23 ways to increase consultation show-up rate

If you’re a refractive surgeon, you know how frustrating no-shows can be. Every missed appointment means a lost opportunity to help someone see better, and it disrupts your schedule and affects your bottom line. In this blog post, we reveal 23 innovative strategies designed to significantly enhance the show-up rates for your appointments!

WARNING: Avoid all of these simultaneously, or you might get polypharmacy effects!

  1. Framing of the Consultation: Name the appointment to show how it benefits the person. This approach not only personalizes the experience but also makes the consultation seem more essential, thereby increasing the likelihood of attendance.
  2. Speed to Lead: Implement a system where leads are contacted within 5 minutes of their inquiry. Quick responses make potential patients feel valued and significantly increase the chances of engagement by capitalizing on the moment of highest interest.
  3. Calendar Availability: Maintain a flexible calendar with wide availability. This inclusivity can decrease the likelihood of cancellations and reschedules, making it easier for patients to find a time that suits their busy schedules.
  4. 72-Hour Scheduling Window: Keep the scheduling window within 72 hours. This prevents a drop in show-up rates.
  5. Reschedules: Limit reschedules to the same day to maintain high attendance. This policy helps keep the consultation top of mind for the patient and minimizes disruption to your schedule.
  6. Text Sequence: Use a text message sequence from booking until the appointment to remind and provide value. These reminders should provide value and reinforce the importance of the consultation, keeping the patient engaged and informed.
  7. Expectation Setting: From the first contact, clearly communicate what the patient should expect during the appointment. This transparency helps manage patient expectations and builds trust, increasing the likelihood they will feel committed to attending.
  8. Building a Brand: Enhance your brand to increase perceived value and recognition. People don’t ghost credible brands!
  9. Calling to Confirm: Call on the consultation day to confirm attendance. This not only acts as a final reminder but also adds a personal touch that can make the difference in patient turnout.
  10. Sales Assets: To build trust and interest, provide valuable content such as informational brochures, videos, or FAQs before the appointment.
  11. Gift for Attending: Offer a small gift as an incentive to increase show-up rates.
  12. Personalized Video: Send a customized video to confirm the consultation, enhancing personal connection.
  13. Testimonials the Day Before: To boost credibility, share testimonials or case studies close to the appointment day. Seeing real-life success stories can reassure them of the value of attending.

NOTE: The best way to answer that nagging question about practice growth or marketing or patient volume in the back of your mind is to book a free 15-minute compatibility call. Get some options and go away with a clear idea of what’s possible.

  1. Three-Way Hook Message: Use a group chat for introductions. It adds social pressure and increases commitment.
  2. Scarcity in Booking: Create urgency by highlighting limited availability or upcoming deadlines.
  3. 15-Minute Availability Increments: Offer scheduling options in 15-minute increments for better flexibility.
  4. Double Booking: Have a frequent DNA slot? Schedule many people for the same slot to account for no-shows and manage your time efficiently.
  5. Indoctrination Sequence: Provide continuous value through videos and proof of your expertise before the appointment. Continuous engagement helps maintain interest and commitment to the scheduled consultation.
  6. Application Process: A thorough booking process ensures that only committed prospects book appointments.
  7. Ease of Access: If the appointment is virtual, send links via multiple channels to make joining the call as easy as possible. Reducing technological hurdles can significantly enhance patient compliance and attendance.
  8. Low Friction: Reduce barriers to attending the appointment, such as simplifying the technology used. The easier it is to participate, the more likely patients will follow through.
  9. Adding to Calendar: Encourage attendees to add the consultation to their calendar for better commitment.
  10. Send an attractive Consult Agenda: Provide a compelling agenda outlining the consultation’s benefits and topics to intrigue potential attendees.

Struggling with a high rate of DNAs (Did Not Attend) for consultations or surgery appointments can be frustrating and costly. By implementing some of the strategies outlined above, you have the potential to significantly reduce no-shows and enhance overall attendance rates at your practice.

Each technique is designed to engage your patients more effectively, ensure they feel valued, and make it easier for them to commit to and remember their appointments. Start integrating these approaches today and observe a marked improvement in your consultation show-up rates, ultimately leading to better patient outcomes and a more efficient practice.

If you’re curious about how your practice can improve its marketing efforts, I encourage you to take our Practice Marketing Assessment quiz. Or, if you want to have a quick chat, book a free 15-minute compatibility call with Laura today!

About the author

Rod Solar
Founder & Scalable Business Advisor / fCMO

Rod Solar is a co-founder of LiveseySolar and a Scalable Business Advisor for its customers. Rod mentors and coaches eye surgery business CEOs/Founders and their leadership teams to triple their sales, double their profit, and achieve their “ideal exit”.

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Meet our Founders

We’re passionate about helping leaders of high-quality, growth-minded practice owners double their practice revenue

Rod Solar

Founder & Scalable Business Advisor

Rod Solar is a co-founder of LiveseySolar and a Scalable Business Advisor / fCMO for our customers. Rod mentors and coaches CEOs/Founders and their leadership teams to double their sales, triple their profits, and achieve their “ideal exit”.

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LiveseySolar completely transformed the way we were approaching this… We’ve gone from having just the dream of having a practice to having a practice up and running with people making inquiries and booking for procedures… It’s extremely pleasing. We feel lucky we connected with LiveseySolar.

— Dr Matthew Russell, MBChB, FRANZCO, specialist ophthalmic surgeon and founder of VSON and OKKO

Laura Livesey

Founder & CEO

Laura Livesey is the co-founder & CEO of LiveseySolar. She has developed powerful refractive surgery marketing systems that increase patient volumes and profits for doctors, clinics, and hospitals, since 1997.

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Rod and Laura know as much about marketing surgery to patients as I know about performing it. They are an expert in the field of laser eye surgery marketing. They know this industry inside out. I believe that they could help many companies in a variety of areas including marketing materials, sales training and marketing support for doctors.

— Prof. Dan Reinstein, MD MA FRSC DABO, founder of the London Vision Clinic, UK