How to turn on SMS replies and confirmations (two-way SMS)
If you'd like customers to be able to reply to their SMS reminders and notifications, then you will need to enable Two-way Messaging.
- Go to Setup > SMS settings in the main menu:
- Scroll down to the Two-way SMS* section (If you can not see these settings it means that two-way SMS is not currently supported in your country).
- Check the box next to Allow customers to reply to SMS messages:
- You can then Allow customers to confirm pencilled-in appointments when they are sent a reminder:
- When you enable customers to confirm their pencilled-in appointments then a request to confirm the appointment will be automatically added to your SMS reminder for any pencilled-in appointments: Note: Confirmed appointments will still be sent reminders, just without the prompt to confirm.
- You can then turn off the SMS notification for confirmations - this prevents the customer from receiving another SMS to confirm their confirmation:
- Click Save to apply your changes.
Note: The request for confirmation will add some additional characters to your SMS so you may want to check/update your SMS templates (Setup > SMS settings > SMS templates) so that they do not exceed the limit (limit is 160 characters).
When sent an SMS reminder customers can confirm their appointment by replying with the letter 'Y' (see below). For email reminders customers will receive a link to click on to confirm their appointment. When a customer replies to the SMS with a 'Y' or confirms their appointment via email the status of their appointment will be automatically be updated to confirmed in the calendar.
When a customer is sent an email notification, the account holder's email address will be set as the "Reply to" email address. This means that any email replies won't be seen in the Messages tab.
You can override this setting by adding an alternative email address to the online booking notification settings:
- Head to Setup > Staff notifications in the main menu.
- Scroll down to the Online booking section:
- Add or update the email address under the When an online booking is placed.. field.
- Click Save to update and apply.
When the customer replies to their reminder or notification emails, their email will be sent to this address instead. Adding a reception, or administrator's address in here is the most popular approach.
Any SMS replies from a customer will be delivered directly to your Timely account, in the Messages tab.
If there is a new message, a badge will be shown next to the tab with the number of new/unread messages:
You can view these at any time, by heading to Messages > SMS replies.