People are really forgetful.
I should know, I’m the Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion of forgetting things.
In fact, I once read a book that suggested I carry a notebook with me everywhere, so I can write things down to avoid forgetting them.
So I went to the shop, bought a funky-looking notepad covered in colourful flowers, and vowed to carry it with me everywhere.
And then I forgot where I left it.
(I really wish that wasn’t a true story)
Maybe not everyone is as bad as me, but we all forget things, and it can cause a lot of problems.
No one will understand this more than people who work in clinics!
Patients missing appointments is a huge source of frustration for staff and costs the clinic valuable time and money.
In this article, we’ll talk about how automated appointment reminders can help to solve these issues, and boost your clinic’s patient engagement. We’ll cover:
- The true cost of no-shows
- How they impact clinic efficiency
- How Pabau’s automated reminders solve these problems
Looking to boost your clinic’s patient engagement with automated appointment reminders? Schedule a free demo to discover how Pabau’s features can benefit your practice
The real cost of no-shows
On the surface, no-shows are a frustrating experience for the clinic staff. Preparing and waiting for someone who doesn’t turn up can be extremely annoying and disheartening.
But the cost of no-shows goes much deeper than this.
The financial cost alone can have a dramatic effect on a clinic, especially if it happens a lot.
- You’re paying staff to sit around doing nothing, waiting for the next appointment
- You’re paying overhead costs such as rent, utilities, and insurance, whether the client shows up or not
- Any equipment or supplies you bought/rented for the appointment might go to waste
And if the client didn’t pay up-front, none of these expenses will be offset by revenue.
This all quickly adds up, especially if the treatments you provide require expensive or specialist skills or supplies.
Then there’s the time costs.
Not only are your staff’s time being wasted during the appointment, but their time was also wasted in organising the appointment, setting up the equipment, ordering the supplies, etc.
A lot more goes into an appointment than just the appointment itself, and it’s demoralising for your team to have to go through that, especially on a regular basis.
This wasted time can damage staff morale, which will have knock-on effects on things like staff retention, customer service, and quality of care.
Those are the short-term consequences of no-shows, but if it’s a common occurrence, it can cause you even bigger problems in the long run.
It boils down to efficiency.
The more efficient you are, the more treatments you can provide. But no-shows create a HUGE amount of friction that will kill your efficiency.
For every client that doesn’t turn up, you could have seen another client sooner. Which means that the more no-shows you get, the worse service the rest of your customers will receive.
Even if the patient does arrive on time, you’ll still often get delayed by waiting for them to fill in forms or questionnaires, and confirm pre-care information.
Combined with the no-shows, this all creates more and more friction, and your clinic will be less and less efficient.
If only there was a solution…
Boost patient engagement with automated reminders
Even though these no-shows can have a big impact on your clinic, it doesn’t mean there’s any malice in a patient missing an appointment.
People are imperfect, and like I said at the start of this article, people are forgetful. We forget to add things to our calendars, and we also sometimes forget to check those calendars.
It’s really easy, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do something about it.
By far the easiest way to reduce the number of no-shows is to send your patients reminders before their appointments. This way you give them the best chance possible to know it’s coming up and ensure they attend at the right time.
In Pabau, we make this really simple
Every time you schedule an appointment, you simply tick a box and the patient will automatically receive a reminder before the appointment.
You can choose between email and SMS, as well as the option to automatically request feedback after the appointment.
That’s it! One click from you, and Pabau takes care of the rest.
Not only will this reduce the number of no-shows, but it also shows off your professionalism by sending everyone the same standardized reminders each time.
It also means you’re not having to manually send out reminders, or chase people before the appointments to confirm their attendance.
SMS or email (or both!)
The reason we’ve given you the choice between sending reminders by SMS, email, or both, is that different people prefer different types of reminders.
For example, some patients will prefer SMS, because an email would just get lost in their inbox.
(If I was the patient, I’d want a text, an email, a carrier pigeon, and someone to make sure I got in the car)
By giving you options, it means you can give your clients options. You can ask them which they’d prefer, giving them a more personalized service.
Ready, steady, go!
As well as reminding your patients about their appointments, you can also get some of the admin out of the way before they arrive.
The automation in Pabau means you can automatically send out forms, questionnaires, and pre-care information before the appointment.
This will minimize pre-appointment delays and give your customers the chance to take their time filling things in and processing information. This can even be configured to be different depending on the treatment, so the right information is always sent to the right people.
Make it easy for clients to reschedule
Sometimes, though, the issue isn’t forgetfulness. Sometimes your patients have legitimate reasons to miss the appointments, but for whatever reason don’t get in touch to reschedule.
This is a pain in the derriere but is also avoidable if you use Pabau.
Your customers don’t need to call up to reschedule or cancel an appointment, they can do it directly from the client portal.
To make things even easier, we provide a link to the portal in the SMS or email reminder we send them. So as they view the reminder, they just need to click the link and choose a better time.
This gives your patients a much smoother experience, saves your staff time, and improves patient engagement in one fell swoop.
Not bad, eh?
Efficient appointments for long-term growth
Improving your clinic’s patient engagement with automatic reminders will save you time and money.
But combined with forms, pre-care instructions, and the client portal, you can make appointments run like a well-oiled machine.
This will give you direct benefits in the short term, but the biggest impact will be in the long run.
You’ll be able to provide your customers with an industry-leading level of service that’s both consistent and professional. Which will improve your reputation and value with all of your customers.
Interested in boosting your clinic’s patient engagement? Book a free demo to see how Pabau can help you with automated reminders AND MORE.