How do I set up Email & SMS appointment reminders for my clients?
When an appointment is scheduled, vcita sends an automatic email to the assigned staff member and the client about the upcoming appointment.
By default, one email reminder will be sent 15 minutes before the meeting. You can set up a total of two reminders before the appointment and when they are sent. Depending on your subscription level, you may also configure SMS reminders to be sent to the client.
This article explains how to create these reminders and provides information about additional options for setting up SMS messaging:
Setting Up Client Appointment Reminders
Configure your default appointment reminders in the Auto Client Messages section of your settings. (The options you select here are applied to all services.) You can also set custom reminders for specific services in Settings > My Services. Reminders set at the service level will override the default reminder settings.
To set your default appointment reminders:
- Open the Settings menu and select Auto Client Messages.
- In the Reminders section, open the dropdown list and select when the reminder should be sent (the options are relative to the time of the appointment). You can set up to two different reminders.
If you do not want to send a reminder, select Disabled.
- Business Subscriptions or higher:
To send an SMS reminder in addition to the email reminder, check the box next to Send reminder via text message (SMS) as well.
- At the top of the page, click Save.
Custom Reminders per Service
You can set custom reminders for one or more specific services. These reminders override the settings you selected on the Auto Client Messages page.
Follow these steps to set a custom reminder for a service:
- Open the Settings menu and select My Services.
- Click in the row of the relevant service to open the service settings.
- Navigate to the Client Notifications section. Then, under Reminders, select the Customize radio button.
- Configure the email and SMS reminders for this service, as explained in the procedure above.
- When you are finished, click Done (at the top of the page).
When you enable SMS reminders, a phone number field will be automatically be added to the contact form that clients are required to complete at the time of scheduling. Clients are notified underneath that field that an SMS reminder will be sent before the meeting.
The phone number field is not mandatory by default (unless the service is set for "You call the client"), but you can choose to set it as mandatory. Check out our article Customizing Client Card Settings for more details.
If you add clients to your vCita account who do not have an email address, but do have a phone number, they will receive SMS reminders when the SMS setting is enabled.
Setting a Sender Name for Your Text Messages
If your business is located outside of the USA, Canada and France, you have the option to set a sender name that is displayed to recipients of your text messages (instead of displaying the source phone number). Keep in mind that the sender name will not be displayed to clients located in the above countries, and that display of sender name is subject to local service provider regulations.
To set a sender name, follow these steps:
- Open the Settings menu.
- Click Business Info.
- Check the box found under the field Sender Name.
- On the line below, enter the sender name you want your clients to see.
The name can contain up to 11 English letters and numbers only. Spaces and special characters are not supported.
Disabling SMS and Email Reminders
If you do not want any reminders to be sent, disable the feature by going to Settings > Auto Client Messages. In the Reminders section, make sure that:
- The Schedule for option is set to Disabled
- The Send via text message (SMS) as well box is left unchecked
Click the Save button at the top of the page to save any changes you made.
Changing the Client Notification Number
On the Client Card, you can have multiple phone fields (cell phone, home phone, etc.). If you have more than two phone fields on the Client Card, you can change the number that notifications are sent to.
Follow these steps to change the client notification number:
- Open the Clients page, and click on the relevant client.
- Select the Info tab.
The phone number that SMS notifications are currently being sent to appears at the bottom of the Additional Information box, on the right side of the page. If you have multiple phone numbers for the client, this field is editable.
- Click on the number to open a list displaying other valid numbers you can switch to.
From the list, select the number you would like to use for SMS notifications.
Your changes are saved automatically.