Blog

July 19, 2018

Advantages of Appointment Confirmations and Reminders for Veterinary Practices

 

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When it comes to losing revenue from no-shows, veterinary clinics are no different than any other healthcare practice. Studies show a single no-show will, on average, equal a loss of revenue totaling at least $100 to $150. If you have three no-shows per day, you are losing around $117,000 in revenue each year.

Charging a no-show fee is an excellent way to compensate for no-shows, but a fee of $25 per no-show will still account for only $19,500 of your lost revenue. To overcome this problem, you can either increase your no-show fee and hope that clients will pay them, or you can implement a strategy to reduce the number of no-shows your practice endures.

The Benefits of a No-Show Reduction Strategy

With a no-show reduction strategy in place, you can increase your revenue and improve the quality of care your patients receive. When pet parents make their scheduled appointments, this helps ensure they are receiving the health care services they are so desperately in need of, such as preventative vaccine shots and regular exams.

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An effective no-show reduction strategy will always include the use of appointment confirmations and reminders. With Next In Line, you get so much more than an appointment confirmation and reminder tool, including a virtual waitlist feature as well as online scheduling. For now, though, let's explore the advantages of using Next In Line for appointment confirmation and reminder purposes.

Better Use of Administrative Resources

When you send out confirmations and reminders and don't receive a reply, or you receive a response stating the client won't be coming to the scheduled appointment, this enables you to plan ahead and make the most of your administrative resources.

Let's say, for example, you were planning to pay your staff overtime for reorganizing the office. Thanks to Next In Line confirmations and reminders, however, you receive responses stating two clients won't be able to make their appointments. In knowing this information, you can inform the office staff to simply use this extra time to organize the office instead of asking them to stay over and having to pay them overtime. This not only increases your revenue but it lessens the workload you put on your employees.

Decrease Waiting Times

As the operator of a veterinary clinic, you know first-hand how easy it is to get backed up in your appointments. Being that you work with animals, you never know when one of them might be a handful to work with. An animal that causes you to go even 15 minutes over the original time set for his or her appointment can cause chaos throughout the rest of the day. And when this happens, waiting times become longer.

With appointment confirmations and reminders, you can easily give your clients a little boost to show up on time. You can even add in a customized note asking clients to show up 15 minutes early; this is especially advantageous for morning appointments. In doing this, you allow yourself an extra window of time to work with the animals and to ensure your day's scheduled appointments don't get backed up.

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Confirmations and Reminders are Preferred by Clients

Studies show that clients prefer to receive some type of digital reminder regarding their scheduled appointments. They also prefer the ability to reschedule their appointments if they are not able to make them. WIth Next In Line, you get the best of both worlds. Clients can easily be reminded of their upcoming appointments as well as have online access to a digital platform that enables them to reschedule.

In a world full of various forms of digital communications, you need to stay up-to-date with the latest preferred communication methods. According to the study mentioned above, 30% of clients prefer an appointment reminder in the form of a text message. 28% would rather receive an email reminder, and 25% want you to actually call them. Even 17% prefer some type of direct mail reminder.

Because there are so many forms of desired forms of communication, it is pertinent that you get to know each client's preferred method. In knowing this information, you can increase customer satisfaction levels, and more importantly, you can ensure you are communicating with clients via a method that they will actually receive. After all, if you're sending out email reminders and 30% of your clientele doesn't even regularly access their email accounts, then you are not only wasting resources on creating and sending the emails, but you're also missing out on the whole point of sending the reminders.

It's Cost-Efficient

If some of your clients prefer postal reminders, it's best to accommodate their preference. However, for all other clients, you will find it is far more efficient to send out digital reminders than to pay for postage. And not only do appointment confirmations and reminders prove cost-efficient from this point of view, but they also enable your administrative staff to make better use of their time. In fact, you may find that you no longer need to employ three front office workers. Deploying an appointment confirmation and reminder strategy very well may allow your front office tasks to be handled by a single employee. Talk about a strong return on investment! Not only are you decreasing no-shows, but you're also decreasing the amount of money you have to spend on labor.

Click here to learn more about customizing online scheduling to meet your patients/practice's needs.