Sending an SMS message to a patient is a great way to remind them of their appointment! This tutorial will walk you through how to set up automated SMS appointment reminders.

☝️ Note: You will need to purchase SMS credits to use SMS reminders. Credits can be purchased in lots of 200 or more. Head over here to learn where to purchase SMS credits!

Setting Up SMS Reminders

Head to Settings, and then Appointment reminders:

Select your Default reminder type to SMS:

☝️ Note: Your Reminder period and Reminder time specify when these reminders are to be sent out. For example, if you have 1 day before the appointment at 10:00, this means that patients who have appointments on Fridays will receive a reminder during the 10:00 a.m. hour on Thursday!

Head to the SMS reminders section, and be sure that the box next to SMS enabled is ticked. If this box is not ticked, SMS reminders will not go out, even if your default reminder type is set to "SMS"!

Understanding the SMS Content Editor

When you're crafting the content for your SMS appointment reminder, we recommend you take advantage of "placeholders"—these are the menu items in all capital letters across the top of the content editor:

What the placeholders do is "pull" applicable content in to the reminder. Using the {{Business.Name}}   placeholder will automatically result in the reminder showing the name of the business that the patient is booked in at. Cliniko is pretty smart, and it knows who has an appointment, and when, and where—so the placeholders simply tell Cliniko which information to put in the reminders!

You're also able to click the View sample SMS button at the bottom of the editor to get an idea of what your email reminders will look like:

☝️ Note: You will also need to ensure that relevant appointment types have reminders enabled. You might not want all of your different appointments to send reminders out, so you can turn them on or off, depending on your preferences. 

Enable Appointment Types to Send Reminders

Now that you've crafted the content for your email reminder, you'll need to make sure that it's "linked up" with relevant appointment types! 

Head to Settings, and then Appointment types:

Click on the appointment type you want the confirmation email to go out for, and find where it says Appointment reminders. Tick the box next to where it says "Send appointment reminder…":

Save these changes, and that's it! 🙌

Make sure to follow this same process for all other appointment types that you want a reminder to go out for.

Opting Patients Out of Receiving SMS Reminders (Or Editing Their Preferences)

Generally speaking, you'll probably want all of your patients to have the same reminder type. Sometimes, however, there may be an instance in which certain patients don't wish to receive reminders at all, or may only wish to receive a certain type of reminder (either email or SMS). 

You can edit an individual patient's reminder setting to customise what they receive. To do this, head to the chosen patient's file, and edit their details. Under Communication preferences, select which reminder type this patient should receive:

Save the changes to be sure they stick!

When you change this, the reminder for just this patient will be different than the default.

If you'd prefer to use email reminders instead, head over here to learn how to set those up!

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