9 Ways Chiropractors Improve No-Shows by Texting
You want your patients to consistently show up for their appointments, so you can help improve their pain and physical mobility. The problem is they miss your reminders and promos that are intended to keep their recovery top-of-mind. This is costing you a ton of money!
But it’s not just your chiropractic practice that struggles with this. In fact, the average no-show rate for all medical practices is over 18%. Which is even more of a problem when you consider that patients who fail to meet just one appointment are 70% more likely to not return again within 18 months.
That’s why I’m going to share how your chiropractic practice can turn the tide on those numbers by growing your business with texting.
Why should chiropractors text?
Robocalls have all but killed phone calls, and less than 17% of emails in the chiropractic industry are opened.
But texts have a 99% percent open rate, so you know your patients will see the messages you send them. Which is important, because most patients need four to 12 sessions to treat their conditions. And during those sessions, texting can help you share:
- Appointment reminders and updates
- Remote exercise routines
- Check ups
- Payment reminders
- Review links
- And much more!
Here are nine ways your chiropractic practice can text to stay top-of-mind with your patients and improve no-show rates.
1. Schedule appointment reminders in advance.
The number one reason your patients miss an appointment is because they forget. It’s also easy to get so caught up in your current appointments that you don’t make time to remind them (and even when you do, you can’t guarantee they’ll see your voicemail or email reminders).
PC: Software Advice
So, you need a way to send reminders that is a) easy to do so you can focus on current patients and b) in a way you know you'll get their attention.
Text reminders have been found to improve no-show rates by anywhere from 30% to 50%! They’re easy to schedule in advance, so you can stay focused on your current appointments, and 95% of your patients will open and read them in three minutes.
Text Merge can also make scheduling reminders to multiple people even faster, when you upload a CSV file with all your patients' names and numbers. From there, you can format messages like:
"Hi [name]. This is a reminder that your appointment at Hart Chiropractic is scheduled at [time] on [date]."
Text Merge messages also works like Bcc email, so your patients won’t be able to see everyone’s replies. This keeps things conversational, and patients will be able to ask you follow up questions or ask to reschedule.
You can use Text Merge if you need to quickly format messages for any day of the week, like all of your Tuesday or Thursday appointments.
2. Make scheduling more convenient for patients.
It’s not just reminders that are important. Your actual scheduling process needs to be streamlined so your patients want to keep working with you (especially when they have to schedule anywhere from four to 12 sessions).
So what can you do?
77% of patients say they want the ability to book, change, or cancel their appointments online, but only 2.4% of all medical appointments are actually self scheduled by patients.
Usually the scheduling process goes like:
- The patient finishes their current appointment
- They go to the front desk and are told the open spots they can choose for their next session
- They leave and forget (or need to reschedule, but don’t want to call)
- There’s a chance they’re a no-show at their next appointment
But with texting, you can send links to Google Calendar or other electronic schedules, so the patient can easily choose what works for them and reschedule at their will. This way the patient can make sure their chosen time slot works for them (instead of feeling like they’re being forced to pick something, like they would at a front desk).
Scheduling the appointment themselves will also better keep the date in the patient’s head. This combined with texted appointment reminders are key to improving your no-show rates!
3. Use SMS Chat to draw in patients who keep their appointments.
Patients usually vet several chiropractors before booking an appointment with one. How do you make sure they pick you? You can start by being the first one to respond to them when they reach out—and the way they’ll want to reach out is by texting.
91% of people would rather text a business than a call or email, because it’s a faster way to get the answers they need. So, when you advertise that you text on your website, they’re much more likely to reach out.
Which is what you want. Because when a customer texts you, and you’re the first chiropractor to make contact with them, you’re 50% more likely to win their business!
You can advertise your chiropractic practice texts with SMS Chat. It’s a widget that goes on the bottom corner of your website with a customizable message, like “Click to Text Us!” Customers use it to text you directly from your website, and then the rest of the conversation lives on their smartphone.
This gives potential customers the opportunity to ask you anything from insurances you accept, to the dates they’re able to book a session.
The highlight is that you both get each other's numbers for future follow ups and questions!
The potential patients who get their answers answered through SMS Chat are much more likely to schedule and show up for their first appointment, because they’ll feel cared for and valued.
4. Keep your team connected and compliant.
You want to respond to new patient inquiries and general questions throughout the day, but you also need to evaluate, adjust, and manage your current sessions (and those spinal adjustments can take both your hands). That’s why your entire team needs a place where they can view and answer the texts your chiropractic practice receives.
