This guide will cover:
- What to consider before setting up automation rules
- Automation rules page
- Create a new automation rule
- Testing your automated rules
- Automated Consult is available on the Innovate package only. This guide runs through how to upgrade your package to Innovate: How to change your Timely plan.
- To access Automated Consult you need to be the account holder of your account or have access to Timely Consult.
1. What to consider before setting up automation rules
A. Review your online booking settings for email and mobile number
Clients need to have an SMS number saved to their profile to be able to login and complete a form. They will also need to save their email if you want to use email consultation forms. To make sure every client can complete their forms, head to Setup > Online booking and tick the box next to "The customer must enter an email address and mobile number".
B. Review SMS time restrictions
To give your form the best chance of being completed, you may want to prevent client messages from being sent out overnight. You can restrict the time your client messages are sent under Setup > SMS settings.
2. Automation rules page
The Automation rules page is where you can see all of your current automation rules for Consult and create a new rule.
- To get to the rule library, head to Setup > Automation rules under Consult.
- Existing rules will be listed, with the option to Delete or Edit the rule. Deleting the rule means your clients will no longer receive a form when booking the particular services. Editing the rule will open the settings for that rule.
3. Adding a new Consult automation rule
- To create a new rule, click the New rule button
- This will open the "Create new rule" page
- Select the Consult template that you want to be sent to your clients. If you're unsure of the contents of the template you can click Preview. Click here to learn about creating Consult forms.
- Select the services that you would like to trigger to your rule
If you want this template to be sent to every client for every appointment, you can click Add all services instead. If your client books multiple services in a single booking, they'll only receive this form once.
- Select when you would like your form to be sent to clients. You can choose to send it right after the booking is made, with the customer reminder message or both.
If you select "right after booking" your form will be sent in its own SMS/email which may impact the your SMS quota. If you select "with reminder message" your form will be added to the end of your existing reminder SMS/email.
Note: If you choose "Send with reminder message", you will need to set up a reminder email/SMS in Customer messages first. Click here to learn more about client reminder messages.
- Select if you'd like your form to only be sent to clients who are new to your business. This setting uses the "New client" tag. Click here to learn more about new clients.
- Once you're happy with your rule, click Save
4. Testing your automated rules
After setting up your automated rules, you should test your rule to ensure it works as you expect.
By default, SMS and email is set to send after a 10 minute delay. You may want to turn this off while you test so you receive your SMS faster. Likewise, double check that you're not testing at a time when you've restricted SMS from sending. You can check both these settings in Setup > SMS settings.
Also, make sure that your test client has a valid email address and mobile number.
Testing: Send right after booking
- Create a booking for the service you selected in your automation rule.
- Check that you received the Consult email or SMS shortly after the booking was made.
Note: Sometimes SMS can be delayed due to local SMS carriers
Testing: Send with reminder message
- Check the settings for your reminder message.
Make sure the "Send Consult form" section is empty - this is a different feature and can interfere with your automated rule.
Check when your message is set up to be sent. In this example, it is sent 48 hours before an appointment.
- Make a booking that is 5 minutes later than your message settings, so in this example, you would make a booking for 48 hours and 5 minutes in the future.
- Wait for the message to be received.
If you changed any of your message settings for testing, make sure you put them back to how they were e.g. SMS and email delay.