Active Agenda has text messaging (SMS) integration built in. This allows all staff members at your organization to send and receive text messages from their own computer and schedule automatic reminders to clients for upcoming appointments. Most text messaging tasks are done through the Client Text Messaging interface, opened by going to Tools >> Client Text Messaging.
Note: To use text messaging features, a new dedicated phone number is connected to your Active Agenda install. You cannot use an existing phone number.
Client text messaging
- Click New message.
- Select the client you wish to send the message to. The client must have a mobile phone number.
- Enter a text message you wish to send to the client in the Message field.
- Optionally check ‘Request the client confirm they received the text by replying ‘C’. This will prompt the client to confirm they have received the message.
- Optionally enter any notes you wish to record about this text message communication. Notes are for internal use, the client cannot see them.
- Click Send.
Much like email, unread messages are listed in the interface in bold and can be opened with a double click. Once the message is open:
- If the message could not be automatically matched to a client based on the phone number, click the button next to ‘Client’ and select the client the message is from.
- Optionally, enter any internal notes about the communication in the notes field.
- Choose one of the following:
- Click OK to save and close the message.
- Reply to save the message and compose a reply message.
- Cancel to close the message and leave it as unread.
Navigating the Interface
By using the time period selection on the left, you can view messages in a particular month, or recent messages. Expanding these options also allows you to restrict the view to sent or received messages.
You can search the displayed messages using the text box in the upper right.
Selecting ‘Show automated’ will list messages that were sent automatically by Active Agenda to remind clients, as opposed to manually by a staff members.
Automated text/SMS appointment reminders
Active Agenda can be configured to automatically send clients text messages reminding them of upcoming appointments. To configure automatic reminders click the ‘Automate’ tab in Client Text Messaging.
The form here provides you with various configuration options and the ability to send a test message. The form below explains the configuration options.
|Enable automated SMS reminders||Checking this turns on automated reminders.|
|<text box>||This is the message that will be sent to the client. You can use 5 place holders:|
#ORGANIZATION# : Your organization’s name as it should appear in a text message.
#APPT_DATE#: The date of the appointment.
#APPT_TIME#: The time as it should appear in the appointment.
#CLIENT_FNAME#: The client’s first name.
#CLIENT_LNAME#: The client’s last name.
|Hours of the day to send reminders||Which hour of the day should messages be sent. For example, if set to 10, automated messages will be sent at 10AM, if set to 14, messages will be sent at 2PM.|
|Maximum days before||Controls the number of a days before appointment that messages should be sent. For example, setting this to 1, means reminders will be sent the day before the appointment. Setting this to 3, means reminders for appointments on Friday would be sent Tuesday.|
|Minimum hours prior||Minimum number of hours prior to an appointment reminders will be sent. For example, if reminders go out at 10AM and are set to a minimum of 4 hours prior, and a client is scheduled last-minute for 11AM that day, the reminder would not be set, since that is 1 hour before the appointment, below the 4 hour minimum.|
|<relational matches>||You can control which appointments and clients reminders will be sent for using the relational matching interface. Exclusion always overrides inclusion.|
|Client confirmation||If the system should listen for a ‘C’ confirmation from the client confirming they have read and received the reminder.|
|Apply status||A status that should be applied, such as ‘Reminded’, or ‘Confirmed’.|
|Status is applied||If there is a status to be applied, if it is applied when the reminder is sent, or only after the client sends a C confirmation.|
|Send test to||A phone number a test message should be sent to.|
Other things to note about automated messages:
- Clients will only be sent 1 automated message per appointment.
- Automated messages will not be sent for recurring appointments.
- To allow for the most customization and flexibility, automated messages will not prefix reminders with the standard organization identification/greeting, nor append the reply request. Type the reminder message exactly as you would like it sent to clients.