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Auto Responses to messages

1Auto Responses to messages




CONTACT automatically responds to inbound contacts based on:


  • time (eg hours of operation/ holidays) or
  • keyword parameters or
  • predefined system defaults which can be switched off if not required. The message can also be edited. An example of this is the Blank Message template. 


A message is considered blank if

  • SMS: message is blank
  • Email/Fax: no subject line AND no message body



Editing, adding or removing automatic messages needs to be actioned in two steps within the Admin Console: 


  1. Firstly, add the Auto Response Message.


  1. Secondly, add the Auto Response Criteria.


Auto responses will only be sent where the message template has an “On” Status.



  1. Messages


Click on the Auto Response Msgs link in the Admin Console.

Auto Response Summary view


New auto response templates can be added by clicking on the Add AutoResponse button at the top of the page and then filling in all the fields.


This is the same as setting up a manual message template, but needs a couple of additional details specified



  • Queue/ Virtual Queue: Enter the Virtual Queue or queue the Auto response applies to.


  • Short code Type:  Specify which of the following message types this is;


  • Auto Err or ack: where 1 message has been received in and an acknowledgement is sent in return.  This type is also used for error messages eg where a message is blank or unrecognized.


  • All Manual Outbound messages are of type Man Out And 2nd AR. This type is also used for all manual outbound messages and in an Enterprise model where 2 responses to a message are sent.


  • Premium:  Use this where a premium Short code (ie content charge) is in use eg charging customer setup rate on content being received eg 3.50 short code.


Figure 3: SMS Auto response
 by TIME


Auto Response messages can be automatically set to acknowledge the receipt of a contact in a particular queue, at a given time, with a preset response. Examples of this are an acknowledgement of message receipt and often include service level statements.


To do this, click on Auto Response Rules in the Admin.

This will take you to a summary page of auto responses scheduled by time for that channel.


Selecting Channel and Queues to view and add to


New auto response templates can be added by clicking on the Add AutoResponse button at the bottom of the page and then filling in all the fields.  These include:


  • Channel: Select one of SMS, Email or Fax from the drop down list.


  • Queue: select this from the dropdown list


  • Start Time and End Time: Enter these using 24hour time format


  • Mon to Sun: Tick the check box to indicate which dates of the week the Auto Response applies to.


  • Message TemplateID: This is the template message you want to select.  Available options are in the drop down box to select from. Always check the Template is “on” in the Auto Responses screen.



Figure 4: Completed Sample Auto Response Time by KEYWORD 


Auto Response messages can be automatically set to acknowledge the receipt of a contact in a particular queue containing a specified KEYWORD, with a preset response.


The Advanced Keyword setup allows message interrogation to be specified by channel and split into the message body or subject or both.


Selecting Advanced keywords


The advanced keyword handler allows Admin users to specify what happens to messages which do not match as well as those that do.




Unmatched criteria



The unmatched criteria area should generally be left per the initial site setup as this will control where the message goes next.


Match criteria rules are viewed on the summary page or edited by clicking on the edit icon.


Matched criteria summary


The advanced keyword edit page



  • Priority: Messages go through the Keyword Handler in the order specified.  A keyword with an priority of 1 will take precedence over a keyword with a lager value.


  • Status: specify whether the keyword is active or not


  • Match Type: This can be an exact match eg equals or be a match which contains, starts or ends with the keyword. The match can also be specified as a regular expression.


  • Keywords: the word(s) that needs to match in the inbound message for the outbound Auto response to be triggered. This is not case sensitive.


  • Category: Specify a value that can be used for reporting or skilled routing


  • Auto Response: use the drop down of Auto Response messages available to specify the outbound reply for the listed keyword. 


  • Output State: Three output states are available to admin users.  These specify the next action the message will progress through. These are;


  • SkillsBasedRouter: where the message needs to be delivered to a skilled agent, for further processing after the auto reply has been sent.


  • FifoRouter: where the message needs further processing after the auto reply has been sent, and should be delivered to any user on a first in, first out basis.


  • MessageClosed: no further action is required.



  • Channels: This allows you to specify where the system is to look for a match.


  • Processing Rules: Preprocess: Ticking this ensures the system “cleans” text of non-alphanumeric characters prior to looking for a match.  This should not be checked if regular expressions are in use.


  • Processing Rules: FuzzyMatch: This allows for a less than 100% match to be considered successful.


The fuzzy match percent is based on the the minimum number of operations needed to transform one keyword into another; where an operation is an insertion, deletion, or substitution of a single character.

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