Without a doubt, no-shows are THE biggest revenue killer (not to mention the most frustrating aspects of practice management). Practices can lose thousands of dollars every month simply because people didn’t show up. Needless to say, preventing no-shows is a big deal. But what is the best way to do so? What do experts have to say about it? You’ve come to the right place. Let’s check out what researchers have to say about this notorious problem.
According to the Pew Research Center, texting is the most widely-used and most frequently-used app on a cell phone, with 97 percent of Americans texting at least once a day. The majority of your patients are relying on this form of communication regularly, so a reminder sent by text has a greater chance of being received and read.
Your patients will open a text message 98 percent of the time, but most likely will open an email only 20 percent of the time according to Mobile Marketing Watch. While email is a great method for delivering longer messages, like newsletters or informational articles, a text message is the perfect method for sending a quick appointment reminder. Research indicates that most text messages are read within 3 minutes! When patients receive the message, they can keep it close at hand or enter it into their personal calendar to ensure they don’t become a no-show.
Who is using Text?
People who send more than 50 text messages a day are considered heavy users. Of these, 55 percent said they would prefer to receive a text message over receiving a phone call. It may seem ridiculous to those who are not heavy text users, but this is a growing trend. Cell phone users ages 18 – 24 send an average of 67 text messages a day, while those in the 25 – 34 age range send approximately 35 texts a day. These figures represent your future – the patients you will have for the remainder of your practice.
In a Harris Poll of cellphone users, 32 percent said they want to be able to schedule or change an appointment via text messaging. This not only is more convenient for your patients, but it decreases the chances that they will no-show for an appointment and gives you more time to fill that vacancy.
Texting is the future. Being able to communicate with your patients via text messaging is a more efficient and effective method. It saves time (you no longer need manual phone calls to remind patients and having to leave voice messages they may or may not get). It’s cost-effective (an automated service can work for you so your staff can focus on important duties in your office). It’s efficient (patients are more likely to read a text than they are to check voicemail or open email). And above all, it’s a convenience your patients want.
Not a texting expert? Give us a shout.