Last minute appointment cancellations and no shows are disastrous to your schedule and bottom line. While every business has its ups and downs where income can be lost from a variety of unexpected situations, some types of businesses can make it up and some can’t.
If you are a retail store that sells a product [i.e. shoe store], you can hold a successful promotion for a day or a week and recapture lost income. But in a medical or dental office, it is rare that lost income from missed appointments can ever be recovered.
So, can anything be done to minimize lost time that had previously been scheduled?
If you have an electronic patient newsletter, here’s a suggestion. Publish an article similar to the example below, and run it month after month until you have established a large enough email list. Then use this list to email, with one click, a group of patients who might be able to fill in at the last moment.
“Put Your Name on Our List”
“Many of our patients have busy schedules, making it difficult to schedule an appointment for needed or elective dentistry too far in advance. We have a potential solution that makes sense for you and our practice.
From time to time we get last minute cancellations anywhere from an hour to a day before the scheduled time. So, here is our offer: give us your email address and permission to add you to our ‘last minute fill-in’ list.
Whenever we get an opening, we will email everyone on the list to contact us if you are interested in taking the appointment time. There is no obligation. The first person to respond will be accepted.
The good news is that you have a choice if it works for your schedule.
The really good news is that you will receive a 15% discount for short notice hygiene cancellation fill-ins and 10% if the fill-in appointment is with the doctor.”
Offering a discount, sweetens the pot. It’s better to give away some percentage than to collect zero dollars.
To learn more about the PatientStudio eNewsletter [also sold as a stand-alone service], read the white paper at white papers