SortScape allows you to send SMS's (i.e. “text messages”) and email notifications to your customers to let them know about an upcoming visit or work completed on your last visit. Messages are sent using templates which saves you time because you no longer need to type the same message over and over again.
You can send notification messages "manually" from each visit or you can schedule automatic reminders to be sent automatically before each visit.
You can send SMS and email notifications manually to customers from each visit. To do this, "Manual customer SMS messages" and "Manual customer emails" must be enabled on the Customer Messaging admin screen.
Sending an SMS message
Click on a visit to open the visit dialog.
At the top you’ll see a “message” icon in the upper right hand corner.
If you have already sent a notification for that visit, the icon will have a number badge over it showing how many messages have already been sent for that visit.
Clicking on the button will open the message dialog.
The message will be addressed to the contact for that property.
Updating the mobile phone number in this dialog will also update the mobile number for the contact once you hit the “send message” button.
Note - SMS messages are sent from a phone number controlled by SortScape and varies depending on the country you are sending from. If a customer replies to an SMS message, we will immediately notify you via email and allow you to reply from within SortScape.
Sending an email message
At the top of the visit dialog you’ll see an “email” icon in the upper right hand corner.
If you have already sent an email for that visit, the icon will have a number badge over it showing how many emails have already been sent for that visit.
Clicking on the button will open the message dialog. The message will be addressed to the contact for that property.
If there are attachments on the visit, you can also select which attachments you want to email to the customer. For example, you can show them before and after photos of their property.
Automatic visit reminders
Automatic visit reminders allow you to schedule SMS and email notifications to be sent to customers automatically prior each scheduled visit. This saves you time because you don't have to manually send the notifications yourself.
Automatic visit reminders are disabled by default. You can enable automatic visit reminders on the Customer Messaging admin screen.
Once you enable the feature, notifications will begin to be sent to customers with scheduled visits. Therefore you'll want to make sure you have your schedule finalised for the next day before enabling the feature.
By default we have created two reminders for you...one to be sent by sms and the other by email. In the example below, customers will automatically receive both an email and sms at 9:00am from Lawrence Blake the day before their scheduled visit.
Note that you are limited to 2 automatic reminders. You can delete a reminder completely or edit an existing reminder to change the following fields:
What time to send it
How many days in advance
Who it is sent from
Message type (email or sms)
Which template to use
Click on the "Upcoming reminder messages" link to get a preview of upcoming messages scheduled to be sent.
Below is more detailed information on how automatic visit reminders work:
Messages are sent to the service contact for a visit's property.
Emails are sent to the email address specified for the contact and SMS notifications are sent to the mobile number specified.
We will not attempt to send an email to a contact that doesn't have an email specified or an sms to a contact that doesn't have a mobile number specified.
All contacts are set to receive visit reminders by default. If you don't want a specific contact to receive visit reminders, you can go to that contact and disable the feature.
Automatic notifications will go out within 10 minutes of the time specified.
If a notification fails to send, we will keep trying to send the notification until it succeeds or the day ends.
SMS notifications will not be sent before 7:00am or after 9:30pm.
If you add a visit to the schedule after it was scheduled to send, it will still get sent. For example, say customers are meant to be notified at 9AM the day before a visit. If it's 12pm and a visit gets added to the schedule for tomorrow, that customer will still receive an automatic notification even though it's past the 9AM scheduled send time.
If you move a job to another day, they may get notified again. For example, say customers are meant to be notified at 9AM the day before a visit. It's now 12pm so all customers with visits scheduled for tomorrow have received their notifications. If you move one of tomorrow's visits to the next day, they will then get notified again tomorrow at 9am telling them to expect a visit the next day.
You can access all recently sent email and SMS messages in the Customer Messaging administration screen.
SMS text messages allowed per month
The number of SMS text message you can send per month is determined by your plan. The limit resets at the beginning of each month. If you need to send more text messages than your plan allows, you can add more SMS credits to your plan by going to the Billing screen and clicking the "Add text messages" button. Text message credits can be added in bundles of 100. If you need to add more than 100 messages, you can increase the quantity to 2 or more.
A "text message credit" equates to a single text message of up to 160 characters in length. SMS message templates in SortScape are limited to 160 characters so generally every message sent ends up using just one credit. In the rare case when a text message exceeds 160 characters, it would use up 2 text message credits.