Using Customer Notifications
Find out how to use notifications through email and SMS texting for a better customer experience!
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Written by Aspire Software
Updated this week

Table of Contents


Overview of Functionality

  • Customer notifications are email and SMS Texting

    • For email:

      • Uses HTML and can include logos

      • Can use Insert Tokens

    • For SMS Texting:

      • You can now send SMS messages to your customers to communicate key alerts about the delivery of your services from a toll-free number that is unique to your specific organization.

  • Email Triggers

    • For Work Ticket Completed in:

      • Crew Mobile

      • the Subcontractor Portal

      • Aspire Cloud

    • For Equipment Inspection Complete (Internal)

      • Equipment Inspection Out of Service

      • Failed, Warning, or Passed

  • SMS Triggers

    • For Absentee Notification (Internal):

      • Job Not Started in Mobile

    • For Visit Reminders:

      • Work Ticket Visit Scheduled

    • For Work Ticket Complete in:

      • Crew Mobile

      • the Subcontractor Portal

      • Aspire Cloud

  • Configuration

    • Can be configured at System and Branch levels

    • Can be configured at Division, Service Type, or Service level

  • Delivery Time

    • Instant (Email and SMS)

    • Daily Digest (Email only)

    • Weekly Digest (Email only)

    • Day Before

  • Notifications can be copied for quick and easy setup of multiple notifications

Example:


Why Use Customer Notifications?

For Instant Notifications

Customer notifications act as an instant notification for your customers to be assured that the work is complete. Think of it as your digital doorhanger!

With customer notifications enabled, you can send instant notifications when the work ticket is marked complete in Crew Mobile.

For a Daily or Weekly Digest (Email)

Think of a large HOA or University Campus where multiple work tickets are being completed simultaneously or throughout the day or week. With the digest approach, clients can streamline the communication of work being completed.

You can send a daily or weekly digest of all the work tickets completed for that given day or week.

The digest method will include all applicable Work Tickets completed from the time the last Digest was sent and when the new Digest is configured to be sent out.

Examples:

Daily

  • 7:00 AM: A digest sent at 7:00 AM today would include all Work Tickets completed between 7:01 AM yesterday and 7:00 AM today.

  • 9:00 PM: A digest sent at 9:00 PM today would include all Work Tickets completed between 9:01 PM yesterday and 9:00 PM today.

Weekly

  • Friday 8:00 PM: A digest sent at 8:00 PM on Friday would include all Work Tickets completed between 8:01 PM the previous Friday and 8:00 PM the day it is sent.

  • Monday 6:00 AM: A digest sent at 6:00 AM on Monday would include all Work Tickets completed between 6:01 AM the previous Monday and 6:00 AM the day it is sent.


Customer Notifications Training Video for Email

A general overview of email customer notifications is given in the video below. Continue reading for more specific information!


Customer Notifications Training Video for SMS


Setting Up Customer Notifications for Email and SMS

User Role Permissions

In order to setup Customer Notifications, a user must have the following permissions:

  • Manage Notification Settings is enabled for your user role so you can create Visit Reminder templates. This can be on either the system or the branch level.

  • Edit All Contacts is enabled; this allows you to turn on SMS notifications for a contact.

Check the boxes for the appropriate system and branch permissions as shown below:

Enabling Customer Notifications

Once your user roles have the correct permissions, you can configure your Notification Settings. To do this:

  • Click Settings, and then Administration in the blue side menu.

  • Select the Notifications tab ➡️ Notification Settings.

  • Toggle Email Notifications to the On position for Email. Toggle SMS notifications to the On position for SMS notifications.

  • Fill in the default Reply to Email (System).

  • Alter any branch settings if need be by drilling into the branches listed below the above mentioned fields.

    • Branch settings will override the System settings.

📌 Note: If you have more than one branch, Email or SMS Notifications must be enabled for each branch by either selecting the branch or using the Enable SMS Notifications option under the Bulk Action menu to enable this feature for multiple branches at once.

  • When complete, click Save.


Creating Notifications for Email

Once Notifications are enabled, you can go to the Manage Notifications tab and set up a new Notification.

