Are you sending SMS reminders or messages out to your patients, but they're not getting them? There could be a few reasons as to why this is happening! The first thing to do is check the communications log to see if there is any record of that message being sent.
Then, the sleuthing will continue—the following could all be possible reasons that the message did not reach your patient!
The following article will walk you through how to check for these possible reasons, and of course Cliniko's support team can help you out if you still have questions!
First, Check the Communications Log
Do you see the message listed in your communications log, even if it's marked as "Failed"?
Head to Communications, and you can see (and search through) a full list of all messages that have been sent from Cliniko:
If you do see a record of an outgoing message but it's marked as "Failed", it might be that you're out of credits, and need to purchase more to be able to send messages!
However, if you don't see a record of an outgoing message, then check out the possible reasons below—one of which is likely to be the culprit!
- You don't have SMS reminders enabled;
- You have SMS reminders turned on, but your appointment types don't have reminders enabled;
- The patient doesn't have a mobile number on file;
- The patient has a different reminder preference;
- Something else weird is going on!
You've Run Out of SMS Credits
In order to send any sort of SMS message from Cliniko, you have to have SMS credits on hand! If you've run out, then messages will try to send, but will fail.
If a message has failed, you'll see it marked as such in the communications log:
If you see that "Failed" sign in red, you'll want to check your settings to see if you're out of credits! Head to Settings, and then SMS settings:
From there, you can see how many credits you currently have:
If you're at 0 (or below!), then the reason those messages didn't send is because there wasn't enough credit on file! Top up your credits and you'll be able to send messages again.
☝️ Note: If you notice that the day's reminders have not gone out when they should, and realise it's because you needed more credits—and then buy more credits—Cliniko will try to send those reminders again for a few hours! For example, if your reminders normally go out at 10:00 a.m. but you were out of credits, and you bought more at 11:14 a.m., Cliniko will attempt to re-send those reminders.
SMS Reminders Aren't Enabled
Even if you have credits on file, and even if your appointment reminders are set to send SMS messages … if you don't have SMS reminders enabled, then messages won't be sent!
To check this, head to Settings, and then Appointment reminders:
You'll want to check two things on the next page.
First, your default reminder type should include SMS:
Second, the box next to SMS enabled should be ticked:
If these are not set, change them, and save your settings—SMS messages should start going out now!
Appointment Types Don't Have Reminders Turned On
If you have SMS credits on file, and your reminder settings are all looking a-okay, then it could be that your appointment types don't have reminders enabled!
First, take note of the appointment type that the patient who did not get the SMS was booked into.
Then, head to Settings, and Appointment types:
Click on the appointment type you want to check, `and see if the bon next to "Send appointment reminder" is ticked:
If it is not, it would mean that even though you have SMS reminders enabled, no message would go out for this appointment! Tick the box, save your settings, and future reminders should go out for this appointment type!
The Patient Does Not Have a Mobile Phone Number On File
If you have credit on file, and your SMS reminders are enabled, and all your appointment types are set up to send reminders, but they're still not reaching your patients, it could be because the patient doesn't have a mobile phone number on file (or any phone number at all!).
Select the patient in question and check out their contact details. A mobile number set up properly should have "Mobile" listed next to it, and have a "Send SMS message" link below it:
☝️ Note: It doesn't matter if you have the country code in front of the mobile number, or if it's formatted with or without spaces. All that matters is that it is a mobile number, and is listed as "Mobile"!
If you do not see the number listed as mobile, edit the patient's details and select Mobile from the drop-down list of available "phone number types" under their Contact information:
Save, and that means that reminders should be successfully delivered to this patient in the future!
The Patient Has a Different Reminder Preference
If all your settings are looking right, and if the patient has a mobile number on file, but they still aren't getting messages, they may have a different (non-SMS) preference set for receiving reminders (this preference would override the default that you had set when originally setting up your SMS reminders).
Select the patient in question and check their Communication preferences:
If the automated reminder says "None" or Email", it would mean that they will not receive SMS reminders, even if that's your default setting.
While you can edit this preference and change it to "SMS", it might be that this patient has specifically requested not to get SMS reminders for some reason, so it might be a good idea to double-check before making any changes!
Something Else Weird Is Going On!
If you've exhausted all possible options and have checked everything outlined above, and messages are marked as "Sent", and patients still are not getting them, then let's talk!
In the communications log, find the message that is marked as "Sent", but did not get received. Click on the date of the message:
From the next page, take note of the communication number:
Copy this number, and send it to our support team—we can assist from this point forward! To send it to us, simply click the "chat bubble" in the lower right-hand corner of this screen. 😀 💬