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Table of Contents

Overview 

The Appointment Reminder module is a unique way to automate Appointment Reminders. By simply specifying names and numbers to be called, the PBX will automatically call at specified times and allow recipients to confirm, cancel, and reschedule appointments. The module gives you the flexibility to control all details of the calls, from concurrent rates to retry attempts to how many days ahead to notify. You have the ability to load a CSV list of numbers to call, or even add numbers and names manually. On the fly modifications can be made to any Appointment Reminder list.

Appointment Reminders 

When clicking on the “Appointment Reminder” module in your PBX admin GUI you will see the following.

On the left we see the status of any Reminders we created. We can also set the Maximum Calls, so that all reminders combined will not exceed this at any one time.

On the right we see the following:

  • Overview- This is the main landing page that will show the status of all reminders created.
  • Add a Reminder- Press this to add a new Reminder.
  • Manage Recipients- Press this to manage the Recipients for an already added Reminder.
  • Reporting- Download CSV reports on any currently created reminder.

Add a Reminder

Click on the “Add a Reminder” option on the right.

  • Add a Reminder
    • Name- This is the unique name for our Appointment Reminder. We have selected Dr Office Demo.

    • Enabled- This is set to “YES." This means that the Appointment Reminder will run as scheduled. Note: You can easily disable an Appointment Reminder by simply toggling this option to “NO."
    • Daily Start Time- Here we set the time of day that we want the Appointment Reminder to start. We have set ours to 9am.
    • Daily End Time- This is the time of day we want our Appointment Reminder to stop. We have set this example to 4pm.

    • Max Advance Notice- This is the field that we will use to select how many days ahead of the scheduled appointment we want to place a reminder call. We have selected two days.
    • Retry Count- Here we can instruct the Appointment Reminder how many times to retry a recipient if it is unable to reach them. In this example we set the retry count to two.
    • Retry Delay- We can use this field to specify how long between a failed attempt to retry and reach that recipient. We set our retry delay to three hours. Note that if the three-hour retry lands after the appointment reminder's daily end time, the reminder will be attempted again the following day.
    • TTS Engine- This is the text to speech engine used. Unless you are an advanced user this should be set to the default of flite.

  • Outbound Caller ID
    • Fixed Caller ID- This is the phone number that the call should appear to come from. For example we are using the Doctor's Office main number for easy identification by the recipients.
    • Caller ID Name- This is the name that should be used for internal reminders.
    • Outbound CID Mode- We can set this to "fixed" to use what we specified, or "default" to use the system default.


  • Call Flow Customization
    • Initial Greeting- This is the first message played to the recipient. You can record a custom greeting or use the default. Be sure to include a message similar to the following: "This is an Appointment Reminder....". We have elected to use the default.
    • Say Name- Select whether you would like the recipient’s name to be said. If selected it will use Text To Speech to read the name of the person associated with the reminder. We have set this to “yes."

    • Date Announcement- We elected to use the default announcement which says: "You have an appointment scheduled on..."

    • Say Appointment Date- This is selected to enable or disable the date announcement from the previous step. We have selected “Yes."

    • Instructions- You can use default or custom instructions for the recipient. We elected the default, which is: "To confirm this appointment press ONE, to cancel press TWO, to request your appointment be rescheduled press THREE." You can record a custom message to be played here; however, it must follow the outline listed above.

    • Customer Service Extension- This is the destination a recipient is sent to if they select ZERO for customer service. We routed our demo to the operator’s extension.

    • Reschedule Behavior- This is what happens if the recipient selects THREE to have the appointment rescheduled. We can elect to either have the call transferred, or to simply log the action for a call back. We have selected “transfer."

    • Reschedule Extension- This is only used if the Reschedule Behavior in the previous step is set to “transfer." In our example, the caller is being re-routed to a queue that contains our scheduling staff.

  • Report Email Options
    • Daily Report Completion Emails- These are the email addresses that will be sent the daily report. In our example we have specified the office manager.
    • Email From- This is the email address that the report will appear to come from.
    • Attach As- You can select either a CSV or Plain Text file.

Press the “Save” button when done and you'll be directed to the Manage Recipients page for this reminder.

Manage Recipients

First we we need to create a CSV file. We use Excel or some other editor to create our file in this format.

Once saved as a CSV, we will select “Choose File” and then select our newly created CSV. Once it is selected we can choose our action. The default is "Append to an existing list."

We can now select “Upload." If we created our CSV properly, we will now see the following data populate under the “Recipient List” section.

Since we properly formatted our CSV, we see that all the names, numbers and appointment data are correct! However, we now remember that we forgot to add one recipient to our list. We can easily add that recipient in the “NEW” field. Simply click “Save” after inputting the additional recipient information.

Reporting

  • Reminder- Drop down of all reminders on your system that you can pick to run the report for.
  • Start Date- Start date to run this report from.
  • End Date- End date to run this report to.
  • Filter By- You can pick to use the date of either the Appointment or the date the call was placed for the Start and End date filter above.

  • Sort By- Pick how you want to sort the date by.
    • Names- Sort report by the name of the person who was called.
    • Call Status- Sort report by Called or Not Called.
    • Appointment Date- Sort report by Appointment Date.
    • Call Date- Sort report by call date.

When done press the “Generate” button and a CSV report will be generated that you can download.