  • Choose which Notification Type you want to set up.

  • The New Notification screen appears:

Fill out all required fields!

  • Notification Name: The name of the notification, for internal reference.

  • Branch: List of branches for which the notification applies.

  • Division: List of divisions for which the notification applies.

  • Service Type: List of service types for which the notification applies.

  • Services: List of services for which the notification applies.

  • Notification Type: Notification Type

  • Trigger Type: Define the workflow trigger to kick off a notification.

  • Delivery Time: For daily digest notifications, specifies the time at which notifications will be sent. For weekly digest notifications, specifies the weekday and time at which notifications will be sent.

  • Test: Regardless of using an email or SMS notification, it's good practice to send yourself a test message to ensure your tokens are in the correct place, and that your messaging is displaying correctly before your customers receive their first notification.

Filling out Email Content

Below you'll see additional fields:

  • Email Subject: Subject of notification email sent to customers.

  • Tokens: Available to be inserted into the Subject line.

  • Email Header: Header of the email body that could include greeting and introductory paragraph.

  • Email Header expandable tokens are available.

  • Email Body: Repeating section for each service.

  • This section would commonly contain service-related tokens and service item related tokens (up to three items per service) to explain what work was completed.

  • Email Footer: Footer of the email body that could include closing paragraph and signature area.

  • Email Footer expandable tokens are available.

Click save.

Copying Notifications

While displaying a notification on the Notification screen, you can copy the notification to use it as a template for a new notification.

For example: a system administrator could use a main notification template then individual branch managers could copy the template and use it for creating branch-specific notifications.

Go into the notification you would like to copy.

  • Click the triple dot menu in the upper right.

  • Select Copy.

This will copy the notification and can be updated with more specific wording based on the need.


Creating Notifications for SMS Messages

SMS messages are another form of Notification Type available in Aspire. Sometimes, you have customers that don't read emails, or they prefer a short message to notify them directly about service without clogging their inboxes. Reach these customers with an SMS notification!

The types of Notifications for SMS messages are Visit Reminder, Work Ticket Complete and Absentee Notification (Internal).

Visit Reminders are used to remind your customers about an upcoming visit for services that your team will be performing when they are onsite.

Work Ticket Complete notifications are sent depending on the trigger type set up when configuring the notification. Notify your customers when the work ticket reaches Complete status in Crew Mobile, when it is completed in the Subcontractor Portal, or when it is marked as complete on Aspire Desktop.

SMS Absentee Notifications are for internal use only, and alert you when there is no clock in for a work ticket visit after your designated start time. This is helpful when monitoring your onsite teams to stay on track with your daily workflows and ensure that your teams are performing service in a timely manner.


Things to Know About SMS Notifications

Before you configure your first SMS notification, read below and keep in mind this helpful information to get the most out of each notification you send.

  • All messages should first state the name of your business.

  • Messages that are over 160 characters will be sent as two separate messages by the carrier.

  • It is strongly recommended to include opt-out instructions with your messages that direct customers to text STOP, Stop, or stop to your toll-free number if they want to stop receiving messages. Go to the Opt-In section of this guide for more information.

  • Enter text and add tokens that will best communicate important information to your customer.

  • There is a max character limit of 320 characters. The purpose of this limitation is to ensure that the message is concise. You can create a more detailed message using an Email Notification.

    • The character count of each token will be to the right of the token name.

    • The character count represents the maximum length of that specific token field.

    • In an effort to reduce the number of messages that are sent, a token will only pull in the maximum number of characters specified for each token.

    • The character count of a token will count against the characters that are remaining in your message.


Using Visit Reminder Notifications

To create a Visit Reminder notification, from the New Notification screen, you'll configure the following fields, test, and then save your notification.

  • Select Manage Notifications under Notifications.

  • Click New and then click Add SMS Notification.

Notification Name

  • Create a naming convention that states the purpose of the visit reminder.

    • Example: St Louis - Weekly Maint - Weekly Reminder

Branch

  • Select the branches that will have the visit reminder available.

