Should You Send Text Message Reminders To Clients?

Wondering if using text reminders is the right move for your business? We can help! Read on for the benefits of sending text message reminders to clients.

A wide array of businesses, such as hair salons, doctor’s offices, and auto mechanics, depend on reminders to keep their clients informed about upcoming appointments. Sending reminders isn’t only crucial for these businesses to keep track of their schedules, but it also helps cut down on the costly pervasiveness of no-shows.

As a business owner, you might wonder, should I send text message reminders to clients? 

The short answer is yes—using texting services can significantly impact the rate of client no-shows. In fact, a 2006 study showed that a simple SMS reminder could cut the rate of healthcare no-shows by 38%. And in the United States, no-shows cost the healthcare system an average of $150 billion per year in missed and unfilled appointments.

Texting offers a unique solution to businesses looking to reduce no-shows, save money, and maintain direct communication with their clients. To learn more about the benefits of text message reminders, as well as texting tips, keep reading.

How Text Message Reminders Can Benefit Your Business 

Sending text message reminders to clients isn’t just direct—a text message is also far more likely to be opened and answered. With a 98% open rate—compared to just 22% for email—and a virtually nonexistent percentage of spam, texting is one of the best ways to reach your clients in the digital age.

Additionally, a 2013 study found that while text reminders to clients reduced missed appointments at a nearly-identical rate to phone call reminders, only texting could be deemed a cost-effective method of outreach, as it saves your employees time.

While sending emails or making phone calls remain viable options for your business, it’s important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the tools you have available. When it comes to sending important reminders to your clients, texting is one of the most efficient and cost-effective methods you could choose.

How to Send Text Reminders to Clients

Now that you’re aware of the benefits of text messaging your clients, it’s important to keep in mind that texting comes with its own unique etiquette standards that are designed to keep your clients informed and protected from security breaches.

In order to properly implement a strategy for sending SMS reminders to clients, we’ve included some tips and best practices on how to compose reminders in a way that will optimize your business’ customer service portfolio.

  • Time your messages appropriately 

You want to make sure your text message reminder is sent at the right time in relation to your client’s scheduled appointment. For example, if you’re a nail salon looking to get appointment confirmation for a client’s manicure for April 3rd, you probably don’t want to send your appointment reminder in the middle of March. 

This tip also applies to the time of day you choose to send your client’s text reminder. It’s important to maintain proper texting etiquette, which means avoiding any communication outside of regular business hours. 

Because text messaging offers such a uniquely intimate space for customer service, it’s crucial that your business maintains respect for your client’s boundaries and personal space.

  • Maintain the right tone 

One of the most important factors to consider when learning how to text customers is the tone. While business texting allows for more concise and less formal client communication than email, a text message reminder to a client or customer should still be composed in a professional tone. While this could vary from vertical to vertical—a spa could afford to be slightly more playful in tone than a podiatrist’s office—it’s always better for clarity’s sake to avoid any language that could distract from the goal of your communication, which is to remind your client about an upcoming appointment.

  • Make your CTA apparent 

Don’t send a message without a clearly designated call to action. With a text reminder, this is a pretty straightforward task. For example, a pediatrician’s office could send a message with a simple prompt to their patient, such as “Reply ‘Y’ to confirm, ‘N’ to cancel, or ‘R’ to reschedule.” When it comes to sending a reminder, it’s best to be as straightforward as possible.

  • Stay up to date with customer privacy laws 

No matter the vertical your business falls into, it’s imperative you remain aware of any relevant customer privacy laws that apply to your communications with clients. For example, did you know that the Federal Communications Commission requires written consent from consumers regarding commercial text messages? Additionally, HIPAA requires that texts sent to patients remain compliant with its regulations regarding privacy and encryption.

Use Text Reminders to Streamline Your Day-to-Day, with Nexa

With any appointment-based business, it’s important to ensure that clients are aware of their upcoming appointments. No-shows can be incredibly costly, and on the client’s end, they can mean missing an important doctor’s visit or a much-needed car inspection. If these things can be avoided by something as simple and cost-effective as a follow up text message to the client, why wouldn’t you give it a try? 

With Nexa, you can outsource your client text communications to our virtual receptionists, who can ensure timely messages and responses, professional texting etiquette, clear calls to action, and enforce privacy laws. No matter your business, Nexa can help reduce client no-shows and boost your customer communication. Give us a try today to start exploring how virtual receptionist services can best serve you and your business. 


Sources: 

BMC Health Services Research. Text-messaging versus telephone reminders to reduce missed appointments in an academic primary care clinic: a randomized controlled trial. https://bmchealthservres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1472-6963-13-125 

BMC Opthalmalogy. Effectiveness of mobile-phone short message service (SMS) reminders for ophthalmology outpatient appointments: Observational study. https://bmcophthalmol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2415-8-9 

Federal Communications Commission. Avoiding Spam: Unwanted Email and Text Messages. https://www.fcc.gov/sites/default/files/avoiding_spam_-_unwanted_email_and_text_messages.pdf

Forbes. Missed Appointments, Missed Opportunities: Tackling The Patient No-Show Problem. https://www.forbes.com/sites/sachinjain/2019/10/06/missed-appointments-missed-opportunities-tackling-the-patient-no-show-problem/?sh=24ba487a573b 

Mobile Marketing Watch. SMS Marketing Wallops Email with 98% Open Rate and Only 1% Spam. https://mobilemarketingwatch.com/sms-marketing-wallops-email-with-98-open-rate-and-only-1-spam-43866 

Nexa. All You Need To Know About HIPAA-Compliant Texting To Patients.https://nexa.com/article/hipaa-compliant-texting

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