Is there anything more frustrating for an attorney than waiting for a client who never shows? Not only is it a waste of time, but it’s also a major waste of money. And it’s even worse if it’s a first-time client who never bothers contacting you again. Over the course of a single year, no-show clients can cost attorneys & law firms upwards of $10,000 and beyond.
But no-shows don’t just leave you with less money in your pocket. If a client doesn’t make it for a court hearing, far worse consequences can result, including contempt charges or a bench warrant for your client. Since you’re in the business of helping your clients, you should want to do everything you can to ensure their success.
Fortunately, there’s a fairly easy way to do that: appointment reminders.
Recent research has shown that appointment reminders can have a major impact on no-show rates. A 2013 study conducted at substance abuse treatment facilities across the United States found that a simple call or text was able to reduce no-shows by an average of 19%. When you consider the fact that you could save almost $1,700 annually by reducing no-show rates by 1%, the value of appointment reminders becomes crystal clear. Appointment reminders have the power to save your law firm thousands of dollars each year.
One of the reasons that text reminders can have such an impact on no-shows is because of the nature of attorney appointments. If we’re being honest, most people don’t want to hire a lawyer. Situations that involve legal counsel are often stressful and wrought with emotion. Because of this, many people make appointments in the heat of the moment and then talk themselves out of showing up by the time their appointment date rolls around. But a simple text message can remind them of the importance of their appointment. One reminder can be the difference between them showing up on time and not showing up at all.
While different clients may desire different means of communication, one of the most preferred – especially for sending out reminders – is text messaging. Text messaging offers a variety of benefits over phone calls and e-mails. For one thing, text messages have a 90% open rate (compared with a 20% open rate for e-mails). In addition, texts are easier to respond to than any other form of communication. Clients can even respond while busy with something else. The same can’t be said for phone calls.
Ultimately, your best strategy involves a combination of text message, e-mail, and phone. But text messages should form the backbone of your client communication and reminder strategy. And if you leverage the power of an automated text message reminder service, you can set up your system to send reminders at the most strategic times – after an appointment has been made, a day before the appointment, after an appointment, etc.
There’s never been an easier way to reduce no-shows and maximize your law firm’s efficiency!