use Case for Text Reminders
Text reminders are a great choice when you need to reach a large population of people and the message that you are sending is short and easy to understand. For example, if you are sending out a reminder for an upcoming appointment, you can use a text message with your company name, the appointment date & time, and several options for the customer to text back (possibly confirm, cancel, etc…). It may not necessarily be the best choice when you need to convey large amounts of information, or some key demographic groups. Read about phone call reminders vs text reminders vs email reminders for a more in-depth comparison.
Customize your Text Message Appointment Reminders
Say exactly what you need to say, when you need to say it. Our system allows you to build your text reminders using several different types of content.
Text Blocks: Create your own custom blocks of text to add to your text reminders.
Dynamic Fields: These are things like appointment date, appointment time, patients name, company name, phone number, and address. Add them to your reminder where and when you need them.
Custom Fields: Include additional text in your reminders such as room numbers, amounts due, or anything else you need to add on the fly!
In addition, you can have several different templates (or reminder types) that you can use to send out reminders. In this way, you can send different messages for different locations, or different appointment types. There is no limit to the number of Reminder Types that you can have.
Our system also allows you to decide when to send your text reminders. You can automatically schedule them to go out a couple days before the appointment (days are configurable). You can also set up triggers to send multiple reminders (maybe one a week before and another a day before). Or send different follow-up reminders based on certain responses to the initial reminder.
Roll Failed Texts to Calls Automatically
You can set up your text message reminders to automatically roll to calls if they fail due to a non-mobile number or some other reason. It is also very simple and easy to set up call reminders that play the same information as the text message reminder. Any info or fields that you pass into one reminder type will automatically flow through to the next.
No Charge for Failed Text Reminders
You will never pay for failed reminders. Failed reminders are common. Especially text reminders. You will often find home phone numbers or non-cell numbers in your customer database. In this case, you will not be able to send them an SMS message and must communicate with them another way. Our system makes it very easy to roll them over to a reminder call or a reminder email. You only get charged for the reminders that were sent successfully. This way you can set up your account to send a text first to all your customers (regardless of what type of phone numbers you have), and then choose an alternative secondary method.
Easily see which text reminders were successful, and which failed
You will be able to see which phone numbers were able to receive an SMS and which failed. This way you can follow up with your customers to update their phone records in the future. In addition, you can download the results to a csv file which you can open in excel. Sort them by “delivery status” and further streamline your delivery methods.
Allow People to Reply to Your Text Message Reminders
Allow your patients or customers to confirm the appointment by replying back with a digit or keyword! In fact, we allow you to add up to 3 reply digits or keywords to each reminder.
For example, a typical scenario may be where you would allow your customer to either “confirm”, “cancel”, or “reschedule” the appointment by replying with 1,2, or 3 to the text reminder.
Which keywords you choose is entirely up to you. You may want them to text back a word such as “confirm” or perhaps “C”. Maybe you do not want to include the ability to reply at all. With our text reminders, you can include whichever replies are necessary for your specific case.
In addition, you can send another text message to your customer automatically after they reply.
Take the following automated conversation as an example:
“Hi Joe, you have an upcoming appointment with Sun Prairie Dental on Saturday, July 5th, at 10:00 AM. Please reply “C” to confirm this appointment.
“Thank you! Your appointment has been confirmed. We look forward to seeing you!”
This is just an example. You can text back any message you want after they reply to your reminders.
Check Replies to your Text Reminders or Respond in Real-Time
You will be able to see replies to your text reminders immediately in the “Reminders” screen. You can also go in and text back in real time if you need to.
You can also set up reports that will email you the results nightly or download them into a csv file directly from the interface.
This allows you to follow up with any patients or customers who either have questions about the appointment or need to cancel or reschedule.
Send Alerts to Your Phone or Email
You can also add alerts or “Triggers” that can notify you via text or email when someone responds a certain way to your text reminders.
For example, you could set up a trigger so that if someone cancels an appointment, it will notify you immediately via text message. This way you can follow up almost immediately without needing to log in and check the replies.
Alternatively, you can have alerts sent to a shared email box, or a distribution list. That way, whoever is monitoring the email can follow up almost immediately with your customers!