Here are all posts by the author Frank Cort: Page 1 of 7

Entries by Frank Cort

Best Practices: Automated Appointment Reminders for Healthcare

Missed your appointment? That’ll be $50, please. No-shows and late arrivals are common problems for many healthcare service providers. They create gaps in scheduling, reduce revenue, and make it difficult to run an efficient practice. Many doctors are turning to no-show fees to try to reduce the number of patients showing up late, or not showing up at all. On the one hand, it makes sense: missed appointments alone cost the U.S. economy an estimated $150 billion each year. But punishing your patients isn’t the correct answer either. Instead, communicate more with patients prior to their appointment through automated appointment reminders and confirmations to make sure they show up, without any heavy lifting on you or your staff. You can easily set-up customized appointment reminders for your healthcare practice using these tips and tricks. Concerned about HIPAA compliance? Learn more about our security features.   Automate Appointment Communication According to a survey we did in 2015 that looked at 178,000 random messages: Automated messaging and reminder systems for appointments reduced no-shows by nearly 50% across all providers. That no-show reduction translates to huge pay gains, simply by having more people […]

Less No-Shows, More Learning: A Case Study with Spanish55

Appointments can be a major struggle for any busy professional. Doctors, dentists, and accountants all demand time that breaks up the normal work day and wreaks havoc on the daily routine. But what about when the appointment is just for personal enrichment? It’s even easier to forget or push the time aside in favor of work, family, or other life obligations. Spanish55 has to deal with this reality on a daily basis. Their on-demand Skype Spanish lessons are primarily taken by busy business professionals who are often juggling full schedules and may have trouble finding the time to fit in their regularly Skype sessions to learn a new language. We had a chance to discuss the software with Spanish55 co-founder Abraham Arechiga, who shared some of the lessons that their business has learned and how they’ve used Apptoto to reduce their no-shows by one-third. Can you briefly describe your business? We are a team of highly qualified instructors — all native Spanish speakers — who are passionate about teaching conversational Spanish. Our specialty is working with English-speaking professionals to provide efficient, convenient, and customized Spanish language learning over Skype. What […]

Apptoto’s seamless integration with Virtual Meetings

Based on our data, we’ve seen a 10x increase in the number of virtual meetings this year!  This change in behavior is almost certainly due to COVID; however Virtual Meetings are expected to stick around long after the world recovers from COVID. We’ve recently launched two new features that will make sending reminders, and scheduling Virtual Meetings easier through Apptoto.  Those features include: Apptoto / Zoom Integration Virtual Meeting Fields (for automated messages sent for all your appointments) Apptoto / Zoom Integration You can now connect Zoom to your Apptoto account.   Once connected, your Apptoto Booking Pages can automatically create Zoom meetings and send the correct Zoom meeting information to your clients. To find out more about this feature, please visit our Reference Manual Page for Zoom Integration. Virtual Meeting Fields Apptoto now has the ability to detect if an appointment is meant to be virtual and then automatically send the right information in your appointment reminders.  You can use the “event.is_virtual_meeting” field in your Auto Messages rules now to do so.  For example if you wanted to set up an Auto Message Rule that would only target virtual meetings, […]

Helping Appointment Based Businesses Re-open/cover in 2020

Appointment based businesses were some of the hardest hit during the world-wide COVID-19 economic shutdown.  Now, as the world begins to re-open, it’s important that you (as the owner or manager of an appointment-based business) recover as quickly as possible in a safe manner. To ensure a quick and safe recovery for your business, it’s important to keep your clients informed about your plans for re-opening and give them an easy way to reschedule their missed appointments, so we’ve added some key features/tools that make it easy to do just that.  These new features will also be useful after we’ve all recovered, so we wanted to highlight them piece by piece.  Please read on to find out more. Thanks! – Frank Cort, Founder, Apptoto P.S. the “Campaigns” feature is now available to everyone.  Also, sending blasts of messages to your appointments can quickly use up Apptoto messaging credits, so we are adding 200 messaging credits to all paid plans during May, June, and July of 2020 to make it easier to re-open. Better Appointment Search Filtering We’ve added search “Chips” that let you quickly choose a date range while searching […]

Easily reschedule any appointments on your calendar

Introduction We are hearing from clients that many of you are starting to re-open in lieu of the COVID-19 shutdown.  As you begin to re-open you may find that you want to ask clients that had appointments during the shutdown to reschedule, or you might find yourself needing to ask clients to reschedule because of other reasons such as office closures, staff illness, late arrivals, etc.   Apptoto now allows you to ask *any* appointment to reschedule easily!  It doesn’t matter if the appointment was originally booked through Apptoto, or if it was manually added by you; you can still ask any client to reschedule.   Simply send the ‘Ask to reschedule’ message template to one or multiple appointments, and a new Booking Page will be generated on the fly if one isn’t associated with the appointment already.  Read on to find out how you can control the times they can select from! How it works Pick an appointment that you would like to reschedule, click on the “Actions Button” for that appointment and choose “Send Now” on the “Ask to reschedule next week” item template. The built-in “Ask to reschedule next […]

