6 Signs Your Appointment Reminders Aren't Working for Your Practice
You have practice management software that does a good job of organizing information about your patients. It might even have a tool that sends appointment reminders to patients, letting them know when an appointment is coming up.
You click a button to activate this tool and are all set, right?
You may believe you are doing the best you can to keep appointments top of mind and help patients get to your office when they need to be there. So why do patients keep missing appointments? And why is it so hard to get no-shows rescheduled? And worse, why do patients then fall dormant?
It’s time to closely examine your communications process to see how your practice can go beyond basic appointment reminders to make it easy for patients to keep appointments, reschedule missed appointments, and stay engaged with your practice.
Basic appointment reminders fall short of good communication for several reasons—and far better patient engagement solutions can amp up patient communication.
Here are the reasons your appointment reminders fall short, as well as some solutions to take your communication to the next level:
Texts Aren’t Getting Through
Some platforms are built to cross-communicate via email and text. However, this can mean your texts are blocked before they even reach your patients’ phones.
For ultimate deliverability, you need a system that is a total mobile-marketing platform, built for mobile from the ground up.
Patients Can’t Quickly Reschedule
If you send a basic reminder and patients find they cannot make the appointment, they may be able to cancel via text. But they can’t do much more than that.
The process of rescheduling is now a burden to the patient that involves multiple steps. Usually, they must reply X to cancel and look up your office phone number or website (if they remember to complete this step). Navigate your website to figure out how to set up an appointment, or call and wait on hold, possibly listening to several options before they get through to someone. Then, line up their calendar with yours and reschedule.
Doesn’t it make more sense to give them a more straightforward route? They get a reminder and, if they can’t make it, are given a chance to reschedule with a link right within that conversation.
Zingit keeps the conversation going to give patients an easy option to reschedule.
Patients Can’t Easily Delay Appointment Times
With basic appointment reminders, a text is sent telling your patient an appointment is coming up. It might even ask them to reply with a “C” to confirm.
But what about unexpected delays that hold people up? For example, a patient is on their way to a chiropractic appointment but is running late from a meeting.
Your appointment reminder did its job, but it is now useless.
But what if your software alerted your office staff that someone was running late and texted to see if they were on their way? The person responds that they are running late because of traffic. Your staff then checks the upcoming schedule and quickly responds that the appointment can be pushed back 20 minutes. Moreover, they include that the patient should be safe and take their time.
Stress is removed from the experience, and your practice knows when to expect them. It is a win-win, all because of 2-way text communication.
Communication Isn’t 2-way
It’s important to note: a basic appointment reminder is an impersonal, robotic way to communicate with your patients. It does not feel personal and doesn’t open up the opportunity for more communication when necessary.
When communication isn’t 2-way, you’re talking at your patients instead of talking with them.
Better patient communication includes a two-way experience like Zingit provides, where your staff can easily go back and forth with patients having a conversation, removing barriers, and easing their path into your practice for their appointments.
Patients Prefer Texts
If your usual process involves canceling appointments without follow-up to reschedule, your staff is likely spending a lot of time on the phone leaving voicemails.
It’s a growing trend that people don’t answer the phone from unknown numbers. As a result, patients let phone calls to reschedule go to voicemail, where it either dies or starts up a game of phone tag. This is a frustration for your patients and a time-consuming process for your staff that would be better spent elsewhere.
Two-way text is a far easier and more responsive way to reschedule those appointments.
No Way to Recall and Reactivate Patients
An automatic appointment reminder is one thing. An automated follow-up when a patient has gone dormant is another. It’s vital to tend to your existing patient base, as they know you and are familiar with the level of chiropractic care you provide.
If your patients have yet to reschedule, make it easy for them to return by continuing the conversation with them at just the right time. Learn more about reactivating patients.
It’s clear that basic appointment reminders are not the same as good, two-way communication that increases patient satisfaction and keeps them coming back for more. Zingit can help you move beyond appointment reminders to personalized, strong communication.
Go Beyond Basic Appointment Reminders and Do More with Zingit
Zingit is a robust tool that integrates seamlessly with your existing practice management software. It helps you reach more patients and makes it easy for them to remember, reschedule, and reactivate if they ever should fall dormant.
And this is just one feature of Zingit—it can also help you boost your online reputation, keep you top-of-mind for existing patients, and offer an overall amazing communication experience.
Interested in learning more about Zingit and getting dormant patients back into your practice? Set up a demo today!