Have you ever heard of appointment reminders via SMS? The simplest change in your business operations can have a big impact. Are you experiencing a significant number of no-shows in sales? Then you probably know that ‘wasted’ time costs a lot of money. Using automated appointment reminders via SMS is the perfect way to reduce your no-show rate drastically.
What a no-show means
Suppose you are a car dealer : a customer makes an appointment to test drive a car and to get more information about it. That means your sales representative investstime and effort to prepare and block a timeslot in his calendar for the actual appointment.
So, what if that customer doesn’t show up?
It means that your sales representative lost a considerable amount of time. Which means a direct loss for your company. Let’s presume your company experiences no-shows regularly. In that case, all no-shows together could add up to a significant loss. If you invest in a decrease of no-shows, it has a positive effect on your business. So how can you make it happen, effectively and efficiently? Well, appointment reminders via SMS seem to be the perfect solution to create a significant cutback on no-shows.
The power of SMS
Did you know that text message is the most frequently used data service in the world? While about 93% of text messages are opened within the first three minutes of being received, more than 65% of e-mails are never even opened. SMS allows you to send all types of transactional information to your customers or prospects. Almost everyone has a mobile phone. According to Statista, the number of smartphone users reach 2.7 billion in 2019 and continue to grow.
Among this information, appointment reminders by text message are relevant information to share with your users. Both parties are winners. Whether it’s the Sales rep who doesn’t waste his time at :
Reminding the appointment;
Showing up for an appointment without a customer;
Wasting time that could have been spent on another clients or tasks.
On the other hand, the customer will be happy to be reminded of his appointment because he may have many other things to think about and a busy schedule if he has to reschedule it.
Appointment reminders via SMS
Implementing an automatic SMS solution is easy, fast and budget friendly. It gives you the effectiveness you need, and allows you to have an enormous return on investment: our approach generally contributes to more than 50% of no-show reduction. Moreover: it’s applicable in every context, even on tradeshows.
By now, you know that SMS is the ultimate weapon to reduce no-shows. SMS reminders are the perfect solution to make it happen. But they can also be used to remind users to pay their bills, or to remind them of an event. Remind an appointment or an interview. Here’s how you create a SMS reminder that’s strong and engaging, effective and easy to implement.
Ready to unleash the power of SMS reminders?
Here are 4 tips for maximal effectiveness of SMS reminders :
1. Send them one or two days in advance
An SMS is an immediate way of communicating: people read it as soon as they get it. And they act upon it directly. Sending your SMS reminders too soon will not give your customer a sense of urgency, so there’s a risk that your message will be forgotten. Send your SMS reminders 24 or – at most – 48 hours before the appointment takes place.
2. To the point
Don’t forget the fact that you’re sending a reminder. So don’t be tempted to add commercial messages to it. Write brief and simple, and only give the practical information your customer needs for his appointment: date and time, place and contact person. That’s the only way to createeffective text message reminders.
3. Short and personal
An SMS is always short. And that’s a good thing. So, keep it that way. There’s nothing more annoying than receiving SMS reminder that takes you to scroll three times to read it. Short doesn’t mean that you’re allowed to use abbreviations; some people might not understand the SMS language you use for your friends and family. And please be cautious with smileys. 🙂
4. Introduce a call to action
In your SMS reminders, always ask your customer for an action, for example to confirm the appointment or to inform you when he or she won’t make it. Or just to put the appointment in his or her agenda.
As HR professionals, how to deal with summer and the challenges that come with it? Since the summer months are sometimes quieter, it’s time to sit down and review your strategy and why not, your working tools. Did you know that you can automate a lot of tasks in your HR department to optimise all year round? Start automating repetitive tasks. For example, use automated calls.
To best improve productivity, a company first needs to analyse which tasks take up a lot of time. For a recruitment agency, the answer to that question is rather easy: placing calls to find available workers and match them with the correct job opportunity. Luckily, this task can be automated!
