In this user manual, we will detail how to configure and use the GEM-CAR 2022 SMS and email notification features. You will also find the information related to SMS workflow, segmentation and pricing.
Configure SMSes and emails
To send SMS and email notifications, configure your organization number and automatic notifications. See the links below for more information concerning these configurations.
Send notifications from the Calendar
You can send SMS or email appointment confirmations or reminders to your customers. You can also inform them about the work being done on their vehicles. To send these notifications from the Calendar, follow the instructions below.
- Right-click an appointment badge on the Calendar and go to Send appointment confirmation, Send appointment reminder, Send job done notification, or Send work order complete notification.
- Then, select By SMS or By email.
You can only send SMS and/or email notifications if the appointments are linked to work orders.
You can send automatic SMS and email notifications for appointment confirmations and reminders and for completed jobs. See Schedule Settings: General for more information on how to configure these features.
Before you can send a first SMS to your customers, they receive a disclaimer SMS. It gives them the option to unsubscribe and not to receive further messages by responding STOP. If customers unsubscribe, they will not receive any further SMS sent by GEM-CAR. This means that, if customers do business with more than one shop using GEM-CAR or GEM-CRM, unsubscribing affects messages sent by all shops. In other words, this can't apply to a single shop.
SMS message statuses
Every SMS message request has a status which describes the current state of the message. These statuses are notably used on SMS reports. You will find below the different message statuses and their descriptions.
Outbound Message Status Progression
When sending outbound messages, they can have one of the statuses below.
- Accepted: We have received your request to create the message and it has been accepted by our carrier.
- Scheduled: Your message is scheduled to be sent. All new messages are created with the Scheduled status. When they are ready to be sent, they are put in the queue.
- Queued: Your message is in the queue and is about to be sent. The delay may vary following the service occupancy rate.
- Sending: We are in the process of sending your message. This status is usually only present for a very short time.
- Sent: We have received a confirmation from our supernetwork partner advising it has accepted the message.
Finalized Message Delivery Status
After your message has been sent, it can have one of the final delivery statuses below.
- Sent: We have not received updated delivery information about your message. Typically, a Sent status is replaced by a Delivered or Undelivered status within seconds or minutes. If a message is older than 72 hours, receiving a further status update is unlikely, although we will update the record if we receive one.
- Delivered: We have received confirmation of the delivery of your message from the carrier and, when the information is available available, from the destination handset.
- Undelivered: We have received a delivery receipt indicating that your message was not delivered. This can happen for a number of reasons including carrier content filtering or the availability of the destination handset.
- Failed: Your message could not be sent. This can happen for various reasons.
We charge for any message delivery attempt whether it was successful or not.
Incoming Message Status
After we have received a message, it can have the following status.
- Receiving: We are in the process of receiving the message. This status is usually only present for a very short time.
- Received: The incoming message has been processed, and we have delivered it to your phone number.
When customers reply to your SMSes, your shop can receive the response by email or SMS. Do not reply to SMSes received by email because your customers won't receive the response. Also, do not reply using your personal cellphone because customers will receive the response from this phone number. Use the GEM-CAR built-in SMS feature to reply to messages instead.
To comply with the mobile phone carriers’ restrictions to prevent spamming, all SMS messages can't be sent at the same time. For this reason, we use queues. Messages are generally sent rapidly, but, occasionally, if a large number of messages are placed in a queue at the same time, there can be delays.
SMSes are sent from one of the six following Canadian phone numbers:
- (438) 601-3562
- (438) 601-3492
- (438) 601-1668
- (438) 601-1575
- (438) 601-4488
- (438) 601-3998
SMS Segmentation and pricing
The pricing is established by segmentation and not by the number of sent messages. One segment consists of up to:
- 153 regular characters; or
- 67 characters if a message contains Unicode characters such as accents or emojis.
Therefore, sending a message containing 200 regular characters is equal to two segments while a message containing only 150 characters, but including Unicode characters, is equal to three segments.