Monkey Software SMS integration helps optometrists reduce no-show rates
Monkey Software is an Australian owned and operated company and a part of the largest optical IT supplier to independent optometrists in the world.
The company’s main product, Optomate Practice Management System (Optomate), is used by more optometrists and optical dispensers in Australia and New Zealand than any other system. The Optomate Premier series includes the latest in database systems and interface design techniques, providing customers with a more effective system that is easy to use. It has an integrated SMS capability that streamlines customer communication for appointment confirmation, customer service and marketing.
SMS helps Monkey Software differentiate itself in the market
Monkey Software first started working with MessageMedia in 2002, when SMS for business was in its infancy.
The company has always pioneered the use of new technology, and Director Chris Monks said that they could clearly see how SMS would benefit the business and how, at the time, it would differentiate them in the market.
“We saw how powerful consumer text messaging was from the phone in terms of being brief, instant, and ubiquitous. We knew that those same qualities could be of tremendous benefit for our customers, particularly if we were able to integrate the service directly into our software.”
MessageMedia was the pioneer of business text messaging, and offered features that were built for business such as two-way messaging and application programming interface (API) integration. Two-way messaging is an optimal solution for appointment confirmation, helping to reduce latecomers and ‘no-shows’ and API integration allows companies to simply and easily build SMS functionality into systems and workflow processes.
“We chose to partner with MessageMedia because the product supported two-way SMS, the company was Australian with support and development based locally, and we found the API very easy to use,” says Monk.
Customer love the convenience of the system
SMS has been integrated into Optomate in a number of ways. Initially it was simply used for appointment confirmation and once-off patient and sales representative messaging. This provided immediate benefits to customers as improving appointment attendance has a direct impact on the bottom line.
Optomate users at Glenn Howell Optometrists, said that they use SMS for appointment reminders. “It’s a lot quicker than making a phone call, and as the software is on all computers anyone can send and check messages and report back to reception or follow up. Appointment attendance confirmation is instant, which is great for us, and our customers have told us that they like it as well.”
Monk said that over time, they have added other SMS applications including an order collection reminder capability and bulk SMS marketing. Another Optomate user, Moore Eyes, uses SMS for order collection:
“We simply close the order on Optomate, select ‘pick up notification’ which is a pre-set message we have loaded into the system, press ‘send’ and the SMS goes straight to the customer’s mobile. It takes seconds, so the time management is fantastic and our phone bills are smaller. Our customers love the service as well, because it’s just so convenient for them.”
The most recent software edition of Optomate, Optomate Touch, now also supports bulk patient recall SMS, which allows practitioners to select a group of patients based on criteria such as ‘last appointment more than 12 months’ and send out a bulk message to prompt them to book an appointment or contact the store.
Cost and time savings with increased efficiency
“Integrated SMS messaging delivers strong benefits for our customers and their customers,” says Monk.
“The main benefit of having SMS integrated into Optomate for Monkey Software customers is that it enables fast and easy patient contact. Appointment attendance confirmation is instant, and if patients cancel or can’t attend, they can fill an appointment from people on a waitlist and make the most out of everyone’s time.”
“Other benefits for our customers include the fact SMS is much cheaper than a phone call or a stamp, which saves them money. SMS is fast, which makes them more productive and saves them time and it also creates a positive perception for patients that they are working with progressive practitioners.”
Chris adds, “I enjoy working with the MessageMedia team and have always found that they provide great support. We would definitely recommend other software providers consider using the MessageMedia technology.”