Published Sep 9th, 2019 by Nicolas Zenker
Calendars aren’t sexy. Calendars are those practical tools that are simply there to remind us of how busy we are every day. Whenever an appointment reminder pops up with yet another task to add to the to-do list, all we think about is how desperately we need a vacation.
Is this how you think your customers view their calendars? If so, it’s time to change that perspective. Gone are the days of paper agenda books that are filled with chicken scratch and static event notices. I agree, those types of calendars aren’t sexy.
Digital calendars have opened up a whole new level of potential as far as sleek and efficient scheduling is concerned. A study in Australia showed that over 70% of adults use digital calendars to keep track of their lives on a daily basis. Instead of paper calendars that get tossed in the trash, digital calendars are ingrained in the fabric of our daily routines and even send us notifications of upcoming events. Thanks to technology, calendars have now become highly effective tools that merely resemble the archaic paper agenda books they used to be.
With such a high percentage of adults using their digital calendars on a daily basis, this technology allows businesses to reach their customers where they’re already at. We no longer have to believe the myth that calendars and appointment reminders are simply another way to stay tied to our to-do lists. Through personalized messaging that makes the lives of your customers easier, digital calendars and appointment reminders are proving to be a great way to increase customer engagement in a more effective way.
Imagine that you run a therapy office and you have a client that see you every Tuesday. Some weeks, this client calls you at the last minute to cancel. Other weeks, this client forgets entirely and doesn’t show up.
You learn about the value of appointment reminders and decide to give them a try. Now, your client is receiving messages every Monday to remind them about their appointment the next day. Not only does attendance increase, whenever cancellations happen, your client is reminded to let you know in advance.
Appointment reminders create a win-win for your business and those you serve. When your therapy client consistently shows up for appointments, both of you benefit. In this case, using appointment reminders not only boosts attendance rates, it ensures that your client is getting the care they need.
This win-win factor doesn’t only apply to regular appointments, but to one-time or infrequent events as well. Even if you only contact clients once a year, you’re increasing the likelihood that they will show up for their annual appointments. Studies show that appointment reminders can increase attendance rates by multiple percentage points. If you’re not using appointment reminders in your business, you are not only increasing your rate of no-show appointments, you’re denying your clients your valuable services.
By their very nature, appointment reminders are personalized to each customer. Someone who requests a notification about their upcoming oil change will receive a unique message that wouldn’t apply to anyone else. Yet, many companies fail to take this personalization a step further.
Aside from sharing the details about an important event, what else can you include that will benefit your customers? If you’re sending a reminder to a customer about an oil change, how about sending them a coupon for a brake check as well? Studies show that sending coupons that are relevant to a customer’s needs and buying history has an average conversion rate of 45%. If you’re sending a personalized appointment reminder anyway, why not include a bonus as well?
Make your messaging meaningful. Having the opportunity to communicate 1-on-1 with a customer is worth taking advantage of. Go beyond the standard appointment reminder messages containing date, time and location. Think intentionally about what would make the customer experience even better. Can you send a discount? Is there a fun fact about your event that your customer may not know? What kind of bonus can you offer loyalty customers? Appointment reminders are a great opportunity to show that you actually care about the customer experience and are not simply sending standardized messages.
Whether there’s a preference for emails, text messages, or push notifications, appointment reminders can be easily customized to fit a customer’s desired form of communication, time zone, and length of time prior to an event. Check in with your customer about how they would like to receive their appointment reminders and in what time frame. Giving customers a sense of power over the messages they receive can go a long way in building a positive association with your company.
In addition, make it easy for your customers to cancel their appointments, if needed. Let’s say that your customer receives a reminder from you about a workshop they signed up for the next day. While studies show that less than 5% of scheduled appointments are cancelled following an appointment reminder, you just gave your customer permission to reconsider their schedule and make sure that they are still willing and able to attend your workshop.
Send your customers their appointment reminders with enough time to cancel their appointments if they need to and provide a link so that cancellation is easy. Not only does this help your business prepare for missed appointments, it lets your customers recommit to your business and feel as though they have the power to do so.
While appointment reminders can simply be seen as a way to make sense of a chaotic calendar, they can also be so much more than that. Take the time to personalize your notifications and craft them to each of your customer’s needs. By doing so, you’ll not only be reminding your customers of their appointments, you’ll also be engaging your customers in a positive way.
AddEvent makes it easier for you to increase your customer engagement through appointment reminders. With easy to use dashboards, sleek embeddable calendars, and effective “add event” buttons, AddEvent is replacing the idea of a boring calendar with something that companies and customers are excited to use.