SMS Integration

Getting Started

AutoPal Software has integrated with Solutions by Text to offer another effective method for you to keep in contact with your clientele. Due to the immediate nature of text messages, and their ease of use, this tool will greatly enhance your company’s ability to stay in contact with your borrowers, and to ensure that valid information is sent to them.

Please follow the steps in this guide to successfully implement the SMS Integration

Entering Credentials:

Once you have signed up with Solutions by Text, and have purchased the SMS Module inside of AutoPal, you will be sent a set of “Org Codes” or activation credentials. In order to initiate the link-up between AutoPal and Solutions by text, please navigate within AutoPal to Settings > Company Management > Plugins > Solutions by Text – Configure

SMS Integration

 

Upon accessing the “Configure” option, please verify that the credentials are entered. More often than not they will already be entered into your company, but in the event that they are absent and you have not yet received Org-Codes from Solutions by Text, please contact your SBT Representative and request the codes, then enter them there.

Setting Up Template SMS Messages:

Once the SBT Org-Codes have been entered, you are now free to begin creating template messages. In essence, the templates are pre-saved text messages that are controlled by SBT, and can be set to auto-send to your clients inside of AutoPal. To access the template SMS messages please use the following command string: Settings > Company Management > SMS

SMS Notifications

You will notice that there are two separate types of SMS Notifications available. These are broken into the “Event Based SMS notifications”, and the “Trigger Based SMS Notifications”.

  • Event based notifications are sent dependent on a pre-set event within the software. The events are generally initiated by some form of human interaction with the account, and as such, the event cannot be altered. The event that triggers the message is outlined in the template title; for example: “Payment Receipt” will only send in the event that a payment is posted on a client’s account, or “Failed AutoPay” will only send in the event that a pre-scheduled AutoPay payment fails.

Upon accessing the “Edit” icon next to one of the Event Based SMS Notifications, you will be greeted with this screen:

sms-screenshot

  • Item 1 gives you the ability to select the proper template, the templates are located under the drop down menu. It is important to match the correct template with the correct event based notification. You will notice above the notification is titled “Payment Receipt SMS Notification”, whereas the selected template is titled “Payment Reminder (5 Days)”. Because of this, the message will still send in the event a client makes a payment, but the content of the message may not match that of a payment receipt.
  • Items 2 – 5 are areas in the message that will require the assignment of variables. Essentially you are letting the system know which value to tie to that specific variable. Variables will be signaled with a
  • Item 6 is where you assign variables to the marked area in the message itself. Anywhere you see a series of brackets in the message, will have a corresponding tag or marker that matches the text in the brackets (example: {DBA} ) under the “Field” portion of the page

** Note, if you are not seeing the expected templates, please flip the ‘Org Switch’ in the top left of the screen, then review the templates again.

SMS Variable Menu

  • By accessing the drop down menus at the bottom of the page, a list of all variable fields will be presents. Simply select the field that matches the text under the field section of the page. Once the mapping of the message has been completed, please select the “Save Changes” button.
  • Trigger based SMS Messages operate under the same guidelines, and will require the same variable mapping as shown above. The primary difference between the trigger based and event based notifications is that through the trigger based notifications, you have the ability to select what causes the system to send the message.

SMS trigger based

  • Item 1 represents the template selected, templates are pre-uploaded (though more can be added), and are selected from the drop down menu in the section.
  • Item 2 represents the title of the text message, this field is primarily for you to differentiate the names of your existing Trigger Based Notifications.
  • Item 3 represents the desired trigger for the SMS message. In the above example, it is set to “Insurance Exp Date”, meaning that when the clients insurance expires it will start a countdown to the specified “Trigger Value” (item 4).
  • Item 4 represents the desired value for the trigger, in this instance it is set to 3. Meaning 3 days after the insurance expires on the clients account, the message will be sent.
  • Item 5 is simply a reminder of what value is being counted to meet the trigger criteria.

 

Do Not Disturb Time:

One of the most important functions of the SMS tool is setting a “Do Not Disturb” time on the sending of messages. To access this tool please use the following command string: Settings > Company Management > SMS

Once on the page, you will notice a button labeled “Do Not Disturb”, by selecting the “Do Not Disturb” icon the following pop-up window will open.

 

SMS Do Not Disturb Range

 

Simply select the times you want your clients to not receive text messages. It is vital to understand the process behind the “Do Not Disturb” times, and what actually occurs when you set a time within AutoPal.

