Schedule coordination is a critical detail in all industries, but especially for home remodeling contractors when moving from one job site to the next. To stay on track, and on time, with your workday it is essential to have a good appointment scheduling system in place. Not only do you need to keep track of your itinerary for the day, but you also need to make sure that your customers are ready at the scheduled time.
The logistics of booking, managing, and confirming appointments can be an added challenge in your business. You want to focus on your craft and services, but it’s also necessary to handle logistics and administrative work as well.
Effective Communication with Your Customers
People schedule appointments and then forget, show up late, no-show, or need to reschedule because of last-minute conflicts. When you encounter these issues, it can cause a domino effect that throws off the rest of your daily schedule.
The reality is that you will have to reschedule or change appointments from time to time. But a good appointment management system can save you headaches and lost time. The most effective strategy is to use an automated verification system that is integrated into your marketing funnel.
For example, when a customer expresses interest in your services and books an appointment, they receive an automated reminder with the day and time. Then, it’s smart to send a follow-up reminder a few days before the appointment.
Why Appointment Reminders are Essential
Even though sending a reminder seems like another piece of busy-work to add to your never-ending to-do list, keeping confirmations top of mind will be well worth the effort. Here are a few reasons why appointment reminders are essential for all home improvement professionals ready to protect their time and money:
- Backfill the Time: If the customer needs to reschedule, then that gives you a bit of time to adjust your schedule and back-fill the time slot if needed. Filling the gap is important to optimize your income and reduce the risk of lost revenue.
- Improve Efficiency: When you drive to a person’s home and the customer no-shows the appointment, it leaves you with extra, unproductive time in the middle of the day. Confirming appointments increases your efficiency and minimizes the risk of spending unnecessary time in the car.
- Protect the Relationship: Maintaining effective communication with your customers is key to establishing a long-term business relationship. Appointment reminders reduce the likelihood of miscommunication about the appointment day or time, helping you build trust and reliability with your customers.
How and When to Send Reminders
Here are a few best practices that every home remodeler should keep in mind when sending appointment reminders:
- Preferred Contact: Find out the customer’s preferred way to receive appointment updates. Options include email, text messages, or phone calls. Asking for feedback about the method of communication increases the likelihood that the customer will receive the message.
- One Reminder at a Time: Even if you have multiple options for contacting your customers, be tactful in the way you are communicating. Send one reminder at a time instead of blasting all methods of communication simultaneously.
- Timing the Reminders: When scheduling an appointment weeks or months in advance, send the first appointment reminder two weeks before the appointment. Consider sending an email reminder 3 days before, then a text reminder 24 hours before the appointment.
- Keep it Simple: Short and sweet is best for appointment reminders. Limit text messages to 160 characters, email messages to a few sentences, and phone calls to less than a minute.
- Important Details: Include all relevant details in the reminder message such as the date, time, brief info about the meeting, and where you will be meeting. Even if you are going to the customer’s home, it can be helpful to include the address in the message to ensure that you have the right location.
As you continue to connect with more homeowners by partnering with Modernize, the best solution for sending appointment reminders is to automate the messages whenever possible. You don’t need to spend your day on the phone checking in with customers. Instead, invest in a good appointment system that can integrate with your other digital tools. Streamlining your processes can have a positive impact on the bottom line, and boost the long-term success of your home renovation company.