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Do you do phone call reminders for appointments?

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  • Do you do phone call reminders for appointments?

    I'm needing some advice on how to handle a clients request for me to call and remind them the day before their grooming appointment. I've never liked doing it, simply becuase alot of the time I forget. Plus I send out reminders, so I don't want to over-remind them. And I work alone, and find it hard to take the time to make all the calls. Then another good reason is - today I called a client who specifically asks me to always call the day before to remind her or she'll forget (she books app. 3 months in advance), so I called her on the only phone number I have for her - which was her cell - and she was really irritated that I bothered her while she was at a Doctor's app. I felt so bad and apologized, but she hung up on me. I am wishing (& wanting!) I could just stop the calling reminder thing altogether, but what do I tell people that ask if I would call and remind them??? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Do any of ya'll do reminder calls???

  • #2
    I always like to call clients the day before to remind them. Alot have standing appointments but still need reminding. Plus it's always nice to know the day before if they need to cancel then not have them show up at all. As for the client getting mad for calling at the doctor's, ask if they have a home phone number she would like you to call.

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    • #3
      We do reminder calls all the time. We do them at the end of the day, and it really doesn't take that long.

      I know all the reasons people have for not making reminder calls, and they're legitimate reasons. But if we don't call we have more missed appointments. And when people miss their appointments, I'm the one who gets shot in the foot. I'd rather suck it up, make the calls, and have a bigger pay check at the end of the week.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Helly View Post
        We do reminder calls all the time. We do them at the end of the day, and it really doesn't take that long.

        I know all the reasons people have for not making reminder calls, and they're legitimate reasons. But if we don't call we have more missed appointments. And when people miss their appointments, I'm the one who gets shot in the foot. I'd rather suck it up, make the calls, and have a bigger pay check at the end of the week.
        I agree with Helly. I also call my clients and 50% of the time I get "I am so glad that you called I would have forgotten" So even though they get appointment cards a phone call is the best reminder and I am sure of my income by the end of the week
        "Whoever Said That Money Can't Buy Happiness Forgot About Puppies"
        Nancy

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        • #5
          I always call customers 1 or 2 days in advance to remind them. If they can't make it for whatever reason then at least I know a day or 2 beforehand so I can schedule another customer during their timeslot. It does irk me that people sometimes wait until I call them to tell me they need to reschedule, but at least this way I know in advance and I'm not waiting around the next day for a no-show.

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          • #6
            "Sorry, I don't make reminder calls- perhaps you have a friend or relative who can call you?"
            The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit. ~Nelson Henderson

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            • #7
              I absolutely do reminder calls. Being mobile, driving out to someone's house and finding them not there really costs money, not only in lost grooming fee, but gas, wear and tear on the vehicle etc. I only have to make 6 or 7 reminder calls a night plus return the calls. I definitely think it would cut down on no shows in a shop.
              don't find yourself up a creek without a poodle.

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              • #8
                I do reminder calls 1-2 nights in advance. If they no-show 2 appts. they may be charged in advance for the next groom.

                It only takes a few minutes, and if you have a talkative client, be prepared in advance to have something to say to speed up the call. I usually only need to make 6-8 calls and many are answering machines. I say:

                "Hi this is Tammy from _______ Animal Hospital, this is just a courtesy reminder call that Fluffy has an appointment for grooming at 10:00 am tomorrow, we'll see you then."

                As far as that lady being rude and hanging up on you, I don't blame you for being hesitant to call people---but I would also remind her of YOUR situation and that if she wants a reminder call, it will be on THAT phone unless she gives another. And it may not be in the evenings (I'm sorry but if she insists it be "at night" or any other specific time, tell her to give you a "reminder call" to call her at a certain time, lol.

                In any case, she has no right to be angry about that---she didn't have to answer her phone! She should have shut it off if she was so concerned about that.

