How to Avoid Appointment No-shows with Smart-Marketing

How to Avoid Appointment No-shows with Smart-Marketing
receptionist handing over an appointment card.

There’s nothing more frustrating than waiting for a client who never shows up. You’re busy, you’ve got a mountain of work to do and to make matters worse, you’ve turned away other clients today.

No-shows or last-minute cancellations because a client has forgotten their appointment with you, costs you in time and in money. From wasted preparation time to time spent rescheduling and missed sales with other clients, you can see why you need to avoid these situations at all costs.

Unsure of how you can avoid these frustrating no-shows? Don’t panic, you’re not alone. There are a number of ways you can ensure your clients never forget an appointment or meeting, you just have to think smart!

Smart marketing tactics such as reminder texts, appointment cards, online scheduling and marketing automation can all help you dramatically cut down on this major inconvenience.

Appointment Cards

Appointment cards are a very useful business tool, and not just because customers remember their next appointment with you. When customers arrive on time (prompted by your helpful little card), it aids the smooth and efficient running of your business.

Appointment cards are useful to have on hand as you can encourage clients to book their next appointment at the end of their current one. Simply book them in then pop the details down on their appointment card and give it to them to take away. Every time they see the card in their wallet or purse, they’ll be reminded of their next appointment with you.

Even better, your number is always on hand so your loyal customers can find it quickly to recommend you to their friends. You can double up on the practicality of these handy little reminders. Why not add your business card details on the second side of the card to promote your business further?

Like all our card printing, we use only premium quality thick card and our HP Indigo digital printing process ensures rich, distinctive colour to ensure you stand out from the crowd when printing your appointment cards. We offer you a great choice of options. You can choose cards with one design or many – all in the same order, thus saving you money.

When it comes to reminding your customers or clients about meetings or appointments, you need to keep in mind who your target audience is. For small, local businesses or those whose clients might not be online, you can never go wrong with a physical card to hand out with reminders. People like a hard copy of things to keep them right and remembering your appointments is no exception to them.

Automated texts, voicemails and email reminders

Automated notification services send a reminder to your clients through text, email or voicemail without you having to even so much as lift the phone! Today’s consumers have now come to expect these types of reminders as a follow up to receiving a printed appointment card. In previous years, people may have wanted a reminder phone call, however, as things progress and businesses become more digitally savvy, it’s often best for both parties if you can use an automated reminder. Texts and emails can be read, understood or replied to in a matter of seconds on many portable devices your clients will always have on them, such as smartphones and smartwatches etc. This saves time for you and for the client.

When it comes to choosing software for this type of automated reminder, shop around. Look for software that allows you to send out a few reminders from a single dashboard. Allowing for two-way communication is often useful too – in case your clients have questions or queries ahead of their appointment with you. Some reminder services will allow your clients to reply to a text saying “yes” or “no” to confirm their attendance, making confirmation and cancellation fast and efficient. It’s also important to confirm that whatever software you choose will integrate easily with current software or booking systems you’re using. The last thing you want is the headache of trying to manage separate databases.

Online Scheduling

Online scheduling is another method of reminding your clients about their appointments. So, how does this work when it comes to avoiding no-shows? Studies show that a lot of people feel awkward or uncomfortable about cancelling an appointment, especially if it’s a last-minute cancellation. Therefore, online scheduling gives them that option to cancel with ease, meaning they are more likely to do it earlier and won’t feel the need to skip the appointment altogether resulting in fewer no-shows for you!

Providing your clients with the opportunity to cancel online also gives you the opportunity to present them with the consequences of cancelling as they initiate it. For example, you may have a cancellation fee or be unable to rebook the appointment for a number of weeks. Simply add the online scheduling link to your business appointment cards and when the clients go online to cancel, this information being presented to them may encourage them to reconsider and attend the appointment.

For an online scheduling platform, you should try to find a robust solution that allows you to keep full control of your appointment schedule. You can set the parameters to avoid mix-ups like double bookings etc. Lots of these online scheduling platforms also integrate with commonly used websites such as Google or Yelp. Not only are you able to manage cancellations easily but you’re also making it easier for people to book. Customers who land on your Google MyBusiness page, for example, can book through there – this should boost bookings due to the ease for the customer.

Automated Marketing

The final tactic for reducing no-shows that we want to discuss is a little bigger with slightly more to think about – marketing automation! It’s a hot topic at the minute across all sectors and in 2020, it could be the thing that sets your business apart from the competition.

Marketing is about building a solid, trusting relationship with your client. Marketing automation allows for constant connections with your client – it nurtures the relationship you’ve worked so hard to gain. Actively nurturing a client relationship is guaranteed to reduce missed appointments.

If clients feel connected to your business, they are unlikely to let you down at the last minute. Automated marketing continuously communicates relevant, helpful information to your clients. A comprehensive marketing automation platform addresses all the opportunities available to communicate with your customers. Not only can you remind them of appointments before they happen, but you can also conduct follow up contact with the client or alert them to the fact they have missed an appointment and give them the opportunity to reschedule.

No-shows can occur in every business. Whether it’s mixed up times for meetings with suppliers, patients forgetting appointments or customers missing consultations due to emergencies – it’s best to avoid wasting time where possible. While the majority of these missed appointments are genuine and can’t be helped, some can be avoided with the smart marketing tactics above. By implementing some of our tactics above, you can not only make your client’s lives easier but also your own!

Get started today. Start small and begin reminding your clients with a humble appointment card while you put your other software in place to keep your business running smoothly.

Order your business appointment cards from DigitalPrintingIreland.ie today. When the order value of your custom appointment cards exceeds €90 you will qualify for FREE Ireland delivery! DigitalPrintingIreland.ie ensures fast turnaround and delivery times to any address in the Greater Dublin area.

Live outside of Dublin? No problem. We offer same day and next day delivery throughout Ireland. So, what are you waiting for? Give your customers a lasting good impression of your business by ordering our top of the range appointment cards at DigitalPrintingIreland.ie, today!

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