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Appointment-Plus Introduces Text-Ding™ Automated Text Message Appointment Reminders

Online appointment software leader merges customer self-scheduling convenience with text message technology to dramatically reduce appointment no-shows.

Scottsdale, AZ - In the span of just a few years, mobile phone text messaging has become one of the most important means of worldwide communication. Recent studies have consistently confirmed that mobile phone and text message use have overtaken home phones and even emails. Nearly 86% of Americans over 13 years old now own a cell phone. Capitalizing on this overwhelming trend, Appointment-Plus online scheduling software announced the release of its latest online appointment setting feature, Text-Ding™ automated text message appointment reminders. Text-Ding™ provides Appointment-Plus software users the ability to send an automated text message appointment reminder literally right into the hands of their customers, at the time the customer chooses.

A 2008 study concerning national health systems found that text message reminders reduced appointment no-shows by up to 50% and were more cost effective than any other reminder method. The study concluded that text message reminders were "particularly suitable" for increasing appointment attendance and improving customer communication. Recent studies have also demonstrated that 89% of all text messages are opened and read immediately upon receipt. In addition, mobile phone ownership in the United States is estimated to reach nearly 100% in less than four years. Consistent with these findings, an Appointment-Plus client survey in 2009 found overwhelming client demand for customer text message appointment reminders.

"E-mail reminders are like putting a letter in the mail and hoping that the letter gets opened," said Robert La Loggia, President of Appointment-Plus. "Text message reminders are like tapping the customer on the shoulder and reminding them right before their appointment."

Since its recent introduction in August, 2009, Text-Ding™ has already seen adoption by hundreds of Appointment-Plus clients, including a number of higher volume appointment setting clients. This includes Puget Sound Blood Center, one of the nation's largest blood centers. Donors can now elect to receive a text message reminder for their blood donation appointments. Puget Sound Blood Center conducted a short donor survey and found that donors embraced the text message reminders and that the text message reminders definitely helped donors remember their appointments. "The donor response has been overwhelming and we endorse this new feature," said David Leitch, Director of Donor Recruitment, Puget Sound Blood Center.

In addition to the benefits of the Text-Ding™ text message appointment reminders, Appointment-Plus was also careful to address privacy and HIPAA concerns related to the use of text message reminders. Appointment-Plus included several system options that allow clients to control the appointment data content to be included in the customer text message reminders. This allows clients to remove potentially sensitive content from the text message reminder, such as the nature of the service or the name of the service provider.

Appointment-Plus is a technology firm that specializes in the development of online appointment software for a wide variety of applications and industries. StormSource's flagship product is the Appointment-Plus online scheduling system. Appointment-Plus clients include Fortune 500 companies such as Pepsi and Comcast, federal and local government, universities and schools, and small/medium sized businesses worldwide. In 2007, Microsoft Corp. selected StormSource's Appointment-Plus software as its preferred online scheduling system.

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