Using automated calls to improve the efficiency of a recruitment agency
If you have ever worked in a recruitment agency, you know how much time can go into placing phone calls. However, talking to the contact is not the most time-consuming part: waiting for someone to pick up the call or leaving a message that will maybe not be heard takes up most of the time. That’s why automated calls can save you a lot of time.
So, knowing this, how can one improve efficiency for a recruitment agency? Fortunately, placing calls can easily be automated. The easiest way to do so is using our Call Campaign Manager tool. The concept is quite simple: instead of having humans place the calls, the tool places them, cutting unproductive waiting time for employees. Once a contact picks up, the call is transferred to a human that can follow up on the conversation. The machine can also place simultaneous calls and stop the calls the moment one person asks to be transferred to a contact. This makes the Call Campaign Manager far more efficient than a human being could be.
Automated communication for more efficiency
So, how exactly does it work? Let’s take a precise example. You have recurrent or one-time requests from your customers to help them find employees. Let’s say that today you have a request to find 3 factory workers that need to work tomorrow from 9.00 to 17.00 for your customer X.
Using our Call Campaign Manager, you can complete this task within minutes. The first step would be to record the message you want the job-seekers to receive. You will probably end up with something like « Hello, we have a job opportunity for you tomorrow, from 9.00 to 17.00 at Customer X. Are you interested? Press 1 to be transferred to an agent. Do you want more details? Press 2 to receive more information by SMS. Do you want to stop receiving these messages? Press 3 ».
Once your message recorded, you will upload it on the tool’s interface. You will also configure the phone number of the person that should receive the automated calls when the job seeker presses 1 and the content of the SMS, which will probably contain a link to the job description, if there is one. Then, you upload the list of contacts you want to reach for this specific campaign.
When you click on “launch campaign”, your calls will be automatically placed for you. All you need to do now is wait for the phone to ringwhile doing more productive work. Once you have found the people you needed, you can stop the campaign to not receive any more incoming calls.
A tool especially suited to improve efficiency for recruitment agencies
Using the Call Campaign Manager gives you the liberty of placing and stopping the callswhenever it suits you. This means that you will receive the calls only when you are available. This is all the flexibility you need. Usingyour own recordingsalso means that you keep your job human: it is not a robot that contacts them, but you. People will hear the same voice on the phone than on the recording, which will help build trust between the job seeker and the recruitment agency’s consultant. Several recruitment agencies have already decided to use this tool to become more efficient.
In a post-pandemic world, our attitude towards touch screens, credit card transactions and paper money will change permanently. Even after we return to our normal routines, some of the habits we taught ourselves during this period are likely to stick with us for a long time. Our preference for how we want to handle our personal affairs has completely changed. We think twice before touching anything in public and our preferences for contactless and speech-enabled interfaces have increased significantly. This is where voice technology comes in and changes our habits…
Our attitude towards cash has changed because experts were able to show us via various studies that a virus can live for a long time on slippery surfaces such as cash, furniture and door handles. As a result, the growth of voice technology and in-house voice-controlleddevices has grown enormously. These devices are also more accessible for children and adults who experience difficulties with touch screens or computers. We have identified 3 opportunities that are now ripe for voice technology to meet our growing consumer demand:
1. Voice-controlled devices at public places
Many manufacturers already offer voice-enabled products such as light switches, thermostats, and television to create your own smart home. Other opportunities include highly trafficked amenities like elevators and doors. Now is the time for companies to think about this and create an office that is touchless and accessible. In addition, companies will benefit from the increased productivity and profitability of workplaces and public spaces that areless affected by absenteeism as a result of the spread of germs.
A smart office also benefits people with disabilities. Voice Technology does not have to replace the current mode of interaction but can be integrated in addition to touch screens or buttons in elevators. Indeed, it provides options for those who can’t or simply don’t want to physically interact via touch.
