What is Three-way messaging?
Three-way messaging enables your customers to share a three-way SMS message exchange, in real-time, with the dispatcher and mobile worker, by replying to an SMS message sent as an SMS alert. Workers see the exchange in their vWork mobile app and dispatchers see it on the vWork web app in the job editor.
Three-way messaging is an optional feature that enhances the standard SMS Customer Alerts feature. If you want to find out more about Three-way Messaging or add this to your vWork account, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. A member of the vWork team will be in touch to discuss your requirements.
In this article
This article explains how to set up your vWork account to enable Three-way messaging. Topics covered are:
To learn more about what Three-way messaging is and how you can benefit from using it, please read the article: What is Three-way messaging?.
To find out how dispatchers and mobile workers see and respond to Three-way Messages please see the articles:
- Dispatcher: view and send Three-way Messages
- Android and iPhone app: view and send Three-way Messages.
Set user permissions to enable Three-way Messaging
Once we have enabled Three-way Messaging in your account, if not already enabled, give your dispatchers the Chat web app permission.
Note: Dispatchers who don't have the Chat permission enabled can't see or reply to customers’ messages.
Users of the mobile app automatically have the ability to message the dispatcher and the customer once the dispatcher’s Chat permissions are enabled. You don’t need to enable the Chat permission for mobile app for them to engage in a three-way message with the customer and the dispatcher.
To set the User Chat permission for the dispatcher:
- Go to Settings>Users>Users
- Select the dispatcher from the User Management list.
- Scroll to User Permissions.
- Click the Chat checkbox to insert a checkmark and enable the permission.
- Click Update at the bottom of the page.
Note: In some accounts with many optional features added, the Chat permission is not visible. If you can't see the Chat permission and need to update or add the Chat feature to a user please email email@example.com. We'll sort this out for you.
Set up alerts for Three-way Messaging
There are two alert types useful for Three-way Messaging. These are:
- SMS Alerts that go to customers; for example, Estimated Time of Arrival, Job Start Reminder, and any other alert that is sent to an Ad Hoc SMS Recipients.
- A special alert for the dispatcher - the Customer SMS Response Received alert.
You must set up at least one SMS alert that goes to a customer or one alert with an Ad Hoc SMS Recipient to enable Three-way Messaging. It is also helpful to set the Customer SMS Response Received Alert to make it easier for a dispatcher to know when a person has replied to an SMS Alert.
To find out more information about setting up alerts, please see the article: How do I set up an Alert?
1. Set up an SMS alert that goes to customers and/or Ad Hoc SMS Recipients
Three-way Messaging is activated on a job when a customer responds with an SMS message.
Note: Your customers must have a mobile phone number saved in their customer information to enable an SMS alert sent to a customer site or billing contact to work.
To set up an SMS alert to a customer contact:
- Go to Alerts > Setup
- Click Add Alert to add a new alert.
- Choose the Alert Type that you want to trigger the SMS Alert.
Some examples of Alerts commonly used to trigger an SMS Alert message to a customer include the Job Created Alert and the ETA Alert but there are other alerts that you may also want to use.
- Complete the Which Dispatchers Should Receive In-App Notifications and the Who Should we Notify by Email? sections in the alert setup.
- Scroll to Who Should We Notify by SMS? and click the checkbox next to one or more of the customer contact options - you must select at least one of:
- Send to Customer’s Site Contact, or
- Send to Customer’s Billing Contact, or
- Ad Hoc SMS Recipient.
- Click Create (or Update if this is a change to an existing alert).
2. Set up the Customer SMS Response Received Alert for the dispatcher
The Customer SMS Response Received Alert is an alert that notifies dispatchers when a customer sends an SMS message in response to an SMS text alert or SMS message from a worker or dispatcher. It is useful to set this up as customer SMS messages are only visible to the dispatcher in the Customer Message tab in the job editor for a job. This alert notifies the dispatcher to check the job for a new message and can also include the customer's message and mobile number in an email alert.
To set this up:
- Go to Alerts > Alert Settings.
- Click Add Alert to add a new Alert.
- Name your Alert in the Alert Name field.
- Click to select the alert filters from Your Alert Filters. Make sure these are compatible with the alert that sends the original SMS notification to the customer.
- Scroll to Select an Alert Type and, in the Customer Experience grouping, click to select the Customer SMS response received alert type.
- Scroll to the Which Dispatchers Should Recieve In-App Notifications? section. Make sure that you select every dispatcher that you want to receive the In-App Notifications for this alert.
- If required you can also set up an email notification for this alert that goes directly to the dispatcher.
This has the option to add tokens to the alert that provide the dispatcher with the customer's message (Incoming SMS Message) and the customer's number that they sent the SMS message from (Incoming SMS Number) in the body of the email. These email tokens are only available for the Customer SMS Response Received alert.
- Click Create to save the alert.