  • During your companies daily maintenance time, AutoPal will test all live accounts in your company if they are eligible for trigger based SMS messages.
  • In the event an account is eligible, a submission will be made to SBT including the message to be sent out.
  • If the message is queued up to be sent while we are in a Do Not Disturb time then AutoPal will send the message to SBT with a “pre-schedule” send time associated with it to send out 1 minute after your companies Do Not Disturb time ends.
  • What this means is inside of AutoPal it will appear that the message sent at 12:01 but really the message qualified at 12:01, was queued up to SBT, then was actually sent to the customer after the Do Not Disturb time setting for your company.

Phone Number Verification:

Once the message templates have been completed, and you are comfortable in their content, we can now go ahead and verify client’s phone numbers to make them eligible to receive text messages. Simply access a loan, and enter the “User Information” section of the account. Once on this page, please refer to the “Phone Numbers” section located on the right, you will notice a small magnifying glass next to the phone numbers associated with this borrower.

SMS user info

Selecting the magnifying glass icon will open this pop-up window

 

SMS 4.5

By selecting the “Send Verification Message to…” button, the client will receive a message directly to their phone with verification instructions, once verified the client will now be eligible to receive messages.

There are two types of verification that can be done, both of which are conrolled by Solutions By Text:

  1. Reply “Y” – The customer receives a text asking them to opt in by replying “Y” to the message. Once they reply the phone number is verified.
  2. Provide verification PIN – The client will receive a PIN number inside of the text message and they will relay that number to a member of your team who will then enter the number inside of the verification pop-up. The method is less common than the Reply Y.

One of these methods must be done to each client in order for them to receive messages.

 

Manual Sending of Messages:

There are three methods available to send manual messages to clients regardless of existing “Trigger Based SMS Notifications”.

  • In the event you are attempting to send an SMS message to a single client, please access their account and select their phone number at the top of the page:

SMS 4.6

By selecting the client’s phone number, you will be automatically redirected to the “Tools > SMS” tab, where you can then make a selection from the template drop down menu, and map the desired variables to the message (as outlined above).

SMS 5

Once you have completed the variable mapping, and are comfortable with the message, please select the “Schedule Send” button to queue the message to be sent. Notice at the top of the screen there is a description of how many loans are going to receive the message. If more loans are there than expected, click clear recipient list then start the process over again.

  • There are two methods available to manually send messages to more than one customer. These work similarly to the email tool.

The first is by accessing the “Loan Manger” tab, and making search selections through the “Advanced Search” tool located on the page. For example: You could make a selection to send the message to all accounts that are past due, and in the active status. Once your advanced search has been made, select the data options button located at the top of the page, from here you can select “SMS Tool,” which will send all search results to the SMS Tool.

 

 

SMS Data Options

Once the results have been sent to the “Tools > SMS” tab, the same process as sending a message to a single client will need to be completed. Once you have selected a template and mapped the variables, select the “Schedule Send” icon on the page and the messages will be delivered.

 

The second method available involves manually selecting a list of loans from the loan manager. You will notice to the right of each loan there are a series of icons, the green text bubble icon will allow you to send a loan to a waiting message queue.

SMS green buble

Once you have selected all loans you would like to send messages to, please use the following command string to get the send tool: Tools > SMS, from here you will simply follow the same process as the other manual send methods.

SMS Reports

AutoPal offers several reports giving you the ability to review both outbound and inbound messages, and clients that have or have not been verified.

The first is the SMS report, please use the following command string: Reports > History Reports > SMS

From here you can make search selections, and narrow down your results based on a number of criteria. These options allow you to make very concise reports, so you can always stay on top of SMS messages being send out, and figure out which message types are producing results for your company.

 

SMS Search

  • Once you have configured the report to your liking, you can then view the results below, or export the results to a CSV file. These CSV file results come DIRECTLY from Solutions By Text. Giving you the ability to back check your Do Not Disturb time.

The second is inside of the loan that sent you the message. Navigate inside of the loan to Notes/Promises>Load SMS Messages. Once there you’ll see a history of the outgoing, and incoming messages for that account.

 

 

Note: With both of these reports, there is a Reply button. By utilizing that Reply button you can reply directly to the borrowers message with a “Free language” reply. What that means is that you do NOT have to use a template when communicating with your borrowers, you can type in whatever you would like when replying to a reply from your customer.

Because of the size of this integration, if you do need any help implementing any of the above features, or have any questions please feel free to contact the support department at (888)-725-4495, or email us at support@autopalsoftware.com

 

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