Route

  • This is an optional field but associates your visit reminder with a time-based or sequenced route.

Divisions

  • Choose the division(s) to associate with the visit reminder.

Service Type

  • Select the service type(s) to which the visit reminder should be applied.

Service

  • Select the service to which the visit reminder should be applied.

Notification Type

  • Select Visit Reminder.

Trigger Type

  • This is a read-only field. For Visit Reminders, the default is Work Ticket Visit Scheduled.

Delivery Time

  • This is a read-only field. The current option is Day Before.

Delivery Time Details

  • Set when the visit reminder is sent to the customer.

    • You can set the minutes to one of the following 15-minute intervals - 00, 15, 30, or 45.

    • The time is in the 12-hour clock format (HH: MM).

Message Body

You can manually type out the message you want your customers to see and add message tokens to automatically display specific key information.

🧠 Manually typed text and tokens count towards 320-character count maximum.

  • To add Tokens to the Message Body, click on the Search icon in the message body in the upper right corner to see a list of tokens to add.

📌Note: You must set a time-based route under the Route(s) field to use Time-based Visit Tokens in the Message Body field.

Once all of your settings have been made, you can then Test your notification to make sure that everything looks correct when the Visit Reminder notification is sent to your customers.


Testing your SMS Notification

Click the Test button in the upper right corner to send a message preview to a number belonging to a Test Recipient before you save the notification template. Taking this step allows you to view how the message tokens you use will reflect on the end of your customer.

  • Enter the phone number of your test recipient and check the attestation box in the field to acknowledge consent.

  • All required fields on this screen must be entered before you can Test a notification.

  • After clicking Send Message, you will get a confirmation that the test message was successfully sent to a valid phone number.

  • You will be redirected to the Visit Reminder detail screen so that you can make any changes before you save the notification.

⚠️Information added in the template fields will be retained after you click Test, but you still need to click Save to add the notification to the advanced search list!

  • Select Save once you are satisfied with the Visit Reminder template.


Receiving a Visit Reminder

Once you have configured and enabled your visit reminder, your customer will receive a Visit Reminder the day before the visit at the time you set in your template!

Things to Know about Visit Reminders

  • You can not duplicate a visit reminder. If you want your customer to receive more than one visit reminder the day before their visit, copy the original template you created and change the Delivery Time Details in a new Visit Reminder template.

    • You can also do this if you need to create a visit reminder that is similar to an existing reminder.

  • If you set a visit reminder and then schedule for the next day after the time you set for that reminder, the visit reminder will not be sent to your customer because the notification will not be triggered.

    • A good example to understand this concept would be if you set your Visit Reminder to go out at 1:00 PM on Tuesday. If you scheduled a work ticket visit after 1:00 PM on Monday, the reminder would not be delivered to your customer.


Canceling a Visit Reminder

If you delete a work ticket visit, a cancellation notification is triggered to be sent to your customer.

  • The cancellation notification will be sent to your customer within 15 minutes after the work ticket visit is deleted.

  • All cancellation messages are formatted the same and look like this:

    • [Service Name] originally scheduled for [Date/Time] has been canceled. Please contact [Company Name] if you have any questions.

      • Currently, this automated message can not be modified.

📌Note: Cancellation notifications will not go out if a visit is canceled or rescheduled before the visit reminder for a visit is triggered to be sent to your customer.


Visit Reminders for Rescheduled Tickets

If you update the date or the time of a scheduled work ticket, a Reschedule Notification is triggered.

  • The Reschedule Notification will be sent to your customer within 15 minutes after the work ticket visit is rescheduled.

  • If a visit is rescheduled for a future date, your customer will receive two notifications.

    • The first will be the Reschedule Notification, and the second will be the visit reminder reflecting the date or date/time for the newly scheduled visit.

  • All Reschedule Notification messages are formatted the same and look like this:

    • [Service Name] has been rescheduled to [Scheduled Date]/[Schedule Date/Time]. Please contact [Company] if you have any questions.

      • Currently, this automated message can not be modified.

  • If you change the sequence under which a rescheduled visit occurs but the exact date or the date & time of the visit remain, a Reschedule Notification will not be triggered.


