Just because a customer or client is assigned an upcoming appointment doesn’t guarantee they’ll show up on time or even at all. A lot can happen between now and then. Perhaps they noted the wrong month, or the correct month but the wrong time. Maybe they jotted the appointment down on a scrap of paper, never to be seen again. Everyone can fall prey to human error.
Fortunately, there’s a way to take human error out of the equation. You can join the ever-growing number of businesses — from hairstylists and pet groomers to dentists and attorneys — using SMS API to send SMS reminders.
The Benefits of SMS Reminders
Sending SMS reminders, one of the many omnichannel communication features of an SMS gateway, can save you and your customers time and money. Since it allows you to send bulk SMS messages, it means your client support team can make better use of the time it would otherwise spend calling people to remind them of appointments. Rather than making calls that more often than not are forwarded to voicemails that are never listened to, they can engage in tasks that promote the business or introduce new services.
SMS reminders benefit your patrons because they no longer waste valuable time leafing through their calendar or calling to verify the date or time. And if, like many medical offices, you charge a fee for missed appointments, SMS reminders save them money when the automated reply feature gives them the opportunity to cancel or reschedule.
In fact, 49% of people say if not for SMS reminders, they’d miss an appointment or show up late. Furthermore, many prefer to be reminded of an engagement by text rather than email or a phone call.
SMS API allows you to schedule 160-character messages to be sent before the appointment and add metadata, which it returns to you with a callback confirmation or cancel notification. However, like everything else in today’s busy world, care must be taken to avoid intruding on privacy or interfering with activities.
The Best Time To Schedule SMS Reminders
According to a Mitto survey, while 83%of people surveyed say they prefer to receive text reminders for upcoming appointments, the times they favor vary mainly by age. The rule of thumb is 24 to 48 hours before the appointment, preferably between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays. Younger individuals don’t mind receiving texts on evenings and weekends, but those over 55 prefer not to be distracted anytime on weekends or at night. And no one should ever be sent a reminder between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.
SMS Messages and Marketing Campaigns
Text messages can also serve as SMS reminders that your company is ready to help. One way is to set up SMS campaigns offering loyalty programs that offer discount coupons good for dental cleanings, haircuts, dog grooming, etc. As long as you’re mindful about texting at acceptable hours and not sending too many alerts, you needn’t worry about customers regarding them as a nuisance. The numbers speak for themselves. As of 2022, 6.6 billion people owned smartphones worldwide — that’s 80% of the planet’s population. And in the USA, 75% of consumers say they like receiving offers by text, and 50% say they would join the loyalty program of a company or service if it entailed being sent SMS discount coupons or sending SMS notifications of upcoming deals and flash sales.
Launching SMS campaigns using platforms like the Mitto SMS API is a simple three-step process.
- Enter your chosen recipients into the distribution list.
- Create content in the message window.
- Launch your SMS campaign by sending your message immediately or scheduling it for a later date. If your marketing department wants to monitor the success of their SMS campaigns, the SMS gateway allows them to enable the conversion tracking feature so they can track the delivery of SMS messages and note conversion rates.
The SMS gateway makes it possible to expand your audience by using platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to create far-reaching SMS campaigns.
To sum up, SMS campaigns and SMS reminders are the future of both customer support and marketing. Medical and dental offices, as well as services of every stripe, are using them. Failing to use them is akin to handing your customers over to competitors.