2. Voice-Technology in hotels
For tourism leaders, providing unique customer experiences, finding ways to personalise stays and streamline operations remain a top challenge. Add to that an ever-changing economic environment, the changing groups of travellers, and the need to create a home-away-from-home experience, and it’s no wonder that hoteliers feel a constant pressure to innovate.
The growth of smart homes and personal voice assistants have been an important factor in the development of smart hotels. By providing each guest with an in-room voice assistant can ease the burden on hotel staff while delivering faster responses to requests. In addition to improving communication between guests and hotel staff, voice-enabled systems can keep internal operations moving smoothly while freeing employees to spend valuable face-to-face time with guests.
3. Hands-free orders at quick-service restaurants
With quick-service restaurants we see a very big problempopping up since the start of this pandemic. In the majority of those restaurants we see several touch screens where people can order their food. The biggest problem with those screens is that people receive their food immediately after touching those screens, without having the possibility of washing their hands. These screens are designed to serve the customer in a fast and easy way, but in the near future these sanitationconcerns will make those restaurants less desirable.
A contactless interface through advanced voice AI will provide restaurants a way to keep costs down, provide a convenientway for customers to submit complex orders with a wide range of modifications, and meet the need for exceptional cleanliness and food safety.
Implementing customer service automation by using interactive voice response can have many advantages. Indeed, non-optimised processes cost your team a lot of time and your company a lot of money. However, using the right tools, a lot of these processes can easily be automated. One way to achieve this is to use IVR.
First, what is IVR?
IVR stands for Interactive Voice Response. It is an inbound call management system that uses speech recognition or touch-tone technology to understand and process customer requests. To keep it simple, it basically is a robot that can give answers to pre-defined questions or transfer the customer to the appropriate contact within the company.
IVR for an improved customer service
Customer service automation is an increasing demand. If you are thinking about automating your customer service department, using an IVR to manage your incoming calls could be a good option. Automated calls (outbound and inbound) allow large companies to manage huge amounts of requests.
When it comes to sensitive processes, such as customer service, companies can be reluctant to automate. They fear that they will lose their privileged contact with their customers that allowed them to grow in the first place. Some clients ask : « will I lose customer contact through automation? » Don’t worry, you won’t lose personal contact with your customers. Luckily, even these processes can be optimised and results are good! Benefits of IVR are numerous.
Benefits of using IVR for customer service automation :
A better company image
No room for humanerror
Noneedto hire more employees
Millennials will embrace automation
More resolved calls on first attempt
A personalised and human contact
Increase the overall quality of your customer service
More time for human agents to focus on other tasks
Improve your customer service right now
Automating your business allows you to gain productivity and reducecosts. This is why automation is often applied in fast-growing companies to help support growth. Do you also want to improve your internal processes? Contact us to find together the solution adapted to your needs.
It’s been more than a month since the Coronavirus turned our habits upside down. Many things have changed in the meantime. First, consumer habits have changed. We’re seeing a real shift to digital. Consumer habits have changed. Also, the ways of interacting with your customers, employees, stakeholders are different. This crisis is also an opportunity to refocus on the way we engage with customers. It is a new opportunity to improve your sales activities, your support, your marketing & communication, and much more. But how to re-engage with customers after coronavirus? Here are 10 ways to re-engage with customers after covid-19.
1. Reconnect with your customers via SMS marketing
According to the third edition of its E-Shopper Barometer, DPDgroup has published a large European survey on online shopping habits. This represents many opportunities for online retailers. Many retailers are developing specific applications to improve online sales. Sending SMS campaigns to re-engage customers can be interesting. Offer them your online shop as an alternative, send promotions or discounts campaigns. After the confinement, send updates to your business hours by SMS. The use of the crisis communication tool can help you to warn a large number of customers quickly about the new security and safety standards. Always be careful about the content of your messages, offer a solution to the customer’s problem. Otherwise, the message will be perceived as opportunistic by your clients.
