Sending an SMS to your customers is a great way of reminding them about their appointments. This tutorial will walk you through how to set up an automated SMS appointment reminder.

Prerequisites

Access to IMIconnect platform (request your trial access here)

 >> Login to the IMIconnect platform using your registered email ID and password
>> Ensure the relevant voice recording files are available on the platform

Setup Tasks

A. Create a Service
B. Get a Phone Number and assign it to the service
C. Create a Flow
D. Configure a Custom Event
E. Configure a Rule to Invoke the Flow
F. Configure Event Scheduler

A. Create a Service

A service is a workspace that allows you to create and manage communication flows, APIs, integrations and configuration settings for any particular communication use case. Follow the below steps to create a service:

Step 1 – Add New Service

  1. Click on the Services tab on the top left corner of the screen and choose ADD NEW SERVICE. You will arrive at the CREATE NEW SERVICE dialog box.

Note: Alternatively, you can find ADD NEW SERVICE from the top right corner of IMIconnect.

2. Choose a name for the service and optionally, add the description.

3. Click on the NEXT button at the bottom. You will arrive at the General Settings page, which will have the service key. See the image below.

Note: Service key is used to identify incoming API calls for messaging and event APIs.

Step 2 – Configure the Service Status

Choose the Live option in the Service Configuration section to activate the service.

Note: Click on the REGENERATE button, if you wish to regenerate the service key. Once the service key is regenerated, replace the existing key with the new key in the API request. Please use this option ONLY in case your current service key is not functioning.

Step 3 – Choose Events

  1. Choose the events that you wish to receive on the Callback URL by choosing from the EVENT FILTERS section.
  2. Click on SAVE on the top-right corner of the screen.

B. Get a Phone Number and assign it to the Service

Now that the service is created, assign a number to it. Follow the below steps to assign number to the service:

Step 1 – Go to Numbers

Click on Numbers under the Services menu to get to Numbers settings

Step 2 – Assign the Number

  1. Choose the number from the drop-down under the SHORTCODES & PHONE NUMBERS FOR SMS section.
  2. Save the choices by clicking on SAVE on the top right corner of the screen.

C. Create a Flow to set up the Appointment Reminder

IMIconnect allows you to rapidly configure communication flows using a drag-and-drop flow builder. Here are the steps to configure the flow.
Here are the steps to configure the flow:

Creating a New Flow

Step 1 - Add a Flow

  1. Click on Flows on the left menu under Settings.
  2. Click on Add New Flow on the top right corner of the Flows screen.

Step 2 – Name the New Flow

  1. Enter a Name for the flow on the CREATE NEW FLOW screen.
  2. Choose the Flow type as Workflow.
  3. Choose Create blank flow from the drop-down.
  4. Click on CREATE FLOW on the top right corner.

Configure Send Appointment Reminder Settings

Step 1 - Add the Send Node

Drag and drop the Send node on to the flow canvas by dragging from the NODES menu under UTILITIES.

Step 2 – Configure the Node Parameters

Double-click on the Send node to open the configuration menu. See the image below

  1. Click on SMS on the Settings window.
  2. Enter $(msisdn) in the Destination field. 

Note: msisdn stands for Mobile Station ISDN number. It refers to the mapping of telephone number to SIM card.

    3. Choose msisdn from the Destination Type drop-down.
    4.Choose Text from the Message Type drop-down.
    5. Choose the sender id assigned for the service from the senderid drop-down.
    6. Enter the message to be sent to the customer in the Message box. 

Note: In the figure below, the message contains $(cust_name) and $(appointment_time). These will be replaced with the actual customer name and the actual appointment time when the SMS is triggered.

    7. Choose DR from the Wait For drop-down. 

Note: DR stands for Delivery Receipt. It refers to the maximum time till which the flow has to wait to receive a delivery receipt to proceed further.