Introducing “Compose to All” Appointments

Apptoto has had the ability to compose a message to multiple appointments at once for a while now; however, it has required you to manually check checkboxes for each appointment that you want messages to be sent to.  The feedback we’ve received is that doing so is time consuming and error prone;   in response to that feedback, we’ve built a new feature called “Compose to All”.   “Compose to All” allows you to easily search for appointments and send messages (text, email, or voice calls) to all of the results at once (without having to check all of the checkboxes). For example, you can easily find all of the appointments in the last 7 days on your calendar that include the word “haircut” and send a message to them.   The steps are simple.  Log into your Apptoto account, click on the Appointments tab (if you’re not already there) and begin an appointment search   Next, choose the date range you would like to send a message to:   Then click the “Compose to All” button to begin sending a message to all the requests. Please note: the “Compose to All” […]

3 Common Appointment Reminder Mistakes And How To Fix Them

Whether you or your office staff are sending out client reminders, it is easy to make mistakes when sending our appointment reminders. If you’re asking yourself “how could we possibly screw up an appointment reminder? Just send your client the appointment information.”, you aren’t alone. Many appointment-based businesses treat reminders like a checkbox — either done or not done. But there are common appointment reminder mistakes that could be keeping you from getting the results you need from your reminder strategy. Let’s look at three common mistakes and easy solutions you can put in place. Focusing on no-shows more than late-shows If your first appointment of the day is 30 minutes late, your entire day is off. The ripple effect of a late client can change the perception of your business for an entire day’s worth of clients, not to mention causing you to be rushed for the rest of the day which increases mistakes and stress. Also, late arrivals cause more late arrivals. If you clients believe you are always going to be running 10-15 minutes behind, they will start to arrive later and later for their scheduled appointments, […]

How to Increase Client Appointments with Online Scheduling

2019 marked the first year that US consumers spent more time on their mobile device than watching TV. Though many appointment-based businesses are still investing in television ads, many have not taken the time to invest in an online scheduling system that allows potential clients to schedule services 24/7, without increasing staff. If you want to increase client appointments, find an online scheduling solution that you can use across multiple digital channels. How to Add Online Scheduling to Google My Business (GMB) Google added an appointment booking link feature back in 2018 as a way for clients to schedule appointments with businesses and providers directly from the SERP (search engine results page). As younger generations become primary consumers, keeping up with their expectations will keep you ahead of your competitors. If you already have an online scheduling tool, you can simply add your unique scheduling page URL to your GMB listing using the steps outlined in this blog post.   3 Reasons Clients Prefer Online Scheduling Clients are in front of their screens…all the time. The average US consumer spends almost 3 hours a day on their smartphone. Add in […]

Send Texts from A Business Landline

According to an FCC study done in 2017, only 10% of the 455 million telephone numbers in the United States are landlines. A whopping 75% of those numbers belong to mobile phones. Majority of those landlines belong to businesses, while consumers rely primarily on mobile phones for their communication. Since many businesses have had the same number for years, and it is one your clients recognize, making the switch to be able to text your clients can be a challenge. But what if you could send client text messages from a business landline? It’s easier than you think. Should you text your clients? If you’ve been living under a rock, here is a newsflash: everyone uses text messages. In fact, 93% of consumers use texting as a means of communication. But that doesn’t just mean that consumers are using text messaging to talk to their friends and family. Many industries have adopted text messaging as a means to communicate with their clients. What are businesses texting about? Great question. An overwhelming majority of clients text businesses about appointments and scheduling. Since 90% of text messages are read within 3 seconds […]

4 Ways To Improve Client Text Appointment Reminders

Did you know 62% of no-shows occur simply because your client forgot? We get it. People are busy. Combat forgetfulness with an appointment reminder strategy that works. We have 4 easy ways for you to improve your client text appointment reminders. Send your reminders at the right time of day. Though we highly recommend incorporating text reminders into your strategy, many of our clients choose to also use email or voice messages to provide additional details (i.e. directions and instruction, documentation to bring, etc). To get the highest result, use best practices to send client reminders at the most effective time of day. For instance, SMS test reminders sent at 6 p.m. have a 41.4% higher response rate than SMS reminders sent at noon. The chart below shows response rate by time of day for SMS, email and voice calls. Include the correct information. Are you struggling with what to include in a client text reminder? Remember: this isn’t an email so only include what is necessary. You can always schedule an automated email that includes more detail if necessary. Always include the date, time and timezone of the appointment. […]