Features, Howto

5 Effective Ways In Which You Can Reduce Client No-shows With Appointment Reminders + 4 Easy Tips To Step Up

Client receiving an appointment reminder text on the phone to reduce no-show

In this fast-paced world, everyone’s tied up with busy schedules. This is one of the many reasons why service-based businesses face the biggest trouble in a day – client no-shows. 

Your time is valuable and a no-show can be extremely annoying, simply because of the effort you must’ve put in getting everything ready prior to that appointment. And not to forget the potential loss in revenue!

To help you tackle this, we’ve curated certain ways in which you can dramatically reduce no-show appointments and ensure that your clients avail your services.

Here’s what we are going to discuss in this blog. You can click on any section to jump directly to it! Plus, we have got some handy email templates for you towards the end!

  1. Five ways to reduce no-shows with appointment reminders
  2. Four ways in which you can take it up a notch
  3. Make the switch to an all-in-one solution
  4. Final thoughts

Five ways to reduce no-shows with appointment reminders

Automated appointment reminders are among the most effective and quick ways by which you can save tonnes of hassles in the long run. 

Hassles include phone call interruptions during your busiest hours, losing out on revenue due to a last-minute cancellation, facing client no-shows, missing out on an alternative potential client, and the list keeps going.

Here’s how you can go about sending appointment reminders and ensure that you have all your clients checking in for their appointment:  

1. Send out actionable email and text reminders

Automated email appointment reminder on a phone

Making appointment reminder calls to bring down no-shows is the go-to solution of most businesses and this verbal communication can be really helpful. 

But do you know what’s better than making those ‘daily’ phone call reminders? Securely sending them automated email or text reminders.

Sending well-timed reminders sets a certain level of expectation from the client, and shows you care about them and their upcoming appointment. The first step that should be taken prior to this is keeping yourself updated with your client’s contact information. 

Having a client database management system helps you save the time spent on maintaining lengthy client information books and skimming through the record to find the contact details of the client you want to notify. 

Along with this, you should also consider setting preset times of sending these reminders, like 6 hours before the appointment. This can help your clients organize their appointment days accordingly. 

But before adopting all the above-mentioned measures, you need to know this! According to a study, 78% of Americans prefer having text conversations with a business as compared to emails

An email reminder comes with a red flag of being stuck in your client’s inbox, never to be noticed among a sea of emails. However, with text message appointment reminders, you can make sure that the notification didn’t go unnoticed.

This whole process can be made a lot easier with the solution that we’ve in store for you! Keep reading or directly hop to that part and find out yourself! 

2. Send extra reminders to certain clients

There are certain clients, who despite regular reminders and appointment updates fail to show up or worse, simply forget they had an appointment. This can no doubt be frustrating for you! 

So as to make sure that such clients show up, send two reminders prior to their actual appointment – one a day before and another on the day of their appointment

Apart from this, you can also call and remind them on the appointment day. You can ask them if they would be able to make it for their appointment. In case they can’t, you can successfully eradicate a last-minute cancellation or no-show out of your way, and fit in your intuitive waitlist in that time slot. 

3. Ensure customer convenience 

To simply enable appointment reminders for clients to reduce no-shows is not the ultimate goal. You need to ensure that these reminders not only act as a nudge for them to show up but also eases the whole process for them. 

  • First and foremost is the choice of language. English is not necessarily going to be your client’s first preference. So, to personalize the reminders, make sure that you have their language preferences at your fingertips as well. This guarantees that the reminders are well understood, thereby maximizing client engagement. 
  • Additionally, taking a note of your client’s communication medium preference can also be helpful. For those who don’t prefer receiving reminder texts, you can lean on other alternatives like email reminders, voicemail, or directly making appointment reminder calls.
  • Next, make sure you send the location and all the relevant details related to their upcoming appointment. This ensures that they reach on time and aren’t left searching for the address of your business. 

To avoid spending time on these manually, we suggest using an Appointment Alerts and Reminders Software. The thing with a tool like this is that it comes with all these features that can help you save time, effort, and ensure customer convenience at all times.

4. Follow-up on missed appointments

Despite undertaking all the above-mentioned measures, your client still didn’t show up? 😮‍💨

Don’t worry, it happens at times.

But how do we put this into their notice that you missed out on another potential customer in that time slot, all while making sure you are not being rude or accusative about the no-show?

This is how you can go about it:

  • Respond with a non-accusative and even-toned message. Don’t let the inconvenience you faced seep into the email or text message that you send to them. 
  • Guilt-tripping isn’t going to help either. So, a sweet and short “We missed you” message is enough to gain their attention and make them ponder over their missed appointment. 
  • Alternatively, you can propose a reschedule as well. One can always assume that the client might have been caught up with something they couldn’t neglect, resulting in their no-show. Sending a reschedule option will showcase you as a business that cares about its clients and understands their priorities.

5. Appreciate those who never miss their appointments  

A tiny act of humility will go a long way. The growth of any business ultimately lies in building a loyal client base and catering to their needs. 

Clients who show up for their appointments and that too on time, surely deserve appraisal.

Sending a “Thank you” message or a post-appointment follow-up like “Hope you enjoyed our services” shows that you respect their time and effort. This can help you in building a long-lasting relationship with your client.

