Wednesday, May 7, 2014

259- How to Use SMS Marketing for Appointment-Based Businesses

Many small businesses rely on customer appointments to fill not only calendars but bank accounts. When appointments are missed, these businesses lost not only the income from those customers but also the ability to serve other customers who may well have been able and willing to take that time slot.

How to Use SMS Marketing for Appointment-Based Businesses

Examples of these types of businesses include dentists, hair salons, veterinarians, therapists, medical offices and more. SMS marketing has opened up a whole new world to these professionals looking for ways to keep their calendars full-and to reduce the rate of missed appointments.

SMS Marketing Strategy #1-Appointment Reminders

At the most basic level, utilizing text messages to confirm appointments once made and to send reminders out has been proven to dramatically reduce the number of no-show appointments. A large percentage of these instances are simply because a person has forgotten about the appointment altogether.

These messages are simple for customers to use, requiring only that they press one button to reply indicating that either they will attend the appointment or that they will not make the originally scheduled appointment. For the businesses that utilize them, the ability to automate this system is also incredibly cost effective-far more so than paying a staff person to make reminder phone calls to customers each day, taking him or her away from other tasks.

SMS Marketing Strategy #2-Fill Cancelled Appointment Slots

Sometimes people simply need to cancel or reschedule appointments. Now you can take advantage of the power of text messaging to efficiently fill those newly freed-up spots.

Keep a list of customers, clients or patients that you know are looking for an appointment sooner or on a different day than they currently have scheduled. When one of those times becomes available, simply send a text message alerting people to the option. You can either direct them to call your office to schedule or set up the SMS message so that they simply respond to take that time.

SMS Marketing Strategy #3 - Utilize the One-Two Punch

Using these two different strategies in tandem is one of the easiest and least expensive ways that you will likely ever have to keep your productivity levels consistently high. Your first line of defense is to encourage original appointments to be kept. When that does not happen, you can focus efforts on filling vacant slots. Staying busy is the way to the bottom line you need.

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