    8. Enter the time in the Time Out field in seconds before which an error occurs.
    9. Enter a name for the node in the Name field.
    10. Click on OK at the bottom. 

Step 3 – Configure 'drfail' Event for the Send Node

The 'drfail' event occurs when the time (in seconds) mentioned in the Time Out field is completed.

To configure the drfail event response: See image below

  1. Drag and drop the red dot that is next to SMS node to configure ondrfail event.

2. Choose ondrfail from the Node event drop-down on the END FLOW - SETTINGS tab. 

3. Choose 102 – Flow completed with an error [Error] from the Custom flow result drop-down. 

4. Click on OK at the bottom.

Step 4 – Configure 'ontimeout' Event 

The 'ontimeout' event occurs when the time (in seconds) mentioned in the Time Out field is expired.

To configure the ontimeout event response:

  1. Drag and drop the orange dot that is next to Send node.

2. Choose ontimeout from the Node event drop-down on the END FLOW - SETTINGS tab.
3. Choose 102 – Flow completed with an error [Error] from the Custom flow result drop-down.

4. Click on OK at the bottom.

Step 5 – Configure 'onerror' Event 

The 'onerror' event is configured to record the instance when the flow fails due to any internal error.

To configure the onerror event:

  1. Drag and drop the red dot that is next to SMS node to configure onerror event.

2. Choose onerror from the Node event drop-down on the END FLOW - SETTINGS tab.

3. Choose 102 – Flow completed with an error [Error] from the Custom flow result drop-down.

4. Click on OK at the bottom.

Step 6 – Configure 'onsuccess' Event 

  1. Drag and drop the green dot that is next to Send node to configure onsuccess event.

To configure onsuccess event:

  1. Choose ondrsuccess from the Node event drop-down on the END FLOW - SETTINGS tab.
  2. Choose 101 – Successfully completed flow [Success] from the Custom flow result drop-down.
  3. Click on OK at the bottom.

Configure Receive Response Settings

Step 1– Add the Receive Node

Drag and drop the Receive node on to the flow canvas by dragging from the NODES menu under UTILITIES.

Step 2 - Configure the Receive Node Parameters

Double-click on the Receive node to open the configuration menu. You will arrive at the configuration window. See the image below.

  1. Enter the phone number along with the country code for the service in the Number field.
  2. Enter * in the keyword field.
  3. Enter $(msisdn) in the From number field.
  4. Enter the response time in seconds (before which the error is occurred) in the Maximum time out field.
  5. Enter a name for the node in the Name field.
  6. Click on OK at the bottom.

Note: “sysResponseMessage” is a variable where response receipt from the customer is recorded.

Step 3 – Configure 'ontimeout' Event 

Follow the process as mentioned in Step 4 of Configure Send Appointment Reminder.

Step 4 – Configure 'onerror' Event 

Follow the process mentioned in Step 5 of Configure Send Appointment Reminder.

Step 5 – Configure 'onsuccess' Event 

Follow the process mentioned in the Step 6 of Configure Send Appointment Reminder.

Step 6 - Connect the Send and Receive Nodes

  1. Drag the green dot that is next to Start node and drop on to the Send node. 

   2. Drag the green dot that is next to Send node and drop on to the Receive node to connect send node with the receive node.

Evaluate the Customer Response

The Branch node is used to perform actions based on the response received from the customer. It evaluates the customer’s response and directs the flow to proceed further accordingly.

Step 1 – Add the Branch Node

Drag and drop the Branch node on to the flow canvas by dragging from the NODES menu under UTILITIES.

Step 2 – Configure the Branch Node

Double-click on the Branch node to open the PROPERTIES menu.

Configure Confirmation:

  1. Enter a name for the branch in Branch1 field. For example, Confirm.
  2. Enter $(sysResponseMessage) in the $(input_variable) field.
  3. Select the operator as Equals from the drop-down.
  4. Enter the desired value in the value field. For example, 1.
  5. Click on ADD BRANCH to add a new branch.