Additionally, you can also consider rewarding those clients. This can act as a motivating factor for them to show up on time for their appointments. You can push exciting deals or offers, send Thank You cards, or design special group discounts for them.

Four ways in which you can take it up a notch 

Apart from sending well-timed appointment reminders and maximizing customer convenience, no-shows can also be avoided by implementing these methods: 

1. Accept payments upfront

Woman making payment using a card

Incentivizing your client’s visit by accepting prepayments can help in minimizing no-shows drastically. 

You can customize the amount that has to be paid at the time of booking. For example, let clients deposit 60% of the total amount before their visit and the remaining amount post their appointment. Clients will be less likely to not show up if they’ve made a financial commitment beforehand. 

A surefire way of not getting ghosted by your client is using an online scheduling software like Appointy that can help you accept a preset amount at the time of booking.

But wait, it doesn’t end here! There are other key factors as well that can save you from an appointment’s nemesis, and you’ll come across those factors as you keep reading. 

2. Enforce cancellation and no-show policies

Specifying booking policies is the best way to give every client of yours a heads-up when it comes to booking an appointment with you. This can help avoid casual bookings, last-minute cancellations, and reduce no-show rates.

You can charge a particular fee for no-shows and it would be even better if you implemented this by enforcing certain booking policies for your clients that can be directly shown on your booking page.

This way, your clients can automatically get to know the outcome of their missed appointments and you wouldn’t have to spend time on a phone call explaining the cancellation or the no-show policy to them. 

3. Provide flexible scheduling options

Clients often cancel an appointment when their schedule isn’t going as per plan – they might have had an unavoidable situation or simply, might be running late. Either way, it’s always convenient if they were provided with a solution or an automated tool that could help them reschedule or cancel their appointments easily. 

This is where optimizing your scheduling process can save your business from no-shows.

Choosing the best scheduling software for your business can not only help you avoid scheduling conflicts, but will ensure a smooth customer journey, optimize your online appointment calendar, make you look professional every step of the way, help you skip all the manual work, and protect your revenue.

4. Consider virtual consultations

Woman offering virtual consultation to a client

For those businesses in which in-person appointments aren’t the only way for clients to avail the services, offering virtual consultations can be an effective way of avoiding cancellations, no-shows or reschedules. 

Clients who have transportation inconveniences, stay in remote locations, or can’t take their time off work might prefer this form of appointment. 

Service providers can host sessions with their clients to discuss the progress since the last appointment and set certain targets until the next appointment. This method can ensure that the calendar gaps are minimized and there is no loss in revenue.

Make the switch to an all-in-one solution to eliminate the no-show hassle

Finally, the long wait ends here! 🤩

Now that you are aware of the ways by which you can ensure that your clients show up for their appointments, what you need is a tool that does it all for you.

Automating these processes is beneficial because you can shift your focus entirely on providing services to your clients whilst ensuring maximum customer satisfaction. This is where an automated communication tool can come to your aid and ease out the entire process for you!

With Appointy’s online scheduling and automated appointment reminder system, you can manage your notification settings with a simple setup, keep your clients in the loop with prompt reminders, eliminate miscommunications, save your valuable time and money, and do much more! 

Appointment confirmation email

Here’s a point-wise breakdown of all the features that Appointy has to offer:

  • Client database management: Save every relevant information related to your clients – from contact details to the communication mode preference – in one place, and have access to those from any device, at any time. 
  • Intuitive notification system: This email and text message reminder system can help you send confirmation notifications to the client as well as the service provider when an appointment is scheduled. Additionally, you can send automated reminders at preset times, appointment update (reschedule or cancel) notifications, ‘waiting for approval’ messages, and welcome messages to new users registered in the client database. 
  • Personalize your messages: You can use Appointy’s customizable email templates to include appointment details, special instructions, and personalize those with your business logo and brand color. On top of this, add reschedule or cancel buttons to let clients easily make updates in case of any change. 
  • Multi-channel communication: Based on your client’s preferred mode of communication, send text notifications straight to their phones or send emails right to their inboxes. 
  • Smoothen client experience: Save time spent on manually informing clients about appointments. Provide an exceptional client experience – from the time they book an appointment with you, until after they are through it. 
  • Maximize staff productivity: Let your staff focus on providing services to clients and not waste time in sending and checking up on messages.
  • Analyze and optimize your notifications: A powerful analytics and reporting dashboard lets you stay on top of the sent reminders, the number of no-shows, canceled appointments, updated appointments, and more.

Final thoughts  

Care enough to create value for customers. If you get that part right, selling is easy. 

– Anthony Iannarino

Sticking to the best practices in sending appointment reminders cannot ensure that your client would most certainly show up, but something as simple as a reminder can go a long way in reducing no-show appointment rates.  

To save you the time spent on crafting the perfect reminder, thank you, or ‘we missed you’ email, we’ve made those email templates for you! All you’ll have to do is drop in your email address. Get access to these actionable templates now and be all set to reduce the client no-shows for your business!

We hope the simple yet effective tips discussed in this blog help you reduce the rate of no-show appointments, and assist you in safeguarding your business revenue.

Waiting for a fruitful result can be time-taking as well as overwhelming, but remember to not give up and keep going! 😊

About Appointy

We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, and resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium businesses face every day. 

If you have any thoughts on this blog or would like to chat about your business struggles and achievements, let us know in the comments below. 

We love a good talk!