Editing Contacts on the Property for Notifications

In order for notifications to be sent to your customers, notifications must be allowed on the property's contact record. Notification contacts are specified in the Contacts section of the Property Overview screen.


Updating One Contact for Notifications

Upon editing a contact, you can select that the customer should receive email or SMS notifications. Navigate to the Properties module. Once on the Properties Search Screen, search for and click into the Property record you would like to update.

Once in the property, complete the following:

  1. Navigate to the Contacts section towards the bottom.

  2. To the right of the contact you want to edit, click the triple dots, and select Edit Contact.

  3. A separate window will appear and you can check the Email Notifications box and/or SMS Notifications.

  4. For SMS, the Contact Mobile Phone Number field will be required. If the contact has a mobile number in their contact record, it will pull into this field.

    1. If you enter in a number or change an existing number, the contact mobile number will be updated as well

  5. Then, click Save.


Opting In and Out for SMS Messages

⚠️ All SMS messaging is required to comply with applicable laws and regulations including but not limited to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). This is why there is additional opt-in functionality around SMS functionality.

  • The TCPA is a US federal law that outlines telemarking communication regulations.

  • Users must explicitly state that they want to opt-in to SMS Message

    • CTIA is a trade organization that represents the wireless communications industry in the U.S. They create and maintain lots of great resources to help understand industry guidelines.

Once you have clicked Save, your customer will be sent a message to confirm they want to receive SMS messages from your company. You can view their opt-in real-time status in the notifications column next to their contact name.

⚠️ The warning icon indicates that the customer has not opted-in yet:

✔️ Green checkmark indicates that the customer has confirmed their opt-in:

  • To opt-in, your customer must reply with START, Start, or start to the opt-in message you send.

  • To opt-out, your customer can reply or send a message to your toll-free number stating STOP, Stop, or stop at any time.

  • To opt back in, the customer will need to send a message to the toll-free number by sending a Start or unstop message.

📌 Note: If the customer's number is updated, the customer's number will be opted out since the API will read that as a rejection. The customer will have to re-opt-in by sending a message to the toll free number. This also includes reformatting numbers such as 123-456-7890 ➡️ (123) 456-7890

We strongly recommend not using Bulk Actions for SMS Notifications. Please read the below disclaimer to learn why.


Updating Multiple Contacts for Notifications Through Bulk Action

⚠️ DISCLAIMER: We do not recommend using Bulk Actions for the SMS Notification Contact without the prior consent of your customers.

This is because, if your customers were unaware of the opt-in service, and 20% of those contacts that were Bulk Assigned reported your initial message as SPAM, the telephone providers could flag your toll-free number and block it. This would discontinue your use of SMS Messaging.


Now, to update multiple contacts, do the following:

  1. Select multiple properties that apply to your update

  2. Select Bulk Actions in the top right

  3. Select Change Email Notification Contact

The top options in the menu will be Primary Contact, Billing Contact, and Email Invoice Contact. Selecting Primary Contact will enable email notifications for the Primary Contact on all of the properties selected.

⚠️ Be careful as you can potentially associate contacts with a property they shouldn’t be associated with!


Notification Log

The notification log search list allows you to view and filter information about notifications that have been sent to your customers. There are three places that Notification Logs can be found:

  • In Configuration ➡️ Notifications ➡️ Notification Log

  • In Contacts module ➡️ Select a Contact ➡️ Notification Log section in Contact details

  • In the Properties module ➡️ Select a Property ➡️ Notification Log section in Property details

Reviewing the Notification Log in Configuration

To review the Notification Log details, click to Notifications in Configuration.

Clicking on the Recipient Name hyperlink will redirect you to the Contacts module to review the contact detail screen.

In the Contacts Module

On the Contact screen, in the Properties section, there is a display field that shows Notifications and their types. There is also a detailed Notification Log section which displays the contact specific notifications relating to your customer's properties.

In the Properties Module

On the Property Detail screen, there is a Notification Log section. This section displays a list of all notifications sent to your customer for their respective properties.

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