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Reduce Appointment No-Shows Now with Automated Reminders!

One of the most frustrating aspects of scheduling and conducting initial client consultations are the no-shows. People can act driven and motivated to meet with you, but when the day and hour arrives, they ghost you. Some people are just rude or thoughtless, but there is a way to reduce the frequency of its occurring.

The Benefits

Automated appointment reminders are a valuable tool for solo attorneys and small law firms. The benefits include:

    • Reduced No-Shows: Clients are more likely to remember and attend appointments when they receive reminders.
    • Improved Client Communication: Automated reminders show professionalism and care for the client’s time.
    • Time Savings: Attorneys and staff spend less time manually reminding clients, allowing them to focus on other tasks.
    • Streamlined Scheduling: Clients can easily confirm or reschedule appointments, making the process smoother for both parties.

Steps to Implement

These reminders can be sent via email, text message (SMS), or automated phone calls (voice messages), depending on the attorney’s preference and the client’s contact information.

Step 1: Gather Client Contact Information

First, your staff (or a scheduling app like MS Booking or Calendly) must gather and organize client contact information securely. This information would typically include names, email addresses, phone numbers, and preferred method of contact (email, text, phone).

Step 2: Choose a Reminder System

There are various platforms and software available for sending automated reminders. Depending on your needs and budget, there are options such as:

    • Simple Email Reminders: Basic email reminders can be set up using platforms like Gmail or Outlook.
    • Text Message (SMS) Reminders: Sending text message reminders can be very effective, especially for clients who prefer quick, concise notifications. Standardized language (see below) can be used and inserted to save time using apps like TextExpander.
    • Automated Phone Call Reminders: For clients who might not check their emails or texts regularly, automated phone call reminders can be set up.

There are many contact relationship management (CRM) programs that can help with this, including MailChimp, Keap, and Active Campaign.

Step 3: Create Reminder Templates

As I mentioned just now, you need to set up standardized reminder templates that include:

    • Appointment Details: Date, time, location (if applicable), and purpose of the appointment.
    • Confirmation Request: Politely ask clients to confirm or reschedule if the appointment time does not work for them.
    • Contact Information: Include the attorney’s contact information for any questions or changes.

Step 4: Schedule Reminders

Next you need to lay out a schedule for when the reminders will be sent. Depending on your preference, reminders can be scheduled:

    • Before the Appointment: A day or two before the scheduled appointment to remind clients of the upcoming meeting.
    • Same-Day Reminders: For morning appointments, a reminder the evening before or early in the morning on the appointment day.

Step 5: Integration with Calendar System

If you use a digital calendar system (like Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, or practice management software like Clio), the reminder system can be integrated with the calendar. Depending on the system:

    • Reminders can be automatically triggered when an appointment is added to the calendar.
    • Any changes made to the appointment (rescheduling, cancellation) can be reflected in the reminder system.

Your calendar and e-mail system can also be linked through platforms like Zapier to create an automation between the two apps.

Step 6: Testing and Optimization

Before fully implementing the automated reminders, you should always conduct tests to ensure that they are working correctly. Then, once you do implement it, you can optimize the timing and frequency of reminders based on client responses and feedback.

Step 7: Monitoring and Maintenance

Like many other things, this system is not “set it and forget it.” Once the system is in place, you should monitor periodically the effectiveness of the reminders. If it isn’t working well to reduce no-shows, try and determine what needs to be changed to make it better. Also, if there are any changes in your schedule or contact information, you need to update the reminder system accordingly.

Need Help?

Want to set up an automated reminder system but don’t know where or how to start? Then click on this link to schedule a call with me to discuss your needs and how I can help. I have been using automated systems in my practice for years, saving untold time and money. I can do the same for you.

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Steven J. Richardson

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