Text messaging is an incredibly common method of communication, particularly for millennials who loathe picking up the phone to make a call. However, it’s not only millennials who are texting non-stop, which bodes well for your veterinary practice.
Before texting your clients, it’s important to note some of the best practices we have seen.
Text Messaging Best Practices
- Take time to verify patient contact information at every visit to make sure that reminders are being sent to the right place. If you have the wrong information, the messages won’t be effective.
- Inform patients that wireless numbers may be used for phone call and text message reminders
- When getting a patient’s mobile number, include a box for patients to check to give consent (or make an objection) to text reminders. It’s important for clients to opt in.
- If a patient changes a mobile number or no longer wants to receive text message reminders, your practice should have specific procedures in place to update or remove information from the texting system
- Place the least amount of information necessary in the message to keep the message short and concise.
What Do Patients Want?
A study performed at Columbia University Medical Center aimed to determine what patients want out of text message communications with healthcare providers. The study found that 75% of patients preferred:
- Receiving statements instead of questions (“Please confirm your appointment Tuesday by replying YES to this message” instead of “Will you be coming to your appointment Tuesday?”)
- Getting text messages that were written using proper grammar instead of “text-ese” using slang terms like “u” instead of “you”
- Happy, relevant emojis
Customizing your patient text messages to their preferences will ensure a high response rate and maximize their effectiveness.
Simplify Your Patient Communications with Next In Line
Next In Line is an innovative technology company that not only provides a real-time scheduling platform, but our robust reminder system enables you to text your patients for all your appointments and include relevant instructions for their specific service(s) or appointment. Our technology can also automate your scheduling process so that when client want to make an appointment, even if it’s after hours or your receptionist is busy, they can do so in an instant. We specialize in helping practices recover time and revenue while improving the pet parent experience. To learn more about our offerings and see how we can assist your practice with better scheduling, get in touch by requesting a demo today.