FAQs: SMS (text) messages

This article covers frequently asked questions about sending and managing text messages.

Sending SMS

There are several ways to send SMS messages from Neo, depending on the purpose of the message:

  • Ad hoc messages: Click the Send SMS button on the client or patient Overview tabs. This method is great for sending SMS status updates for surgery, hospitalized patients, and boarding.
  • Appointment reminders:
    • To send an SMS appointment reminder to all clients with scheduled appointments for a specific day, click the SMS button from the Schedule tab.
    • To send an SMS appointment reminder to a specific client, click on their appointment to display the popover card. Then click the Send SMS Appointment Reminder icon.
  • Procedure updates: Click the Send SMS Appointment Reminder button from the Procedures tab to send SMS procedure reminders or updates.
  • Reminders: Schedule automatic reminders to be sent by SMS when due. For example, set up an automatic SMS message reminder to remind clients to give flea, tick, and heartworm medication each month.

Neo will send messages from one of five different numbers. The number clients will see on received messages depends primarily on the pet owner's phone number. 

  • 1-213-263-4771 - Los Angeles, CA US
  • 1-608-403-3078 - Adams, WI US
  • 1-754-227-6660 - Deerfield Beach, FL US
  • 1-207-209-2321 - Portland, ME US
  • 1-812-202-4900 - Boonville, IN US
  • 1-438-792-4134 - Montreal, Quebec CAN

Note: These numbers cannot be changed.


Simply click the SMS Appointment button on the Schedule tab to send an appointment reminder SMS message to all clients with an appointment scheduled on that day, regardless of the appointment’s status.


Click the appointment, so the appointment popover card displays. On the left side of the popover card, click the send SMS appointment reminder icon to send an SMS to the client.

SMS_appt_msg.png


If the SMS is on the Ready to Approve or the Outbox tabs of the SMS Manager, you can edit the message. Click the text of the message in the SMS Manager to edit.

MANAGING SMS

Sending SMS messages is included in the price of your Neo Subscription - at no additional charge!


You can view who has been sent an SMS message by going to Administration > SMS Manager.


No. Direct replies to SMS messages will not get back to you. Your outgoing SMS message should ask clients to call the practice if they have any questions. 


Yes. If you would like to review SMS reminders before they are sent, go to Administration > Branch Settings and change the Send SMS Immediately option to No. This will hold SMS messages in the SMS Manager Ready to Approve tab (Administration > SMS Manager) for review by a manager before they are sent. Note that Send SMS Immediately applies only to client and patient messages.


A client can unsubscribe from SMS messages by replying back to 812-202-4900 with the message STOP.
To re-subscribe, the client can reply back or send a new message to 812-202-4900 with the message START.
Tip: If the client does not want to receive SMS messages, it is recommended you record their mobile phone number in the Additional Information area on the client record instead of the Mobile No. field.
Note: When a client is unsubscribed from SMS messages, your practice will not receive electronic (email, SMS) notification. In Neo, you will see:
  • A red box around the Mobile No. box on the client Overview tab.
  • Messaging under the Mobile No. box, "Please check this phone number. We noticed an error." 
    Note: This is the same error as when the mobile number is invalid.
  • An "Unknown" error in the SMS Manager when they try to send the client an SMS message in the future. 

 

TROUBLESHOOTING

Any spaces or extra characters (dashes, parenthesis, etc.) saved with the mobile number will not impact the SMS from being sent.

 

The current character limit when sending an SMS message from Neo is 159 characters. If the form exceeds the character limit, the message will be sent in more than one text.

 

The __sms_appointment__ form is used to send appointment reminder SMS messages. It can be found and edited in Administration > Forms & Certificates > Reminder Reports. Remember to stay within the 159 character SMS limit when editing the form to ensure the information is not sent in more than one message.


The __sms_procedure__ form is used to send procedure reminder SMS messages or follow-ups. It can be found and edited in Administration > Forms & Certificates > Reminder Reports. Remember to stay within the 159 character SMS limit when editing the form to ensure the information is not sent in more than one message.


This depends on your practice settings and type of SMS message.

  • Automatic reminder SMS messages will always send automatically without needing approval.
  • Client and patient SMS messages will send automatically if the Send SMS Immediately drop-down list in Administration > Branch Settings is set to Yes. If set to No, the message must be approved before it can be sent.
  • The following messages will always require approval before sending:
    • Manual reminder SMS messages
    • SMS messages from appointments
    • SMS messages from procedures
    • Mass SMS messages from reports

For more information on approving messages, see Manage SMS (text) messages.


  • The client’s mobile number may be invalid or missing from the Mobile No. field on the Overview tab in the client record.
  • The client may have unsubscribed from receiving messages by replying STOP.
  • For SMS reminders not sending, there may not be an SMS form selected for that reminder type.
    • Edit the reminder type and select a form for SMS.