No More No-Shows
Picture this: you've put in the work marketing your practice and today you finally have a packed calendar (congrats!). But instead of a full day of back-to-back appointments, no-shows have created gaps in your schedule big enough to park a Cadillac.
We don't need to tell you that every missed appointment is lost revenue. On the plus side, the hard work is done and you're successfully booking appointments. With a few tweaks to your processes you can retain and realize the number of appointments you book.
Want blogs like this? Reach out to our eye care experts today.
Schedule More Efficiently
How do your patients currently book appointments? By calling your practice? A form on your website? Real-time scheduler? If you're a customer of our sister agency EyeCarePro, you already know that we're not shy about extolling the virtues of giving patients multiple booking options. Different options aren't just convenient, they're an important first step in combating no-shows.
Patients want autonomy, especially younger generations like millennials or Gen Z. Having a multiple options allows them to book when and how it's convenient for them, using the method that will most likely help them remember their date. They also allow them to do so 24/7, turning your website into an appointment generating machine.
Remind & Retain
It's important to remember that no-shows aren't inherently malicious. Your patients aren't waking up in the morning planning on skipping their exam. They're busy and they forget, so understanding the root cause of no-shows is integral to stopping them.
What is your practice doing to remind patients of their appointments (assuming that you do)? Perhaps you email or text them a few days before their appointment, or maybe your receptionist gives them a call. Keep a log of no-shows, including who the patient is and how and when you reminded them. A pattern should emerge, letting you know what's not working.
Review Your Calls
Maybe what's not working is your staff's phone call reminders to patients. Speaking of younger generations, despite our plentiful and ongoing contributions to the business world, we're not always known for our telephone prowess or proclivity for making phone calls. If your no-show log reveals an abundance of phone reminders in relation to missed appointments, you have an easy answer on what needs fixing.
There are a number of services available online that allow you to review the transcriptions of phone calls. This helps your practice by letting you know training opportunities for your staff. If your staff are calling and patients aren't showing, there's a good chance something is being said on calls that's getting lost in translation.
Sweeten The Deal
One of the greatest assets that eye care professionals have in booking patient appointments is that you're not dentists—patients are much less likely to dread their visit with you. It's important to make the distinction, though, that as much as your patients may like you, they're not necessarily looking forward to their appointment.
A small gift at the end of an appointment, like contact lens solution or cleaning wipes for glasses can be a nice touch. A giveaway may not be enough to tip the scales and turn a skeptical prospect into an appointment, but is an easy step to help patients remember their next appointment.
Similarly, if you've got ODs on staff, a well timed promo on optical can help keep your practice top-of-mind. When your patients understand that their appointment doesn't just mean better eyesight but a sweet deal on some new frames, the odds of them showing up, and buying more, increase exponentially.
Progress Not Perfection
Life happens and missed appointments will never stop entirely. Success against no-shows isn't about eliminating them entirely, but mitigating the factors that cause them. Follow the steps outlined above for the easiest changes your practice can make today to realize more bookings.
Want somebody else to do the work for you? EyeMDPro can help you adjust your processes to book more appointments. Our no-contract digital content strategies also help show local prospects the value of your services, making your practice harder to forget.