Texting from a single business number keeps your team on the same page and prevents them from having to text from their personal number. They’ll also be able to use a universal dashboard to see which texts have or haven't been responded to yet.
This means that if one chiropractor starts a conversation, but then has to attend their next scheduled appointment, another free assistant or nurse can jump in to finish the conversation.
All texts are also saved and time stamped, so there’s a permanent record of who said what and when.
There is no such thing as a fully HIPAA compliant text messaging, because texts travel unencrypted between the software, cell tower, and patient's phone. But having every text message archived will be a way you can document that your chiropractors are following protocol, and not sharing protected health information (PHI) over text.
As a rule of thumb, don’t let your chiropractors text anything they wouldn’t normally leave in a voicemail.
5. Send exercise routines to keep your sessions top-of-mind.
You want your patients to get the most out of their sessions, so they keep coming back and improving their lives. And to do that, they’ll need encouragement to keep making progress on their own during recovery. That’s why texting exercise reminders are a great way to show your support and keep them motivated!
These exercise routines also help to keep your patients’ recovery top-of-mind, which means they’re more likely to continue their appointments with you if they see positive results.
You can send remote exercise routines via text, like:
“Hi Clara, this is Jadah from Hart Chiropractors. Remember to make time today to help your wrist recover with: 10 power grips, 5 finger spreads, and 7 full grips”
You can even text pictures and video links of the routine to make it as easy as possible for your patients to nail their exercise.
The more you stay in touch with a patient through these exercise reminders, the more likely they are to continue their sessions.
6. Promote products that support recovery.
You have certain patients who need help with specific things. So these patients will also need products and supplements to help with their recovery, like:
- Pain relief gels
- Abdominal braces
- EMS units
- Special pillows and cushions
You can sort your patients by groups, like “Spinal” or “Tendonitis,” and send them promotions for products and supplements that will help their specific needs.
“Hi Kara, this is Molly at The Joint Chiro. We’re running a 10% discount on all our biofreeze products this week. Would you like me to set some aside for before your next appointment, or buy them online at https://bit.ly/33f3hl7?”
Promoting these products via text is just one more way to keep in contact with your patients, reinforce the importance of their recovery, and generate more profits for your practice!
7. Make payment reminders quick and painless.
When your patients have an average of four to 12 sessions, you need a way to ensure you get paid for all of them.
But like missed appointments, the number one reason a person doesn’t make a payment is because they forget. Luckily, you already know they’ll see your text reminders 99% of the time.
All you need is a short and sweet message, like:
“Hi Phil, just a friendly reminder that your bill of $65 from your last chiropractic session is due. You can pay at hartchiro.com/portal. Thank you! - Mariah@TruChiro”
You can even include a link to the payment portal to make the process as fast as possible for the patient.
8. Be available when your patients need you.
You want your patients to always be able to reach you in case they have questions, or they need to schedule emergency treatments when their pain increases. That means you need an after hours line.
Texting from your business phone number allows your personal number to remain personal—and your after hours line to stay strictly dedicated to patients.
Plus, you can decide how you want to view and respond to emergency texts, when you use a software that has an online dashboard, mobile app, and Chrome extension features.
This means you can decide between receiving emergency text alerts on your phone vs. your desktop, depending on whichever you prefer the most. Your assistants, nurses, and other staff will also be able to do the same—which is great if you need back up.
Potential patients who know they have the option to text you whenever they have an emergency are much more likely to schedule and keep their first appointment. They’re also going to be loyal to your practice (which leads me to my next section).
9. Grow your reputation, and your practice.
A final way you can stay top-of-mind with patients, is by asking them for feedback between their first and final session.
This can be as simple as leaving a message, like:
“Hi Bethany, how’s your back feeling? Which exercise do you think is benefiting you the most? - Clyde@True Wellness Clinic”
Or you could just directly ask for a review, like:
“Hey Sam! I feel like we’re making great process, and I hope you feel the same. If so, could you please leave me a review at: https://bit.ly/3aJzBiS Thanks! - Charlie@Family Chiropractic”
Either way, you’re directly inviting your patient to consider the success of their session, which is a great way to keep their recovery on their mind.
Asking for reviews can also drastically grow your business, since 90% of people use them to decide whether or not they want to work with a business.
The best part is 70% of patients will leave you feedback or a review, if you just ask them directly!
Ready for your chiropractic team to start texting?
All you need is a software that allows your chiropractors to text from the same account and number, in addition to providing helpful features, like:
- Group message
- Text merge
- Scheduled messages
Text Request offers all that and more—plus the online guides and trainers to help you set up! All you need to is to select a time for a free demo, and check to see if your business number is eligible to text below.