One of the most common concerns we come across when discussing internal pain points with our new clients is a high no-show consultation rate. Having a high no-show appointment rate, burns money, wastes advertising efforts and most of all decreases productivity for the practice.
In this post you will learn how to decrease your no show rate with 3 simple steps. This advice comes from a collection of data from Plastic Surgery Practices Nationwide and how these practices manage low no-show rates with high surgery conversions.
Having a lot of No-Show Consultations can make you feel like this.
So, lets get right into it..
#1: Confirm Appointments
I know, you probably read this and you are now thinking, “Obviously we confirm our appointments!”. But, here is the thing, it is absolutely vital to not only call to confirm appointments but to do the following. If you hit confirmations with all three of these methods you will see a decrease in your no-show rate.
- Email Confirmation: Some of the lowest no-show rates I have seen send out an email confirmation 1 week before their appointment. This isn’t just any email however, this email is automated and contains a link for the recipient to cancel their appointment. A second email confirmation is sent 2 days before the appointment to remind the patient of their consultation.
- SMS Confirmation: Emails are easy to overlook. A text message is not. If you are currently not opting your patients in to receive SMS appointment reminders, then get on that, because it drives down the no-show rates considerably. We have seen the most effective time to send a text message reminder for an appointment is 24 hours before the consultation. Also, many of our clients send automated SMS reminders immediately after the consultation is booked.
- Phone Confirmation: There are multiple ways to confirm an appointment over the phone. For smaller practices it is usually best to be more personal and personally call the patient to confirm the appointment 2 days before the consultation is scheduled. If you run a multi-location practice or multi-doc practice, it may be best to automate the phone call to confirm consultations.
So, be like Gordon Gekko, get on that phone and confirm those appointments.
#2: Analyze Your Consultation Hours
This is very important. We see frequently practices offer too few consultation hours a week or the time blocks are too long per consultation. If you are booking consultations 3 – 4 weeks out and experience a high no-show rate, you may want to consider adding a couple more time blocks during the week. This will free up capacity and push these patients through your practice much quicker. As each day goes by and your prospective patient is not able to get in for a consultation, they will start to look other places. A few simple ways to free up more consultation blocks are to decrease your current consultation time by 10 – 15 minutes. This will open up a couple more consultation times per week.
This is my cat Anyong checking her schedule and moving a few things around
#3: Charge for Consultations
A simple way to decrease your no-show consultation rate is to start charging for consultations. We have seen a trend in increased consultation fees over the past couple years. Charging for consultations allows you to only take in serious inquiries. This will however decrease the total amount of leads you get. But, the consultations will be more serious and pre-qualify your prospective patients for you. If you begin charging for consultations, it is best to apply the consultation fee to their surgery. Also, we recommend not to charge very much. A $50 charge will weed out less serious inquires while also be affordable for anyone serious to take that next step.
How else are you decreasing your No-Show Consultation Rate? We’d love to hear your strategies below.