Top 11 New Features in InphoniteVoice 2012 - #7 Holiday Exception Handling

This blog entry is the fifth of an 11-part series highlighting the top 11 new features in InphoniteVoice 2012.

InphoniteVoice 2010 has an advanced rules engine that allows users to customize exactly when they want their appointment reminder calls to be delivered. Rules can be created to handle complex business problems, such as the ability to have appointment reminders sent 2 days in advance Monday through Thursday and 4 day in advance on Thursday and Friday (thus avoiding calling clients on the weekend.) Rules can also contain filters allowing you to only include a subset of data which gives you the ability to send different messages to different groups of clients. One feature that was missing from the rules was the ability to process rules differently on certain days. For example, if you wanted to make sure that InphoniteVoice did not call any clients on Christmas or Thanksgiving, you would have to either manually disable your rules for the holiday period, or make sure that your data was not imported so InphoniteVoice didn’t know about any upcoming appointments.

InphoniteVoice 2012 solves this problem by adding Rule Exceptions. Rule Exceptions allow you to create an exception that will apply to one or more rules. There are 4 different kinds of rule exceptions:

Add Days– this will add or subtract days to the date range that an X days in advance or custom schedule rule would normally process. Here are some examples:

  • Thursday is Thanksgiving and we want to prevent any calls from going out on Thanksgiving and instead we want all calls to go the day before on Wednesday. To accomplish this we create a new rule exception and set “effective start date” to Thanksgiving Day and set “days to add” to “1 day earlier.” When Wednesday comes around, the rule processing engine will detect that tomorrow is a holiday and will modify the rule to be a 2-3 day rule. In that way, all appointment reminders that would normally only go out on Thursday, will now go out on Wednesday.
  • This year, Christmas falls on a Wednesday and we want to call all appointments the day after Christmas on Thursday. To accomplish this we create a rule exception for Christmas and set “days to add” to “1 day later.” Since it’s set to later, when that Thursday comes, the rule processing will detect that that date was a holiday and will modify the rule to be a “1-2 day rule.” Therefore on Thursday it will deliver Friday and Saturday’s calls.

Alternate Rule– this rule exception will forward appointments that would normally match the specified day to a different rule. Alternate rule exceptions could be used if on a certain day you want to change the actual message delivered or delivery venue (primary number, mobile, etc.). If you knew that no one would be at the front desk on a given day and usually you offer the option to transfer to the front desk, you may want to use this exception. By doing this the alternate rule could refer to a different voice message to deliver, minus the option to transfer.

Auto-complete– this rule exception will match as normal; however the calls will be auto-completed with result of “Auto-Complete Exception.”

Suspend– this rule exception will prevent the matching of the rule on a given day. The effect of this is that the rules processing engine will simply ‘ignore’ any appointments that it would normally pick up. These appointments may be picked up by other rules if they apply.

It may sound complicated, but in reality it’s not. Here’s an example rule exception and I will explain how it works:

ruleexceptionsample.png

Assuming a simple 2-days in advanced rule, the above sample Rule Exception, we will call Saturday’s appointments on Wednesday instead of on Thanksgiving. Clients will be happier because they will not be pulled away from their turkey consumption to answer the phone, and you will be happier because you know that InphoniteVoice 2012 is the ultimate solution for your automated messaging needs.

If you require further help setting up these rules exceptions, please contact our technical support department here or create a case through your InphoniteVoice product.

Stay tuned for the next InphoniteVoice 2012 feature – New Email Features with Free Delivery.