Calling vs. texting: it’s not just a dating dilemma. More and more professional organizations these days are weighing the pros and cons of calling or texting their patients. Eye care practices are no different. When it comes to reaching your patients, which communication method is best?
From appointment reminders and confirmations to eyewear ready notifications and birthday greetings, there are a variety of communications you could choose to call or text your patients about. Which is better depends on your patient demographics and the type of communication you’re sending.
Pros and Cons of Calling
Phone calls will always be effective to some degree, but it’s not as effective as it was in the past. According to the Mobile Marketing Association, despite the fact that 91% of US citizens have their cell phone within reach 24/7, patients are increasingly unable or unwilling to answer. Furthermore, 90% of cell phone users ignore incoming phone calls, according to Netscape. Both of these are big cons when it comes to getting a response from your patients.
Of course, calling has its advantages. You can show off more of your personality and it’s often the only way to contact older patients or patients that don’t have a smart phone. But it’s not the best way to contact Millennials and younger patients who prefer other communication methods like texting.
Pros and Cons of Texting
According to CTIA.org, people typically respond to text messages within 90 seconds. That’s an eye-opening statistic and shows that if you’re looking for a response these days, texting is often the best method. Plus, the more communications you replace with text messages, the less time you have to spend on the phone and the more time you can spend with patients. You can even automate texting for things like appointment reminders, last-minute appointment openings, eyewear ready notifications and birthday wishes to further increase efficiency.
As for the cons of texting, it may annoy some older patients and patients who aren’t tech-savvy or still pay for text by the message. Also, getting used to automated patient messaging software can take some time. But both of these will lessen over time.
In the end, it’s important to ask patients about their preferred communication method. While texting is often more beneficial than calling, you should be able to do either to reach your patients.