Using SMS Alerts

Created by Allison Cloyd, Modified on Mon, 14 Nov 2022 at 01:05 AM by Allison Cloyd

Actionstep has an SMS function that will work in all regions allowing users to send one-direction SMS messages to any party allowing for reminders of calendar appointments for your client. 

In this article, we explain how SMS alerts work. If you want to learn how to set your Actionstep so it can use SMS Alert, please see SMS Alert Setup.

NOTE

While in Early Adopter mode, SMS is not available in Express systems.

Text messages cannot be sent to International Phone numbers. 

 

There are two parts to Actionstep's SMS Alerts

  1. Sending one-off SMS (text) messages 
  2. Automatically sending calendar reminders to clients
  3. Staff alert reminders for items like appointments, tasks, and key dates

 

Sending one-off SMS messages

A user can send SMS messages by going to the global create button in the top right of Actionstep and choosing SMS.

They can also send an SMS to a contact from the contact record by clicking on the SMS number.

/helpdesk/attachments/150002488205

NOTE
If you create an SMS with the matter open on the screen, the SMS will automatically be assigned to that matter. If you do not create an SMS with the matter open you will be required to enter a matter before sending your SMS. 

 

The Create SMS screen

Filling in an SMS is easy, choose the contact from the To field.

To ensure that the SMS number from your contact is automatically populated, please either:

  1. Enter the mobile number as one of the four phone numbers and choose the option 'Mobile'.
  2. Enter the number into the TXT/SMS number field (either on its own or including the country code).
    /helpdesk/attachments/150002488206
  3. If the contact has a phone number loaded on their contact record in the TXT/SMS number field it will be added automatically.
    /helpdesk/attachments/150002488207
  4. You can enter the mobile number as normal (example: 0409 123 456) or with a country code (+61 409 123 456)
    /helpdesk/attachments/150002488208
  5. Select a matter for the message (required)  and enter the text of the message.
  6. Click "Send" when finished.
TIP FOR SENDING SMS

Introduce yourself.

The message that will be received will not be altered by Actionstep in any way and will be received from a short code number (e.g., 7623, 3462) or the word NOTICE. 

You may want to ensure your first message mentions your own name or your firm name to ensure the recipient understands who it is from.

 

Recipients cannot reply.

If a message is responded to, that message will not be displayed in Actionstep - nobody will receive it. You may want to make this clear in your message.

 

An example of what the recipient will receive is below:

/helpdesk/attachments/150002488209

 

To ensure that the SMS number from your contact is automatically populated, please either:

  1. Enter the mobile number as one of the four phone numbers and choose the option 'Mobile'.
  2. Enter the number into the TXT/SMS number field
    /helpdesk/attachments/150002488210

Viewing sent SMS messages

You will find a list of all SMS messages related to a matter under the Comms menu on your matter. 

You will find a list of all SMS messages for all matters under the Comms menu at the top of the Actionstep screen.

/helpdesk/attachments/150002488211

 

Calendar Appointments for Clients

When enabled, calendar appointments can send SMS reminders to selected attendees when an appointment is linked to a matter. The attendee must be linked to a contact record and have an SMS number configured.

To ensure that this works, the following criteria must be met:

  1. The appointment is linked to a matter
  2. The client (or primary participant if you don't use clients) is an attendee to that matter
  3. The client has a value SMS number recorded to their record.

Two reminders are sent for each appointment.

  • 1 day before the appointment
  • 1 hour before the appointment start time, with all-day appointments adjusted to 8 am the day before. 

The message will read as below:

Reminder: You have an appointment with us at . Thanks,
 
EXAMPLE: 
Reminder: You have an appointment with us tomorrow at 123 Exemplar Place. Thanks, ABC Law +1 (831) 3326495

 

 
If no location is included in the appointment, it will be excluded from the message.
 
EXAMPLE: 
Reminder: You have an appointment with us today at 4:30 pm. Thanks, ABC Law +1 (831) 3326495

 

Reminder: You have an appointment with us tomorrow at 123 Fake st. Thanks, Lance EBM USA Cash +1 (831) 3326495
NOTE
The message information is only applicable to automatic reminders set in admin. For setup, see SMS Alerts Setup. Manual reminders will send only the title of the appointment at the designated time.

 

Staff SMS Alert Reminders 

There are several ways you can set up alerts for staff members with a login to Actionstep. These alerts can be:

  1. Reminders that are linked to items like tasks, appointments, and key dates, or
  2. One-off alerts set up by a user
TIP
You are also able to set up alerts to be created automatically for tasks that are created as part of a step-change or for matter data. See our articles on Matter Type setup for more information.

 

Alerts linked to other Actionstep items

The location of alerts will vary depending on the item they are linked to.

 

For calendar appointments

To the right of the appointment screen:

  1. Click Add Appointment.
  2. Select the amount of time before the appointment the reminder alert should be given.
  3. Select the type of reminder (Email, SMS, or Popup). You can select multiple options.

/helpdesk/attachments/150002488212

Any Actionstep staff member invited to the appointment will get a reminder of the appropriate type at the indicated time.

 

For tasks

To set up a reminder alert for a task:

  1. Go to the Reminder / Workflow tab on the task
  2. Under the 'Reminder' section, click on the drop-down and select the time before the task's due date that you would like the reminder to be given.
  3. Select the type of reminder (Email, SMS, or Popup). You can select multiple options.

/helpdesk/attachments/150002488213

The reminder alert will be received by the person that the task is assigned to.

 

One-off alerts set by a user

To create an SMS or other reminder alert, open an applicable matter and go to the Alerts screen.

/helpdesk/attachments/150002488214

 

Any pending alerts will be listed here. 

To create a new alert, select the Create alert button. 

 

Select a time, choose an assignee, enter a message, and select SMS as the method. 

/helpdesk/attachments/150002488215

The message will be sent at the selected time. 

 

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