This article includes the following topics:
- How to Purchase SMS Credit
- How to check what SMS messages have been sent
- When are SMS credits used
- How to test the length of your SMS messages
What are SMS credits
SMS credits in easyemployer give managers the ability to send an external notice to employees in their organisation via text message (SMS) to the users mobile phone.
Examples of these communications are roster shifts, leave requests or notices.
Why is this important
The text message service provided in easyemployer has a cost attached to it. If text messages fail to send users are advised to check that they have enough credit to send the messages and purchase additional credits if required. Not all organisations wish to utilise this feature. Please check with the relevant person in your own organisation before utilising this feature.
To use SMS communication from the system, SMS credits need to be purchased.
Note: Only Organisation-level Owners are able to make SMS purchases.
Charges only apply for outgoing SMS messages. Incoming SMS messages (e.g. from roster replies) are not charged.
How to purchase SMS credits
1. Click Organisation
2. Click Organisation (Manage Organisation)
3. Click Billing
- Your current SMS quota will be displayed:
4. Click Purchase SMS and the available packs will be displayed:
5. Click Purchase corresponding the the amount of credits you would like to purchase.
6. Remember that SMS Credits don't expire
How to check what SMS messages have been sent
Checking what SMS messages have been sent is also easy to do.
1. Click on 'Reports' in the navigation bar
2. Scroll to the Misc. Reports and select the 'Communication log'
3. The communication log tracks all communication sent from or to easyemployer. This report can be further scoped to only display SMS communications be clicking 'Edit' in the methods row.
4. Making this selection will cause a pop up box to appear. Select the type or types of communication methods that need to be reviewed.
5. Once the selections have been submitted all of the relevant communication messages will be displayed.
When are SMS credits used
Whenever the communication method "SMS" is used, this consumes your SMS credit. This is across the entire easyemployer system.
Generally speaking whenever you are making these communications, a ("manager") type user has the choice to use the users default method (which can be a variety of internal notice and/or external method e.g. email and/or SMS). If you want to avoid consuming SMS credits then you will need to ensure that internally the overrides are being used e.g. "Email". This will ensure that SMS communication is not used, irrespective of a users preference.
You can also bulk override a users preference, by using the bulk user changes page, a guide below linked for you: https://support.easyemployer.com/hc/en-us/articles/230921267
Remember - that there's also a communications report (mentioned above) which can assist in understanding what has been sent using the SMS method, a guide below linked for you:
How to check the length of your SMS messages
The number of credits that the system will deduct depends on the length of the SMS. One SMS credit is 160 characters (including spaces). It is hard to say how many SMS will be used as it depends on the characters that are sent which will be increased/decreased by the number of shifts that are sent and also other features being used (e.g. if you are communicating site addresses).
The way to check how many SMS credits are being used would be to check some SMS messages that have been sent.
- Open sandbox - it is handy to use sandbox so you can then test SMS communications (which do not actually send out to staff as email and SMS communications are blocked on sandbox) but still record in the communications log.
- Click reports.
- Click communications log.
- Change the date to today's date.
- Edit methods and select SMS only
- In another tab, open the current roster.
- Then recommunicate the roster to one specific staff member SMS - click the cog on the right, click recommunicate and select SMS.
- Go back to the communications log and reload - the SMS then shows.
- You can then copy the body of the SMS and paste into a word document, then in that document, go to review and then "Word Count" to check the character (with spaces)
What you can then do is modify the SMS format to see how that impacts the character count, if you want to try and reduce the character count and then SMS credits used. From here you can customise the string(s) of text used, which can ultimately reduce total quantity of SMS consumed. Please remember that SMS is a character limited format (160 characters), so longer SMS messages might consume more than 1x SMS credit.
- Click organisation
- Click settings
- Click Communication
Once you have the above section open you can then modify the SMS format. Once the SMS format has changed, you can then repeat the above testing in the roster to see the result on the communications log report then copy the text into Word to see how many characters are used.
Once you have found a format that will work, you can then implement this change in easyemployer in your live environment.