Configure Cancellation:

  1. Enter a name for the branch in Branch2 field. For example, Cancel.
  2.  Enter $(sysResponseMessage) in the $(input_variable) field.
  3. Select the operator as Equals from the drop-down.
  4. Enter a value in the value field. For example, 2.
  5. Click on ADD BRANCH to add a new branch.

Configure Others:

  1. Enter a name for the branch in Branch3 field. For example, Other.
  2. Enter $(sysResponseMessage) in the $(input_variable) field.
  3. Select the operator as Not equals from the drop-down.
  4. Enter the value that is entered for confirmation in the Value field. For example, 1.
  5. Click on AND to populate one more row below.
  6. Enter $(sysResponseMessage) in the $(input_variable) field.
  7. Select the operator as Not equals from the drop-down.
  8. Enter the value that is entered for cancellation in the Value field. For example, 2.
  9. Click on OK at the bottom to apply the changes.

Step 3 - Configure 'onerror' Event for the Receive Node

Follow the process mentioned in Step 5 of Configure Send Appointment Reminder.

Step 4 – Connect Receive Node with the Branch Node

Drag the green dot that is next to Receive node and drop on to the Branch node.

Confirm the Appointment

Step 1 – Add the Send Node 

Drag and drop the Send node on to the flow canvas by dragging from the NODES menu under UTILITIES.

Step 2 - Configure the Send Node 

Double-click on the Send node to configure its parameters. You will arrive at the configuration window.

  1. Click on SMS on the Settings window. 
  2. Enter $(msisdn) in the Destination field. msisdn stands for Mobile Station ISDN number. It refers to the mapping of telephone number to SIM card.
  3. Choose msisdn from the Destination Type drop-down.
  4. Choose Text from the Message Type drop-down.
  5. Choose the assigned phone number for the service from the senderid drop-down. 
  6. Enter the message to be sent to the customer in the Message box.
  7. Enter a name for the node in the Name field.
  8. Click on OK at the bottom.

Step 3 – Configure 'onerror' Event 

Follow the process mentioned in the Step 5 of Configure Send Appointment Reminder.

Step 4 – Configure 'onsuccess' Event 

Follow the process mentioned in the Step 6 of Configure Send Appointment Reminder.

Cancelling the Appointment

Step 1 - Add the Send Node

Drag and drop the Send node on to the flow canvas by dragging from the NODES menu under UTILITIES.

Step 2 - Configure the Send Node

Follow the process mentioned in the Step 2 of Confirming the Appointment.

Note: The message entered in the Message box for cancelling the appointment will differ from what is written in the Step 2 of Confirming the Appointment. Refer to the image below.

Step 3 – Configure 'onerror' Event 

Follow the process mentioned in the Step 5 of Configure Send Appointment Reminder.

Step 4 – Configure 'onsuccess' Event 

Follow the process mentioned in the Step 6 of Configure Send Appointment Reminder.

Configure and Invalid Response Event from the Customer

Step 1 - Add the Send Node for Invalid Response

Drag and drop the Send node on to the flow canvas by dragging from the NODES menu under UTILITIES.

Step 2 - Configure the Node

Follow the process mentioned in the Step 2 of Confirming the Appointment .

Note: The message entered in the Message box for the invalid response will differ from what is written in the Step 2 of Confirming the Appointment. Refer to the image above.

Step 3 – Configure 'onerror' Event 

Follow the process mentioned in the Step 5 of Configure Send Appointment Reminder.

Step 4 – Configure 'onsuccess' Event 

Follow the process mentioned in the Step 6 of Configure Send Appointment Reminder.

Step 5 – Connect the Nodes

  1. Drag the green dot that is next to Branch node and drop on to the Confirm Appointment Send node.
  2. Select Confirm as event from the Event Selection drop-down and click on OK.
  3. Repeat the steps 1 and 2 for Cancellation and Invalid Response Send nodes.

