Using Appointment Reminder Software for Your Law Practice to Reduce No-Shows

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When clients miss appointments, lawyers lose a significant amount of money. If lawyers use software programmed to send clients automated reminders shortly before appointments, these reminders reduce no-shows and earn the law firm substantial profits.

One of the most irritating, and costly events in a lawyer’s career is the client who fails to come to a scheduled appointment. This is particularly problematic if the client is a first-time client, and the potential client never contacts the office again. The loss of this client can potentially have an economic cost of thousands of dollars.

Law offices are not alone in dealing with the economic consequences of client no-shows. A 2016 study of ten hospitals found that patients failed to appear for appointments an average of 18.8% of the time. The total cost of patient no-shows, for the ten hospitals, was $16.65 million in one year alone.

The consequences of a client failing to appear for a court hearing is even worse. Such non-appearance can result in contempt charges, or a bench warrant, issued against the client.

Research indicates that attorneys can substantially reduce client no-shows by sending reminders to each client shortly before an appointment. A study of 67 substance abuse treatment facilities showed that, when the treatment facilities did not send appointment reminders, the no-show rates at the treatment centers was 37.4%. The treatment centers tried a variety of ways to reduce no-shows, but “the most popular intervention” was calling the patients and reminding the patients of the appointment. These reminder calls reduced the no-show rate by an average of 19%; in 20 of the clinics, reminder calls reduced the no-show rate by greater than 20%.

When considering the amount of money that a client no-show costs an attorney, the use of appointment reminders can enable an attorney to substantially profit. Appointment reminders can also prevent a client from going to jail for failing to appear in court.

A particularly efficient way to send appointment reminders is by using automated software that sends an appointment reminder to a client at a predetermined time. Automated software prevents a secretary from shouldering the added burden of calling the client.

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A number of businesses offer appointment reminder software for small businesses. For a monthly fee, the software will automatically send voice messages, e-mails, or text messages to the client at a scheduled time. Many of these software packages will integrate with a calendar that the business already uses.

My firm, the Persaud Law Office handles it this way: Our appointment reminder software integrates with Office365. When we enter a client’s name and telephone number into our Office365 calendar, the appointment reminder software automatically picks up the appointment. We have programmed the reminder software to send each client two text messages: one at 6:00 pm on the day before the appointment, and another text one hour before the appointment. We have also programmed the reminder software to send different messages for different types of appointments. For office consults, we program it to say, “You have an appointment at ….” For court appearances, we program the reminder software to say, “You are to appear in court at ….”

Since we began using appointment reminder software eight months ago, we have only had one client no-show. Prior to using appointment reminder software, we had no-shows very frequently, and the no-shows cost our office a significant amount of money.

The types of appointment reminder software vary somewhat in their pricing, the type of services they offer, and the calendars with which they will integrate. Below is a list of six popular types of appointment reminder software, and a brief description of their features. This list is current as of May 8, 2020.

Six Popular Appointment Reminder Softwares

Appointmentreminders.com

(note difference in spelling from appointmentreminder.com, below) This service will send emails, voice messages and text messages.

Costs:

  • $9.95 per month for 100 reminders per month. This plan only integrates with a web interface.
  • $29.95 per month for 320 reminders per month.
  • $59.95 per month for 675 reminders per month.
  • $99.95 per month for 1200 reminders per month.

All plans over $29.95 per month integrate with a web interface, Google Calendar and allow you to upload excel or csv files.

Appointmentreminders.com also has “Advanced Integration.” With advanced integration, “No matter what … scheduling service you use, we can usually integrate with it.” Advanced integration is free if you use over 5,000 reminder a month; otherwise, there is a small monthly fee.

AppointmentReminder.com

This service will send emails, voice messages and text messages. It integrates with Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, Apple iCloud, Redtail CRM, CSV, and Office365. Also, if your calendar software is not listed on their website, they may be able to integrate with it. Contact them.

Costs:

  • $19 per month for 100 reminders per month. This plan will sync with 2 calendars.
  • $29 per month for 400 reminders per month. This plan will sync with 6 calendars.
  • $49 per month for 800 reminders per month. This plan will sync with 12 calendars.
  • $89 per month for 1600 reminders per month. This plan will syncs with 25 calendars.

ReminderCall

This service will send emails, voice messages and text messages. It integrates with Acuity, AppointmentPlus, Book Fresh, Booker, CenterPiece, Customer Factor, Google Calendar, Redtail CRM, Schedulicity, Setmore, and SnapAppointments. They can also create a custom integration for you.

Cost:

  • $14.50 per month for 130 reminders per month

Additional credits cost:

  • 1-1,000 Credits 9.0¢ per Credit
  • 1,001-2,500 Credits 8.5¢ per Credit
  • 2,501-5,000 Credits 7.5¢ per Credit
  • 5,001-10,000 Credits 7.0¢ per Credit
  • 10,001-25,000 Credits 6.5¢ per Credit
  • 25,001-50,000 Credits 6.0¢ per Credit
  • 50,000+ Credits 5.5¢ per Credit

Apptoto

This service will send emails, voice messages and text messages. It integrates with Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, Office365, iCloud, Microsoft Exchange, Salesforce, Clio, PracticePanther, Rocket Matter, CSV / XML, SQL Databases, Zapier and iCal, CalDAV, CardDAV

Costs:

  • $29 per month for 400 automated message credits; syncs with 2 calendars
  • $59 per month for 800 automated message credits; syncs with 4 calendars
  • $99 per month for 1600 automated message credits; syncs with 8 calendars
  • $249 per month for 4000 automated message credits; syncs with 20 calendars

GoReminders

This service will send emails and text messages. For the plans higher than $24, it will integrate with your “calendar of choice;” however, you have to enter the appointment directly in the program rather than through your calendar. When you add the appointment in GoReminders it will go into your calendar.

Costs:

  • $20 per month for 20 appointments (does not integrate with calendar)
  • $24 per month for 300 appointments
  • $48 per month for 600 appointments
  • $72 per months for 900 appointments – additional blocks of 300 appointments/month are $24 per month

TimeTap

This service will send emails and text messages. It integrates with Google Calendar, iCloud, Office 365, Exchange.com

Costs:

  • Fees range from $24.95-$74.95 per month, depending on which additional features you order. All plans allow you to make an unlimited number of appointments.

Why You Should Choose an Appointment Reminder Software

Clients will be less likely to forget appointments if they are notified shortly before the meeting time. The amount you will pay for appointment reminder software is far less than the amount you are losing from client no-shows. If you have clients or potential clients who have been missing appointments and costing you money, you don’t have to take it lying down.

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