Getting started with customer reminders and notifications
Timely offers reminders and notifications that can be sent to your customers. This guide will introduce you to the different kinds of reminders and notifications available, how to switch them on and some basic information around SMS and emails.
What does it cost to send messages?
- There are no additional charges for email messages as these are included in your plan.
- Each SMS message (reminder or notification) costs 1.0 SMS credit.
- If you have Two-way SMS enabled then any customer replies cost 0.5 credits: Check out our How to turn on SMS replies guide for more information.
- SMS can be purchased in packs - from 100 to 10,000 credits. These carry over month-to-month and never expire.
Full details of SMS pricing for available countries/currencies can be found on our website here: http://www.gettimely.com/pricing.
Can I use my own number for SMS messages?
There isn't currently a way to use or set your own SMS number as the sender for SMS. SMS numbers are randomly allocated to each message depending on your country of origin. For this reason we usually suggest including your business name and an alternative contact number or method in your SMS reminders/notifications.
Can I send SMS messages to a different country?
At the moment, you can only send SMS messages to customers in your own country. Your country code will automatically populated before the customer's number.
Can I have more than 160 characters for longer SMS messages?
SMS communication has a strict 160 character limit, so it isn't possible to extend this to accommodate longer messages. We're gathering feedback around being able to send multi-part messages (that are made up of multiple messages). For any questions, or to show your support for this idea, let us know on email@example.com.
Customer booking reminders
Most businesses will want to send an SMS or email reminder to customers before their appointment starts. This greatly helps to reduce no-shows and it can actually earn you money because you’re not losing revenue from missed appointments.
You can set reminders to go out at a certain interval before the appointment (e.g. 24 hour) or at a certain time of the day (e.g. 10 am, 2 days prior).
To turn on reminders go to Setup > Customer reminders. For step-by-step instructions, check out our How to set up customer reminders guide.
Tip: To enable/disable reminders for 'Penciled-in' appointments, check the box next to Send SMS reminders to customers with penciled-in appointments.
You can turn on SMS and email notifications so that the customer is informed whenever any of the following happens:
- A confirmed appointment is added to the calendar
- The date and time of an appointment is changed
- The appointment is cancelled
To turn on customer notifications go to Setup > Customer reminders and go to the Appointment changes section.
For step-by-step instructions, check out our How to notify customers of appointment changes guide.
Note: if the customer books online and your appointments are set to pencilled-in, the customer will receive a confirmation email if the booking is accepted, regardless of your notification settings.
Customer confirmations and replies (Two-way SMS)
If you want your customers to be able to reply to your messages then you can set up two-way SMS. When they send an SMS reply these will show up in your Messages tab.
To turn on two-way SMS go to Setup > SMS settings and go to the Two-way SMS section:
Check out our How to turn on SMS replies and confirmations guide for more information.
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).
Note: If you can not see these settings it means that two-way SMS is not currently supported in your country. Check out this article for more information.