Veriam Dental Surgery is a popular dental surgery based in Southampton. The surgery was founded by Mike Darby who has worked in the area since 1990. We spoke to Mike about how he used FireText to help him save money and improve efficiency when sending out their regular dental appointment reminders to patients.
- Find a cheaper solution than post to send dental reminders
- Communicate with customers in a more modern way
- Reduce missed appointments
Mike wanted to find a new, more modern way of alerting customers about their up and coming dental appointments and reduce the number of appointments that were forgotten about and missed. He said, “sending letters at a rate of around £1 a letter was getting very expensive, so we wanted to look for alternative solutions.”
Mike explained, they considered both email and SMS as new ways to send appointment reminders to customers. In the end, he concluded that doctor’s surgeries and vets use SMS reminders all the time, and they work really well as everyone reads their text messages, so he figured that SMS may work really well for Veriam Surgery too!
“We spoke with our computer advisor, and after looking at several SMS companies he recommended we try FireText”
Mike was brand new to SMS and found the support with FireText a real added bonus. “The follow up support is great. Really impressed with the ease of use and the cost saving”.
“We have a few templates set up for check up reminders or for telling patients if they have missed an appointment.” Mike explained that using the templates function makes the process really easy, “all we have to do is select the template that we want, add in their name, number, and appointment date and send.”
We asked if they had encountered any problems when trying to implement the new SMS strategy, he said that it wasn’t really a problem as such but “some patients still said that they’d prefer a letter as they don’t use their mobile phones as much, however this didn’t really matter as a majority of patients said that they prefer the new text system.”
“This is a reminder of a dental appointment for Jon at Veriam Dental Surgery on 29/05/16 at 13:30pm. Please contact the surgery if you are unable to keep this appointment.”
Using SMS to send appointment reminders has meant that Veriam Dental Surgery have been able to make impressive savings.
“The cost of each message is around 5 pence (4p+VAT), this, compared with the cost of nearly £1 for a postal reminder with card, envelope and stamp is a big improvement. With one dentist we are saving around £200 per month” Mike explained.
Not only this but using SMS has also improved efficiency for the surgery. Mike said, “besides the cost saving, text reminders are quicker to do than writing appointment cards and addresses on envelopes.”
“In the future, we may compile a database so we can send texts to groups of patients informing them of practice news or special promotions.”
“I would totally recommend FireText for communicating with patients or clients.”