Boost Growth and Reduce No-Shows with Reminders and Notifications

29
Aug
Event Reminders
Boost Growth and Reduce No-Shows with Reminders and Notifications

Rolling out the red carpet? Sending out press releases to reporters? Or issuing gold-encrusted invitations to your guests? No matter how you go about it, a little anticipatory excitement for an upcoming event is always welcome.

Of course, you may not be planning a glittering movie premiere or a splashy wedding reception. And some events — like an annual cleaning at the dentist or a scheduled meeting with your colleagues — may not require such elaborate fanfare or invitations. Sometimes, they may just be in want of a good reminder.

The immense surge of mobile texting has revolutionized the way we communicate. Think about it:

  • 97% of Americans text at least once a day
  • 91% keep mobile phones within arm’s length at all times
  • 90% of users check cell phones within 30 minutes of waking up
  • Worldwide, more people own a cell phone than a toothbrush 

It only makes sense that businesses are changing the way they connect with their customers, staff, and volunteers.

Reduce Missed Appointments: Save Time, Money & Resources

No shows are a costly business. By texting SMS or MMS event notifications, companies can almost 100% ensure scheduled reminders are received, viewed, and acted upon — eliminating costly and timely administrative headaches in the process. And all with a few clicks of a button.

Whatever your industry, text notifications represent a vital tool… and one you should be using to boost growth and engagement. Text hotel guests in advance of upcoming stays — or you could even remind patrons of a big sale or upcoming performance, jumpstarting more business.

As a government agency, the Fresno Public Defender’s Office cleverly uses text message event notifications to reduce the county’s Failure to Appear (FTA) incidents, arrest warrants, and technical violations. This greatly reduces wasted taxpayer funds, improving efficiency and minimizing the amount of incarcerations for certain violations.

“This technology helps keep people out of jail while also freeing up valuable County resources,” argues Elizabeth Diaz, Fresno County Public Defender.

Indeed, local governments spend over $9B on unnecessary pretrial incarceration, plus an additional $1B issuing and enforcing FTAs. By incorporating text reminders, Fresno dramatically reduced some of their jurisdiction’s FTAs by over half, with 30% of users texting back to their attorney to continue to engage.

This is a winning solution for us all.

Reminders Can Save A Life — Millions of Lives

Sometimes, an event reminder can literally be a matter of life or death. Sure, texting about a massive, blow-out sale may feel urgent (potentially even saving your business with a crucial and timely inflow of cash). Or perhaps a SMS reminder for a business meeting could save your job (no shows in the office are not recommended for climbing the corporate ladder).

But for those in the healthcare industry, text reminders are often truly a lifesaver for the patients in their care.

A recent study conducted by Penn Medicine found that automated text conversations just a week prior to scheduled colonoscopies could increase turnout from a rate of 62% to 90%.

As the second-deadliest form of cancer, colorectal cancer is often dubbed the “silent killer.” One in three of us are not up-to-date on this screening — so routine testing is vital, along with correct appointment adherence.

The study’s lead author, Dr. Nadim Mahmud MD, an Assistant Professor of Gastroenterology proved SMS to be “especially appealing to health systems because it is scalable and efficient.”

“Automated text messaging and new insights from behavioral science offer opportunities to effectively and efficiently engage with patients before important health prevention activities,” adds Dr. Shivan Mehta, MD, the study’s senior author and Assistant Professor of Medicine.

Engage, Engage, Engage…

Exploring how technology and the framing of messages affect screening rates, the study measured how levels of engagement could alter testing.

Dr. Mahmud and his team “think text messaging is successful because it is patient-centered. It is already widely used by our patient population, does not requite much effort by the patient to participate, and patients can read or respond whenever they choose.”

Engagement is key here. Not only did the study show that rates of attendance could be dramatically boosted with a reminder — but appointment adherence was followed as well via text prompts. Patients that answered with questions to the notifications (and three quarters did) received a response from staff within 24 hours.

Some examples of automated messages that were delivered to patients included a colonoscopy date reminder upon enrollment, the office’s address (which was also linked), a prompt for questions about the procedure a week prior to the appointment, a reminder to pick up necessary prep materials (ie sports drinks and laxatives), and messages to prompt each sequence the night before the appointment.

The results are staggering — but a boost in engagement would help anyone in any industry. Just imagine what SMS and MMS event notifications can do for you.

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