 The overall flow appears as shown below:

Publish the Flow 

  1. Click on MAKE LIVE on the top right corner. You will arrive at Confirm – Make Live message box. 
  2. Click on OK on the Confirm – Make Live message box.

Note: If you wish to add a comment, enter it in the Add an update comment box(optional).

D. Configure a Custom Event

A custom event is a user-defined event. It can be used to invoke a flow while passing the required API parameters.Follow the steps below to configure a custom event in IMIconnect:

Step 1 – Add New Custom Events

  1. Click on Custom Events under Settings in the left menu. You will arrive at the Custom Event screen. 
  2. Click on ADD NEW CUSTOM EVENT on the Custom Event screen.
  3. Choose Version 1 on the screen.

Step 2 - Name the Custom Event

  1. Choose a name for the custom event.
  2. Click on ADD NEW at the bottom on the Create New Custom Event screen.

Step 3 – Configure Parameters

  1. Choose String from the Type drop-down and enter msisdn in the Variable Name field. 
  2. Check the Mandatory checkbox, and then click on ADD NEW.
  3. Choose String from the Type drop-down and enter cust_name in the Variable Name field. 
  4. Check the Mandatory checkbox, and then click on ADD NEW.
  5. Choose String from the Type drop-down and enter appointment_time in the Variable Name field. 
  6. Check the Mandatory checkbox, and then click on OK at the bottom.

The Custom event is created. See the screenshot below.

E. Configure a Rule to Invoke the Flow

Configure a rule to invoke the flow whenever the custom event is triggered. Follow the steps below to configure a rule:

Step 1 – Create a New Rule

  1. Click on Rules under Settings on the left menu.
  2. Click on ADD NEW RULE button on the top right corner of the screen. 
  3. Click on Custom Event on the Choose a trigger channel screen.

     4. Click on SKIP TO ACTIONS on the Enter trigger conditions screen to choose trigger condition.

Step 2 – Invoke a Flow

  1. Click on Invoke a flow on the Choose an action screen.

    2. Choose the flow for which the rule has to be applied from the drop-down, and then click on COMPLETE RULE button.

Step 3 – Configure Rule Settings

  1. Choose a name for your rule. Choose the start date and time by clicking on the popup calendar. 

        Note: The end date is optional.

     
2. Choose Active from the Set the status of your rule drop-down, and click on the SAVE AND SUBMIT button at the bottom.

The Rule is created. See the screenshot below.

F. Configure the Event Scheduler

Event Scheduler is used to trigger the custom event based on the .csv file uploaded to the Event Scheduler. Follow the procedure below to create an event in the Event Scheduler for triggering the appointment reminder service:

 Step 1 - Create an Event in the Event Scheduler

  1. After logging in to IMIconnect, click on the below icon from the top right menu.

     2. Click on ADD SCHEDULER from the Event Scheduler menu. You will arrive at Create new trigger screen.

Step 2 – Configure Event Scheduler

  1. Choose a name for the event on the Create new trigger screen.
  2. Select the service from the Select Service drop-down
  3. Select the Send Trigger notification to Email ID check box.
  4. Enter the Email ID to which the notifications have to be delivered. However, this is optional.
  5. Click on NEXT at the bottom.

Step 3 – Configure Action

  1. Select CUSTOM EVENT under Type of Action.
  2. Select the custom event from the Select Event drop-down.
  3. Click on NEXT at the bottom.

Step 4 – Configure Target Data

  1. Select the Upload file option.
  2. Upload the .csv file.

    3. Once the file is uploaded, click on NEXT at the bottom.

Step 5 – Configure Schedule 

  1. Select the Frequency under How Often.
  2. Choose the Date and Time from when the event has to be active by clicking on the popup calendar. 
  3. Click on NEXT at the bottom.

The appointment reminder setup is created.

 

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