                Tammy in Utah
                Groomers Helper Affiliate

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                • #9
                  I dont do calls because...well to be honest, by the end of the day SOMETIMES I just want out, and once you commit to doing those calls, you gotta keep doing them because the clients start to depend on them instead of their own memory. I should know. I dont remember my Dr appts anymore until I get that call a couple days before. I dont bother writing it down because I know they always call. I think calls definitely help with compliance though if you have the time and will power to make it a regular thing.

                  do have a couple clients with illnesses who are on medications (or stress) that really screw with their memory. They are wonderful clients and have always treated me wonderfully but they miss their appts all the time (for what I feel are legitimate reasons) Those people I do call. Its the least I can do for all they are going through in their lives right now. (One is late into MS the other recently diagnosed with parkinsons)

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                  • #10
                    If it has been more than a week since they made their appt yes I call and remind them.
                    If that lady told you to call her and remind her then I would suggest you get an alternate number to call her at. She should not have he phone on in the doctor's office anyway. How are you to know that she was there. Sorry, not only are we groomers and supposed to be vets, and work for free, but now we must be mind readers too.
                    If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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                    • #11
                      I don't really like to, I just do it.

                      I do ask if they would mind if I gave them a reminder call. 95 percent say they'd appreciate it. If they say no, then I write that on the card. Otherwise a quick call, Just reminding you of Charlies Groom tomorrow at 11:00, call ###-#### if any problem with that. No chatting, gotta run attitude.

                      Having experienced in the past no shows and worse driving out to a home with no one home, I suck it up and dial the numbers.

                      It is funny how I really don't like to though. I say to myself that I'll feel better when I do, and that it's easier to just get it done, and it's true, it works better and I work better. And yep I have appreciated the Dentist's reminder calls.
                      Money will buy you a pretty good dog but it won't buy the wag of it's tail.

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                      • #12
                        It's easier for me to make calls....I always forget to mail out the reminders, and it saves me in stamps.


                        As for the lady who got mad you called her while she was at the Dr....it's her own fault for leaving her cell phone on in the waiting room. She should have had the thing off and her voice mail would have picked up! (I'm funny about that...I get irritated when people's phones ring at the dr/dentist office, especially when there is a big sign saying no cell phone use in the waiting room. Then they sit there and talk really loud. That and people wearing too much perfume...just a peeve of mine I guess.)

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                        • #13
                          I make calls for those that need it. Since i am on the road all day i tend to do calls 4-9 pm. For those that have cell phones that is great, but i always have a home phone number for all clients. Way too many times i have interupted people out to dinner or at the gym etc. with cell phones. I prefer to use a home phone and leave a mesg.
                          Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness.- Richard Carlson

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                          • #14
                            Starting to make calls..

                            I have always sent cute reminder cards out for every groom that comes in. But lately with some new clients, they have no shown - so I have decided to start making the reminder calls the night before. I have also decided to charge a $10 no show fee! Yikes - scary but needed I think.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by milhasavilla View Post
                              so I called her on the only phone number I have for her - which was her cell - and she was really irritated that I bothered her while she was at a Doctor's app. I felt so bad and apologized, but she hung up on me.
                              My first thought when I read this was, "That would have been her [b]last[/b] reminder call from me!" She requested the call. You had no way of knowing she was at the doctor's office, and she had the option of turning off her cell phone if she didn't want to be interrupted. Being rude to you about it was uncalled for, so that was the reason for my initial reaction.

                              Then, I started thinking she might have just received some bad news from her doctor or maybe she was at the doctor's office, because she wasn't feeling well so that's why she was so crabby. I guess I should give her the benefit of the doubt, because we never know what circumstances could be going on in people's lives that might cause them to behave in manner different from what they normally would.

                              My preference is to not do reminder calls either, but I too have a few clients who request them. When I schedule their appointments, I add them to my Yahoo Calendar, which sends me an email on the days I need to call them. The emails remind me to remind them.
                              Sheri

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