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Customizing your Referral by SMS template

If you use the ability to send Referrals via SMS (Text message) on your Call Report Forms, we have an exciting new capability to share with you. You can now customize the template used when sending these referrals via SMS message.

There is a default SMS Referral Template which sends information via text message in the following formats:

    Agency Referrals:
    Agency Name; Agency Phone Number (first found custom-phone or all named phones); Loc: Agency Address Line 1, Agency Address Line 2, Agency Town/District, Agency City, Agency State/Province, Agency Zip/Postal Code
    E.g. Elmdale Food Bank; 805-333-3333; Loc: 225 Simi Village Drive, Unit 2, Simi Valley, CA, 93065

    Program Referrals:
    Program Name; (first found custom-phone or all named phones); Loc: Program Address Line 1, Program Address Line 2, Program Town/District, Program City, Program State/Province, Program Zip/Postal Code
    E.g. Food Hamper; 805-333-3333; Loc: 225 Simi Village Drive, Unit 2, Simi Valley, CA, 93065

There are two ways that phone numbers will be added to your default SMS Template:

  • If Custom-named phones fields have been used on the Agency or Program record the first Phone Number found will be included in the SMS Referral, all other custom-named phones or named phone numbers will be omitted. (e.g. If you use the 3rd and 4th phone number fields, only the 3rd phone number will be included in the SMS Referral.)
  • If you use the Agency Phone Numbers (named phone numbers) all of these numbers will be included in the SMS Referral in the order Fax Number, Toll Free, TTY, After Hours, Business Line, Hotline, Out of Area. (e.g. 403-215-5454 403-5487-2485 800-5428, etc.)

This is how such referrals by SMS may look as you prepare your report form. Note that the default SMS Referral template does not include labels or descriptions for included phone numbers.

default referral template

So, how do you go about customizing the appearance of these SMS messages?

Creating a Customized SMS Referral Template

To modify your custom SMS Referral Template, contact iCarol Support by submitting a case through your Help menu. In your request include the following:

  • The name of the Call Report(s) you would like the custom SMS Referral Template to be used for
  • The Resource record fields you would like to include in your template for Agency and Program referrals.
  • Any labels for those fields (or groups of fields, such as “address:” or “Loc:”).
  • Provide separate details for what you would like SMS referrals to look like for Agency and Program records, iCarol Support will then work to incorporate all of your requests into one Template.

Starter Templates

Here is an example of what SMS Referral Template could look like, at this time we are only able to include fields located on Agency or Program records, any values located on your ProgramAtSite or Sites won’t be available for your template.

    Agency Referrals
    AgencyName; Short Description; Hotline: Hotline, TollFree: Tollfree, Main: BusinessLine; Loc: Address Line 1, Address Line 2, City, County, Zip Code

    Program Referrals
    ProgramName offered by AgencyName; Short Description; Hotline: Hotline, TollFree: Tollfree, Main: BusinessLine; Loc: Address Line 1, Address Line 2, City, County, Zip Code

    (Note in the Starter Template Examples, labels will be italicized to help identify them – these labels will not appear in your SMS Referral Template if values do not exist in the field. e.g. Only a handful of your Program records have Toll Free Numbers, but when the toll free number exists it’s important that it is sent to the caller.)

If your organization wishes to use this feature, or if you have any additional questions on how to use it, please send a request via the Online Case Submission Tool, found in your Help menu, for support. Not sending out referrals by SMS message? Contact our team today to get started.

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Dana

Dana joined the iCarol team in 2013 after 12 years of direct service and administrative duties at a suicide prevention, crisis intervention, and empathetic listening helpline that also served as a 2-1-1 information and referral service. As the Communications and Social Media Manager at iCarol, you'll find her presenting Webinars, Tweeting, Blogging, Facebooking, and producing other materials that aid helplines in their work. In her spare time, Dana enjoys birdwatching, gardening, animal caregiving, and spending time with her family.

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