Sharing Survey Links Via SMS


Recent statistics highlighted by the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care showed that in a patient feedback questionnaire of paediatric patients (and their carers) a response rate of around 25% was able to be achieved by sharing the survey link via SMS. This method of sharing links does however raise security concerns for some patients. Here we discuss the benefits of SMS distribution, and methodology to encourage patient confidence in, and completion of, the survey using a link they receive via SMS.

In general, there are a lot of benefits to the practice in using SMS Surveys. These include:

  • SMSes have a read rate of 98%. That makes the probability of getting a response higher, but also means that those who didn’t respond are at least aware that you value their feedback.
  • SMS surveys can be used very effectively post transaction, for example, sending a small thank you message to your patient after a visit along with the SMS Survey.
  • On an average, it takes just 90 seconds to respond to an SMS. Considering this, SMS Surveys can be considered a great way to reach out to your patients and engage them in just a matter of seconds.
  • SMS Surveys are very easy and cost effective to send, especially if you're using an existing practice management software that allows this, or automated appointment software.

There are several things you can do to encourage confidence in your practice community that the message requesting feedback is in fact from you. Use these helpful ten tips for SMSing survey links to patients:

  1. Establish familiarity by mentioning the name of the doctor and/or practice first.
  2. Personalise your messages, for example include the first name of the patient.
  3. Where your survey is using a third-party provider, explain this.
  4. Send the message immediately before/after a visit to allow for context.
  5. Make sure the survey landing page identifies your practice.
  6. Have a crystal-clear call to action. A “why” is helpful.
  7. Advertise in the practice and via your newsletter that you are undertaking a survey.    
  8. Avoid overusing SMS - to reduce customers ‘opting out’ of your messages. 
  9. Be mindful of laws – don’t send SMS to patients who have opted out.
  10. Use a mobile friendly/responsive survey.

Also consider sending a follow up reminder. People get busy and perhaps they intended to complete the survey but forgot. In short, don’t let the fear of links stop you and your practice enjoying the benefits of using SMS to distribute your practice surveys. SMS is a cost effective and time efficient way to gather feedback, and in fact most patients prefer this methodology to receive the survey.

See below example of wording for a personalised message:

Dear <Patient Name>,

Thank you for visiting <Dr Name> recently. Our team is currently undertaking a patient questionnaire and would greatly appreciate your feedback on the service provided to you. To complete the survey please go to<Survey Link>

Please note that the collection and analysis is undertaken by external provider UltimateQ to ensure that your input is anonymous. Your participation is voluntary.

Thank you,

<Practice Name>


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