Is Your Business Ready For an Automated Appointment Reminder System?

Time is money, while a worn cliché, is nonetheless true. Whether an individual is in industrial manufacturing, retail sales or a service related industry the time spent working directly on the product or service is the basis of productivity. The difference in these sectors is that a service provider is much more involved in appointment scheduling and setting for person-to-person interaction than either the manufacturing or retail worker. Whether the provider is in the medical, dental, mental health or other client/provider field, a missed or late-cancelled appointment costs more than the missed service opportunity. A no-show can also result in employee idle time and it makes the time spent on scheduling and appointment setting nothing but wasted effort. To make matters worse, the same effort will have to be repeated thereby increasing overhead costs for the provider.

In a study published by the American Journal of Medicine – Volume 123, Issue 6, June 2010 – 23.1 per cent of scheduled appointments resulted in a no-show when no prior confirmation contact occurred. Put another way, 23.1 per cent of appointment scheduling goes, in this case, to uncompensated overhead while the provider was only 76.9 percent effective in generating income for the business. Given that there are legitimate reasons for appointment no-shows it is virtually impossible to eliminate them, but what if they could be reduced by investing in a system that some vendors claim could give a four-fold return on investment (ROI) for the cost of that system? Indeed, one of the appointment reminder application vendors makes the claim that their system has the ability to increase the profitably of your business by up to 30 per cent. If reducing provider costs and increasing profits have a desirable sound to them, please read on.

Using a web-based Automated Appointment Reminder System can accomplish the goal of reducing no-shows. Most Automated Appointment Reminder System providers offer an all in one, simple to learn web application that more than likely can be integrated with whatever scheduling software is currently in use. If the scheduling software in use now can export a common CSV (Comma Separated Variable) file, an Automated Appointment Reminder System normally can import and automatically schedule those appointments. Furthermore, because these systems are a web-based application, there is no software to be installed on the client’s computer or networked computers and the system provider maintains the safety of your data by regularly backing up client files.

In recognition of the various forms of communication available to people today, it is common for automated reminder applications to use automated voice, e-mail and SMS to contact clients concerning upcoming appointments; normally, the provider can use any combination of the methods, including all three. All e-mail and SMS contact messages are usually customizable in regards to content, and the system allows the provider to record the automated voice message that is delivered, tailoring it to the provider’s business.
In addition, by their very nature, these applications have the ability to monitor client responses “real time” giving the scheduler plenty of time to review and make updates. When the provider sends a message to the client, the application automatically records the client’s cancel or confirm response when it happens. In the case of a cancellation, this allows the appointment scheduler to follow up by rescheduling the appointment or, if that is not an option, schedule a different client for the time slot.

Therefore, to sum it all up, these reminder systems are generally easy to learn, there is no software to install or update, the data is backed up on a regular basis and, as some offer, your investment is backed by a guarantee. The question is no longer whether your business is ready for an Automated Appointment Reminder. Instead, the question is now, what is there to lose?