How to turn on SMS replies and confirmations (two-way SMS)

All businesses who use SMS confirmations LOVE IT! It's a great way to save time and get your clients to confirm their own appointments.

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.

You will require Two-way SMS to be enabled if you wish to use any of the following features:

  1. Allow customers to confirm their Pencilled in bookings via their reminder.
  2. Send a Bulk SMS message to all of your customers.
  3. Send Follow-up messages and/or Rebooking reminders to customers.

Before you start

Two-way SMS allows customers to reply to any SMS you send them. Due to local restrictions, this is only available in the following countries:

  • New Zealand
  • Australia 
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Ireland
  • Netherlands
  • Hong Kong
  • Canada
  • Norway
  • Puerto Rico
  • Germany
  • South Africa


Turn on SMS replies

To allow customers to reply to any SMS sent to them, including follow-up messages and rebooking reminders, you will need to enable to Two-way SMS:
  1. Go to Setup > SMS settings in the main menu.
  2. Find 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):
  3. Check the box next to Allow customers to reply to SMS messages:
  4. Click Save to apply. Or, continue on to enable SMS confirmations.


Turn on SMS confirmations

If you are working with Pencilled in appointments, then you can also allow customers to confirm their bookings via their SMS reminder.

hen this is enabled, a "Text Y to confirm" will be added to the end of your SMS reminder:

When the customer replies with a "Y", the appointment is updated to Confirmed in the calendar.

To allow SMS confirmations:

  1. Once Two-way SMS is enabled, a second option will be shown for Two-way confirmation
  2. You can then check the box next to Allow customers to confirm pencilled-in appointments when they are sent a reminder:
  3. Another option to make Pencilled in your default status for new appointments. This will be checked by default, but you can uncheck this:
  4. If you'd like the customer to receive an SMS confirmation when they reply to confirm, then you can check the box next to Send a confirmation SMS when customers use two-way confirmation:
    1. The customer will receive a reminder asking them to confirm.
    2. They reply with "Y" to confirm the booking.
    3. The booking status is updated.
    4. The customer receives an SMS that their booking has been confirmed:
  5. Click Save to apply your changes.

The request for confirmation will add some additional characters to your SMS so you may want to check/update your SMS templates so that they do not exceed the limit (160 characters). Check out our How to customise your SMS messages guide for more information.


View any SMS replies

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.

Check out our  How to check sent and received messages guide for more information.

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