Cancellations are frustrating. Thankfully, there are a few ways to lessen and prevent cancelled appointments.
With pandemic restrictions easing up, businesses are preparing to welcome customers back into their establishments. And although we’re looking forward to ushering in new and old clients, cancellations are something we can expect as well.
Regardless of the industry, we’ve all experienced having appointments cancelled at the last minute. Whether it’s a big meeting getting rescheduled while you were on the way or a complex dental surgery only to be forgotten by the patient—you name it, it happened!
According to research on the frequency of missed or cancelled appointments, the top reason for cancelling an appointment is the inability of the patient to get time off their schedule, meanwhile, the top reason for missing their scheduled consultation is forgetfulness. To keep the customer experience safe and convenient, online booking systems have changed the way we reduce no-shows and prevent patients from last-minute cancellations. Looking to find new ways to get clients to keep their schedules? Here are a few things to consider!
Use an online scheduling platform
In the current landscape, businesses can utilize online platforms to improve customer service and satisfaction. One way to do this is by automating front desk tasks through a scheduling platform like Demandforce. With tools like this, patients can book their appointment reminders outside office hours or while in transit without having to stay on hold for a long time.
Notify patients of their upcoming appointment
Clients are likely to be preoccupied with work, home, and personal needs, so sending appointment reminders may be a great touch to ensure that they show up.
With an online scheduling platform, there are multiple ways to send reminders to your patients. A short email or text message 24 to 72 hours before an appointment can give your clients ample time to adjust their schedule or rebook.
Establish customer relationships
Another way to prevent clients from cancelling is by fortifying your relationship with them. Take it beyond the client-customer relationship! Establishing rapport with your clients not only avoids cancellations but also aids in retaining them for the long term.
Show your clients that you care for their wellbeing by checking up on them and even reminding them that it’s best to schedule regular visits.
Have a cancellation or no-show policy
Although not necessary, having a cancellation policy can make patients reconsider cancelling at the last minute. When sending appointment reminders to your patients, include a blurb that mentions a nominal fee if your patient is not able to cancel at least 24 hours before their visit.
Cancellations and no-shows are a hassle and may cost your business wasted time and effort. This is why it’s fundamental to put systems in place that can prevent these from happening. While we’re still navigating the pandemic, keeping your customer’s needs and preferences in mind while ensuring the health and safety of everyone should be the gold standard.