SMS Messaging (Text Messaging) is now used worldwide as a major form of communication because it is personal yet non-interruptive. An SMS message is less intrusive form of communication with clients. Customers are able to view an SMS message at their leisure rather than disturbing them during an important business meeting or when driving a car. SMS messages are also usually saved on the phone so a client can always check back if they forget an appointment time.
A recent study showed there are more cell phones in most countries than people. In a business situation SMS has many advantages over traditional forms of communication such as phones, email and letters. By using SMS you can increase productivity, efficiency, customer satisfaction and overall success in communication efforts. VETLINKSQL has an in-built two way SMS service that allows users to confirm appointments quickly, send vaccination reminders, specials marketing messages, post-surgery notifications, and even send staff members appointment list or to-do list for the day to them.
Is your Practice Modern
Clients like to see they are visiting a business that is modern and using the latest technology to provide them with the best possible service. It correlates with up to date medical information and progressive in medical terms as well. Using SMS messaging to communicate with clients will put your business in this light.
SMS in VETLINKSQL
When an animal comes out of surgery most owners will want to know immediately that surgery was successful and when they can pick them up. Sending out a quick SMS message after surgery will show empathy towards clients, reduce staff time spent on the phone calling owners and unclog the phone lines from concerned owners calling the clinic. A typical post-surgery notification message may read like this.
'Hi @firstname, @animalname has completed surgery & is recovering well. The vet will call between 3pm & 4pm to update u on @animalname's condition'.
The message will quickly satisfy any concerns a client may have had about the surgery. And when the Veterinarian or Nurse does call, the client will more than likely be available on the phone given a time to receive the call was specified. This means both the vet and the client can better organise their day. For example, clients doing an activity where they will be unable to answer the phone can put it off until the vet has called.
Appointment Reminders from the diary are an easy way to increase revenue, customer satisfaction and free up staff time. Sending an appointment reminder 1-2 days before an appointment reminds the client when their appointment is, thus reducing the likelihood of a No Show. Clients can also reply to the SMS with a “Y” or “Yes”, which can automatically confirm the appointment on the VETLINKSQL system with a colour code – no human interaction is required! They can also SMS that they are unable to make the appointment, in which case the appointment is colour coded and the text is displayed. If they are unable to make the appointment you are able to hold a “SMS conversation” or simply cancel and rebook that time for another patient, thereby reducing income loss from No Shows.
Sending appointment reminders is also fast and easy and frees up valuable staff time. Staff members can send out all SMS appointment reminders for a day in one step, taking less than 5 seconds! A cost effective strategy for sending appointment reminders would be to send out email reminders first (yes that is also built-in), maybe a few days ahead of the appointment date, followed by a SMS Message first thing on the morning of the appointment. Like SMS, emails can also be set up with a template and are sent to everyone at the click of a button; more importantly - they are FREE! Finally you can chase the remaining clients up with a phone call.
Vaccinations & Other Reminders
Sending out dozens of letters each month for vaccinations, dentals, and other reminders is a costly exercise that ties up valuable staff time (the biggest cost to your business). Letters are expensive when you consider printing and postage costs, as well as time spent folding letters and putting them in envelopes. A more cost effective strategy would be to send out a SMS. A SMS message costs a fraction compared to a letter and requires minimal staff time. Note that you are still able to send communication by other methods – a client can specify one or more preferred options.
Specials are a great way of getting people to visit your business. Sending out SMS specials will, unlike email, by-pass any spam filter problems and will get delivered.
Fill the Book
In most businesses there are going to be times when you are not busy. SMS is an instant
form of communication. Using SMS you can quickly fill the diary by sending out a Special Offer. For example, when you look at the diary for an afternoon, and it looks empty with a full set of staff rostered, you could send out a SMS message with a large discount on say, dental check-ups or offers such as 'Free Worming'.
SMS messages are also an effective means of providing instant counter offers to competitor’s specials. With SMS you can quickly negate their offer by sending an INSTANT SMS message with your counter offer. A letter or email tends to be a lot slower.
Staff Appointments and To-do List
Large animal vets are often away from the clinic and unable to check their messages or upcoming appointments. The VETLINKSQL messaging system allows appointment’s and messages (To-do notes) to be sent directly to the Veterinarian.
Absolutely every SMS (Text Message) that is sent from within VETLINKSQL, be it from the Appointment Book or the Marketing Module, is recorded against every client, animal, or staff member in the respective Document Manager tab. Audit reports are also available from the reporting section of the program.