Customizing Automated Communication Language as Presented to Consumer

Between ServiceDesk itself, SD-CyberOffice and SD-Mobile, there are a great variety of automated and semi-automated communications that may be sent from your office (and/or your technicians) to the consumer for whom you are providing service.  There is also a significant variety of available methods (in particular, communications may be via email, RoboCall and/or SMS-based text-messaging). 

For each context of automated communication, we at Rossware have developed what you might call “canned” scripts.  Basically, we have composed default language that we believe is generally optimized for best effectiveness.  Regardless, it’s possible that in one or more contexts you’d prefer different scripting.  Accordingly, we have provided mechanisms via which you may create your own and customized scripting for most of these contexts.  If indeed you wish for such customization, believe it or not, it’s easy. 

The basic procedure, for any automated-communication situation that you wish to customize, is as follows:

An exception from the methods here described involves the RoboCall scripts that are used to confirm appointments (in particular, when RoboCalling is the particular method that you specify for use in that context). Those scripts are customized via an online interface that is specifically dedicated to the purpose. See the last page of this document for more guidance, in such regard.
  1. Create the text you want for that scenario (you may use any text editor for this purpose, but Notepad is likely ideal);
  2. Within the text, include FieldNames for where particular text (specific to the circumstance that’s involved in any particular instance) will be inserted; and
  3. Save as a raw text file, using the required Filename, and within the \sd\netdata folder on your ServiceDesk server drive.

To give you specific guidance as needed for each particular scenario, we provide the following tables.    Please notice there are three columns in each.  The left-most column shows what is the default script.  The middle column indicates the filename you must use when saving whatever such custom script as you wish to have used in replacement of the default script.  The right-most column lists each of field headers you may use for that context (i.e., blanks to be filled-in when the script is used in real operation). 

If you are not clear, a field header (aka FieldName) is a placeholder that goes in your text to indicate the variable element that should be inserted in live application, depending on circumstances.  The FieldName must always be spelled precisely as indicated, and enclosed in brackets just as indicated.  What happens in operation is the applicable program code sees any such particular string of text and knows to replace it with the real element that is applicable to the circumstance.  It’s sort of like a form letter in that your name, address and so on gets filled in, each element at just the right place. 

Please bear in mind that while we have made this customization easy, most of our users feel no need for it.  If you do not, please feel free to simply ignore such flexibility as is here described.

Also, please keep in mind in that ServiceDesk you may create your own set of a rather different animal than is involved here.  In particular, you may create User-Defined Scripts.  Those are for the purpose, basically, of creating semi-automated communications where you not only may customize the text; more fully, you may define the contexts themselves (and, in fact, for that animal there are no default texts; anything that you do will e custom). 

You will likely notice the salutation in some of the standard-text emails is a simple “Dear Sir or Madam” — as opposed to what would certainly be a more personable-sounding "Dear Mrs. Jones“ There is a reason for this.  Outside of AccountsReceivable data, ServiceDesk does not maintain any dedicated “Salutation” field (we also think it would be unnecessarily burdensome to make you manually provide an appropriately personal salutation for every job).  Given this absence, our automated mechanisms cannot know whether the appropriate personal salutation would be “Dear Mr.,” “Dear Mrs.,” “Dear Ms.,” “Dear Miss,” “Dear Mr. and Mrs.” or what the case might be.  We could formulate to use a salutation such as “Dear Jane Smith,” but we feel usually the generic salutation serves better.

please note that where you see the field title "[WrdForDoc]" (just barely above this caption), the word that is inserted for that field will be "invoice," "receipt" or "estimate" -- according to whatever is applicable to the circumstance

Please take particular note of the text sections above that are rendered in blue.  We show those sections in blue to highlight a particular trick we are using in the default script, and which you may likewise use in your custom script.  The situation we are seeking to address is where you may want the script to be a little different, depending on whether it’s the tech’s first visit of the day, versus otherwise (this can be particularly important if you’ve promised a customer their appointment will be first; in such a circumstance you’d not want language that says the tech has just finished his prior job).  If you want to have text that varies depending on whether it’s the first visit or not, simply enclose both alternatives within “less-than” and “greater-than” signs (e.g., < and >), and separate the two alternates with a pipe symbol.  In other words, do it like this <text-that-I-want-for-use-if-the-call-ahead-is-the-for-the-first-visit-by-the-tech-for-the-day|text-that-I-want-to-use-otherwise>.

Please also note where you use the field header [GenderRef], that text will be replaced with the word “his” if in SD-Mobile it is indicated the tech is male.  It will be replaced with “her” if in SD-Mobile it is indicated the tech is female. 

If you want to assure that your custom script uploads immediately (i.e., rather than waiting for the timed update cycle), after saving the file click on the “   section of SD-MobileLink.  If you want to be sure it downloads immediately into SD-Mobile, do a right-click on its “Log-In / Check Status” button (this forces a complete refresh).

‍Please notice these SMS scripts are tiny.  If you create your own custom SMS scripts, you should likewise endeavor to keep yours tiny.  Short texting is usually best regardless.  However, aside from that, the actual underlying SMS unit has a maximum length of just 164 characters.  Yes, in the current age you can do longer texts, but that’s accomplished by magic behind the scenes where your above-164 text is split into multiple sub-164-size units, each sent individually, then they are re-combined at the other end.  The thing is, each sub-unit is billed as a text in itself.  So, if you want to make your text fee 8 cents instead of 4 cents on these “call-aheads,” make your text somewhere between 165 and 328 characters.  If you want to make your fee 12 cents, make your text length somewhere between 329 character and 492 characters, etc.   (See what we mean?)

You may, BTW, wonder why there are alternate scripts depending on whether there is a specification of approximate minutes before arrival.  The reason is, when the tech chooses to do a “call-ahead,” he is given an option whether to simply indicate he is “on his way” versus providing a time specification.  Our thinking behind this design is, if he’s guessing his arrival is somewhere between 5 and 15 minutes way, it’s a little easier to use a non-predicted-quantity-of-minutes method.  If, however, it’s likely to be significantly longer, the consumer will likely be happier where he provides an estimated of quantity of minutes.

If, incidentally, you want to test any of these Tech “Call-Ahead” scripts (default or custom) to see how they look or sound, you can make a fake job and appointment in ServiceDesk (with your own number provided), assign the appointment to a tech whose identity/login you can momentarily use for testing, assure SD-MobileLink has uploaded the appointment (click on its button to upload dispatches immediately if you do not want to wait for its timed cycle), then, in an instance of SD-Mobile, login as the tech, select the fake appointment, go to its JobDetails page, and choose the “Call-Ahead” scenario you wish to test.

Customizing Appointment-Confirmation RoboCalls

Beyond the scenarios for which customization is described in the above tables, there is a whole other set of script customizations.  These concern appointment-confirmation RoboCalls.  For these, we have provided a different method of customization. 

In particular, rather than having you create a local file for each such customization as may be wanted, we have provided an interface in your online dashboard

Just go to there, login, and follow the menu.  Customization is easy and straightforward.  There is also provision via which you may test your scripts (and/or the default scripts too) to see how they sound.