2. Send delivery notifications
Still according to the e-shopper barometer, 72% of customers consider it important to know who will deliver. This reaction can be due to previous experiences (positive or negative). A missed delivery can be very annoying. Engage with your clients by using a simple delivery notification. Also, these messages are useful in a variety of industries. People like to know everything about the status of their order at all times.
3. Continue to commit by sending newsletters
You are used to sending newsletters? Continue. Email marketing remains a good base. Your customers will appreciate knowing about updates to your value-added services. Take also the opportunity to provide useful and relevant content. If you communicate on more practical matters such as health measures you are implementing or different schedules, accompany it with a text message to make sure it is read.
4. Make outbound campaign calls to re-engage
To be preventive and organise after covid appointments or avoid a flood of demands from your customers, you can use automatedvoice calls. Re-engage with your customers by preventing their possible demands. Call campaign manager allows you to make automatic calls to your customers to offer them various options (planning an appointment, for example). Afterwards, the call can be forwarded to the right contact person inside or outside your company. A lot of people will have questions about new opening hours or security updates. Be proactive and use automated calls to provide them with useful information.
5. Use appointment reminders
During this rude period, we can’t afford to miss appointments. Whether as a professional or as a client, the appointment reminder will satisfy both parties. Especially since after confinement, many people will have appointments and no show is to be avoided. Create a custom message, specify the channels you want to use and send your reminders automatically. You will improve your customer engagement and decrease your losses.
6. Get back on track with contract or subscription reminders
Since the lockdown period is an off-peak period, it’s time to re-launch your customers and prospects. The world has come to a standstill and it is normal to remind your customers of your presence in a relevant way. Do you have contracts to relaunch? Subscription reminders to send? Use contract or registration reminders by voice or SMS to reconnect with customers. It is perfectly normal to restart the machine after an inactive period. If you don’t want to fall in the ocean of mails in the mailbox of your customers, use SMS or voice.
7. Send payment reminders to your clients
The confinement period may have allowed you to do the math. To pick up the files that were piling up on your desk. It’s time for innovation in all areas, including payment reminders. Letters and e-mails often fall into oblivion. Sending a payment reminder with an integrated payment link will allow your customer to pay directly with just a few clicks. This type of reminder is an interesting way to re-engage with clients. They experience payment recall as a positive service. Customers will appreciate a first text message or automatic call back more than a letter with a late payment supplement.
8. Combine communication tools to engage effectively
Emails are interesting to use, even more by combining it with other tools. Email can contain media files and are cost friendly. 83% of consumers prefer receiving businesses communication by mail. The ideal is to send a mail and to complete with an SMS or another tool according to your target. Indeed, the opening rate of the SMS is much higher than the mail. It will allow a more important impact and you will be sure that your mail is read. You can use the mail for various confirmations as well. Or, use mail to send longer content and a deeper insight to stay connected with your clients.
9. Manage incoming calls to get happy customers
During a period of crisis but also afterwards, many questions arise. If you receive a large number of calls, keeping customers on hold for long periods of time can have a negative impact on your business. To avoid the flow of incoming calls and to intelligently divide the calls for your employees, there are various options. You can use interactive voice response system. It will reduce long waits and improve the quality of your services.
Smart Interactive Voice Response is also a good option. All calls will be received, qualified and handled immediately. With SMART IVR, you have better control over incoming call traffic. This technology allows you to use your customers’ data and make a first « sort ». It will relieve your call center or employees. Above all, it permits to better respond to the demand of your customers. Re-engage with customers also goes through a flawless customer support!
10. Keep your website updated
Keep your website updated. Put essential information visible to your clients. If you’re open and continue to propose your services, put a banner on your homepage. If re-opening is coming, communicate it clearly! You can also create a special « covid-19 » page to keep customers posted.
Finally, you can also assemble a custom-made product according to your customers needs. Our teams provide tailor-made solutions adapted to the needs of each client. As many sectors are affected by the crisis, everyone needs a suitable solution. Want to know more about our custom solutions? Do not hesitate to contact our experts!
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