The pursuit to decrease no-show meetings for appointment driven organizations has become just as important as making the actual meeting. Companies work hard to ensure that customers are able to easily book meeting times with appropriate staff. Staff members are prepared to answer any questions and take the time necessary to ensure that the customers’ needs are met.
Ultimately though, it is up to the customer to show up for the scheduled meeting. Sometimes the urgency they felt when they first booked the meeting is no longer there and the customer ends up no-showing. For an appointment-driven organization, no-shows lead to idle time for employees, scheduling conflicts for rescheduling and lost revenue.
So how can companies change customer behaviour, maintain the initial urgency behind the booked appointment and decrease no-shows? We have found that companies that add SMS and email notifications to their appointment confirmation workflow see a sharp decrease in no-show rates. Notifications serve as reminders, for both the meeting time and why the meeting was important to the customer in the first place.
Below, we highlight the best practice format for sending out notifications so that you are able to engage with your customers and decrease no-show meetings.
1. Thank you for booking a meeting with us.
The first notification that should be sent to the customer is a confirmation message as soon as the meeting has been booked. The notification should reiterate the date, time and location that the meeting is taking place. This is an important notification that serves a number of purposes. First, it serves as confirmation that the meeting has been booked, so the customer doesn’t have to check back online to be sure the process is over. Second, it also opens up a channel of communication between the company and the customer so that if anything changes before the meeting, they are able to easily reach out and cancel / reschedule. Finally, this message acts as a reference for many customers, allowing them to check back when planning their schedule so they can be sure when and where the meeting is taking place and plan accordingly.
2. Is there anything we should know ahead of time?
Depending on how far out the meeting has been booked, it can be a good idea to send an additional message 24 – 48 hours prior to the meeting. This notification serves as a reminder as well as a chance for the company to collect additional information that will be useful for the meeting. The message can solicit a reply, either through pre determined survey questions or an open ended question that users can provide additional information around what they’re looking for from the meeting. Using this information, the company can then tailor the topics and materials ahead of time so that the meeting addresses exactly what the customer is looking for.
3. Looking forward to seeing you today!
It is a good idea to send one last reminder notification 2 – 4 hours prior to the meeting. This works as a final reminder that the meeting is taking place, with enough time to spare to give those that may have forgotten a chance to reorganize their schedules.
4. How would you rate your experience?
The final notification you should send as it relates to a single meeting is a follow up to find out how the meeting went. This is important as you can get feedback directly from your customers that can be useful in evaluating the performance of your employees as well as structure meetings in the future.
More on Decreasing No-Show Meetings
If you’re interested in learning other ways to enhance the experience of your customers, check out our Optimizing the Customer Experience White Paper.
Looking to boost revenue and deliver a premium experience to your clients? Schedule a consultation with Coconut Software to learn more about how our appointment scheduling solutions can get you there.