How to increase appointment show rates with prospects
You offer great solutions. Your current customers love you. Retention is high. Now if only you could get prospects to show up to their appointments, you’d be able to grow your business even more!
When it’s a struggle to bring in new customers and you need to increase appointment show rates, there are 4 straight-forward strategies every business can use. No matter your industry or offering, follow these steps and more people will keep their commitments.
Reach out to new leads as soon as possible
Getting your name (and potentially your face) in front of someone as soon as possible never hurts. The quicker you reach out, the quicker a conversation starts, the quicker someone books an appointment, and the more likely they are to show up.
When you prioritize talking with them and getting something booked, that helps people feel valued and usually gives them more incentive to keep their commitments. This is also in part because you’ve quickly begun a relationship in which you show them your dedication to fulfilling their needs and solving their problems.
The fastest way to reach out? Texting of course. So make sure that when you’re gathering information from leads that you get their mobile phone number! (And that they know they’re consenting to receive texts from you.)
Send a series of text reminders
When someone does schedule an appointment, don’t send a single confirmation email and consider that enough. Even a single text confirmation won’t be enough. You need to follow up a few times and make it clear that you want to keep them accountable. Show those prospects that you care and are excited to talk with them! How many reminders you send depends on how far out the appointment is.
We recommend, at the very least, an immediate confirmation text, a text reminder the day before, and a final text reminder an hour or so before. That way even if someone is going to be running late or needs to cancel last minute that they now have a perfect opportunity to let you know. And then the rescheduling conversation can begin a lot sooner.
Here at Skipio we’ve seen so many clients increase appointment show rates by sending simple text reminders, especially when the sender personalizes the messages and creates a more human experience. Our integrations, calendar feature, and appointment and event reminders help ensure the reminder process is seamlessly automated.
Get personal in your messages
If someone is a new lead, you won’t really have that much information about them yet. So of course use their first name when you text them, and try to incorporate other relevant details.
But the easiest way to help people get to know you and remember you? Send photos and videos of yourself.
The sales team at Krista Mashore Coaching would send selfies and intro videos the day before a phone call with a prospect to help the prospect feel more comfortable. And then on the day of, they would send one more personalized reminder text. Their show rates jumped from 50% to 75% when they implemented that day-of reminder.
When prepping for an in-person meeting, sending a photo could help the prospect to know who to look for. And even if you’ll just be talking over the phone, like the Krista Mashore Coaching team, knowing exactly who is on the other end of the phone helps humanize the business and you as a sales rep.
Even a fake, silly “guilt trip” could work. I was in a conversation with a fitness client once and they said that in their consultation reminder messages they sent a picture of their dog and said “For every person that shows up to the gym for class, our dog gets a treat.” Not only did that message get more responses (because cute dog) but more people would actually show up to the classes!
Answer questions specifically
Yes, certain things will be easier to address in a conversation over the phone or in person. But don’t try to dodge questions or steer the conversation in a weird way just because you don’t want to talk about something until the actual appointment.
If you act too evasive about price, for instance, that’s going to be a big red flag that you’re too expensive, have hidden fees, etc. Even if that’s not the case, that’s how it will often sound. If you really don’t want to share your pricing via text, you can always provide a range and then explain that packages are customized according to customer needs. (This had better be true, though.)
Still not seeing show rates increase?
If you’re already doing these sorts of things and still not seeing the results you want, then it’s time to examine the specific timing and content of messages as well as your call to action and the offer that gets people to make an appointment in the first place. A weak lead generation strategy affects how you optimize your lead nurturing. The better quality leads you have, the easier it will be to get them to make appointments, and the more likely it is those people will show up to the appointments.
Sign up for Skipio to automate all of your scheduling and reminders without losing any personalization.