5 Ways Our Ophthalmology Practice Schedules More Appointments With Text Request
Scheduling more appointments means more business for you, but creating a successful scheduling process to maintain that cycle is tough.
Clients want to be respected and treated well (especially when anything medical is involved), and having a straightforward and easy scheduling process helps our ophthalmology practice give clients that exact experience.
Consistency in scheduling turns first-time patients into repeat ones. Here’s how we maintain ours using Text Request!
Why did we switch to scheduling appointments through text?
Managing appointments is a never ending cycle that gets easier when you have a scheduling process. My team at Allied Eye needed a way to nail down our own process, so we looked into scheduling appointments through text messaging.
We already knew from playing phone tag all day that our clients didn’t like answering our calls. People have anxiety about making their appointments, and they don’t want to take time out of their already busy day to schedule them over the phone.
Texting is a much more private and faster way to communicate than phone calls. It’s the number one preferred way people prefer to communicate, plus it’s easier for our team to manage.
We used to have one teammate completely dedicated to handling phone calls, but now that person can take on other tasks because texting is so much less time consuming.
Our team has been able to provide better and faster patient communications because of texting. All we needed was the right tool to help us do it professionally.
How does Text Request help us schedule more appointments?
We send texts to every patient before and after their appointments. Text Request makes this easy by allowing us to schedule these messages in advance and all at once through group messaging
Before each appointment every patient always gets a text to:
1) Remind them to come in
2) Prep them for what to expect
And after each appointment every patient always gets a text to:
1) Remind them to reschedule
2) Check-in on how they’re doing
3) Ask them to leave a review
Whenever we send these text messages to a patient they’re super impressed! We always get an immediate response from them and know they saw our message.
It’s the ultimate customer experience that also makes life easier for our team!
5 Ways We Schedule and Keep More Appointments with Text Request
1. Keep more appointments with text reminders.
Text reminders do more than just help us keep appointments, they also give us a chance to eliminate a new client’s fear of the unknown.
New patients are always way more likely to come to their appointment once they know what to expect, which is why we include that information in our reminder texts.
This ensures clients are comfortable and shows them we care. It’s the perfect way to make a first impression!
These reminder texts will even include updates on our practice’s policies and protocols (which has been especially helpful during the pandemic).
We know our patients will want to keep seeing us once they understand what to expect and recognize we won’t ever surprise them.
2. Use MMS messaging to speed scheduling up.
Patients don’t always have their insurance card on them. And even when they do, they usually don’t know what information our front desk needs to pull from their card.
It's a pain for patients to share that information over the phone. But with texting, they can send pictures of their insurance card instead!
We also send patients infographics that educate them about their procedure or visuals to remind them to leave reviews after their appointment.
Picture messaging adds to each customer's overall experience and helps us stand out from competitors!
3. Create templates for every step of the scheduling process.
Retyping the same message for every appointment reminder and follow-up would be pain, which is why we love using Text Request’s templates!
Templates are the Text Request version of “saved” messages, and they save my team a massive amount of time. It’s great when you can just hit enter and the message is ready to send.
“Thanks for choosing Allied Eye for your eye care today! Don’t figure to schedule your next appointment at [link] and leave a review at [link].”
Templates keep our scheduling process consistent and easy to repeat!
4. Send appointment follow-ups to show customers you care.
We always send follow-up texts to our new patients for feedback on how they’re feeling after their first appointment. We’ll also text our cataract patients after their procedures to see if they need anything or have to come back in for additional work.
This drastically elevates our patients’ experience and leaves them constantly praising us for the extra mile we took to make sure they’re satisfied. Few other practices do that, and it encourages people to refer us to their friends and family.
We’ve seen a significant increase in reviews since using Text Request for these kinds of appointment follow-ups. We were getting 10 reviews a month, but now we’re getting around 40 a week! The more reviews we get, the more new patients we schedule appointments with.
5. Deliver mass appointment updates with group messaging.
We used to call every patient individually to remind them about their appointments before we had Text Request—but that left us playing phone tag with around 30 people a day!
Now we just send out a single mass text, and we no longer need one person dedicated to calling each patient. The time we spend on contacting patients has exponentially decreased, and we get to use it to tackle other tasks!
We’ll also include links in these group texts, so clients can see our protocols and fill out questionnaires. Patients know exactly where to go for more information, and they don’t have to worry about searching for these links on their own (like they would over a phone call).
It’s all in one place, and any responses are only seen by us, instead of sending to the entire group.
We even use group messages to notify patients of last minute openings, so we can serve them as soon as possible!
How should your own business start scheduling appointments with Text Request?
Text Request is great for scheduling appointments, but can also be used for many other things (like providing great customer service and gathering reviews).
The first step to getting the most out of Text Request is to check out all its features and learn how you can use each of them.
You’ll never know just how much Text Request can transform your patient care until you see all it has to offer!