Auto-Replies

IN THIS ARTICLE

Introduction to Auto-Replies

Auto-Replies are automated responses that send to patients when they message your clinic. You can use Auto-Replies to set patient expectations around when you’ll get back to them, create after-hours messaging, and more.

You can create your own Auto-Replies in Spruce, and once created, you can turn them on and off as needed. You can also create Auto-Replies that trigger based off of different inbound communication channels (e.g. a separate Auto-Replies for patients who SMS text your clinic phone number versus patients who securely message in through the app). We'll go into more detail about the configuration of Auto-Replies in the next section.

Note: Auto-replies will trigger only once per 15 minutes as a default. For example, if the patient messages in multiple times within that 15 minute range they will only get the auto-reply once. If 15 minutes passes and they message back in they will get the auto-reply again. If you would like to change this frequency to be a custom time frame please message into Team Spruce Support. Please note customizing this is part of our Communicator plan. 


How to Create an Auto-Reply from the Mobile App

The first step to creating an Auto-Reply is to navigate to your Settings tab, then Workflows and tap on "Auto-Replies". You'll see the option to "Create an Auto-Reply", select that, and it will take you to the Add Auto-Reply creation screen. Once you're there, you'll be presented with a screen to customize your Auto-Reply and the conditions that will trigger it to send and enable it.

The "Title" of the autoresponder is for your purposes only and patients will not see this title. So, for example, if you were creating an out-of-office autoresponder, you may want to title it something like "Out of Office Reply."

In the  "Message" section, you'll be able to compose the message that you want to auto-send to patients that meet your defined criteria. You can attach files, photos and videos to the autoresponder.

Select "Reply To" and the "Triggers" section is where you select the inbound channel for which you want to send the message to. So, if you want to send a different message to patients who SMS your clinic versus those who securely message your clinic, you can do so here. 

Finally, you'll see the "Tags" section. You can also trigger the Auto-Reply to send depending on which tags the conversations has. Read more about tags in our help article here

If you want to turn on this auto-reply now make sure to toggle on "Enable Auto-Reply" and then select "Save" and your Auto-Reply will be active!

How to Create an Auto-Reply from the Web App

The first step to creating an Auto-Reply is to navigate to the  "Auto-Replies" section of Settings under Advanced. You'll see the option to "Create New", select that, and it will open the Auto-Reply creation screen.  

The "Title" of the autoresponder is for your purposes. Patients will not see this title. So, for example, if you were creating an out-of-office autoresponder, you may want to title it something like "Out of Office Reply."

The "Triggers" section is where you select the inbound channel for which you want to send the message. So, if you want to send a different message to patients who SMS your clinic versus those who securely message your clinic, you can do so here. Once you've defined your triggers, you can select who the "Sender" of the message is. If you are a one-person clinic, this step is not relevant to you, but if you are part of a larger team, you can decide from whom patients see the message is sent. To edit this, click on your practice name that will be listed and a drop down list of teammates, and Teams (if setup) will be listed, select your choice.  

Finally, you'll see the  "Conversation Tags" section. You can trigger the Auto-Reply to send depending on which tags the Conversation has on it.  

If you want to turn on this auto-reply now make sure to toggle on "Enable Auto-Reply" and then select "Save" and your Auto-Reply will be active!


How to Manage Existing Auto-Replies

At any time you can edit your Auto-Replies, turn them on or off, or entirely delete them.To toggle an Auto-Reply on or off, navigate to the " Auto-Replies" tab of Settings, click the Auto-Reply for which you'd like to turn on/off, and then at the top, select or deselect "Enable Auto-Reply." If the toggle is blue, that means the Auto-Reply is active. If it's set to gray, the Auto-Reply is off.

To delete an Auto-Reply, navigate to the Auto-Replies page and select the " Delete Auto-Reply" or the trash icon next to the Auto-Reply.


Scheduled Auto-Replies 

It's possible to schedule Auto-Replies without having to manually turn them on and off when you want them to fire. Scheduling your Auto-Replies is only available on the Communicator plan and the Spruce Support team can set up schedules for your Auto-Replies so they only trigger at certain hours or days of the week. Please contact us from the Spruce app for assistance with this feature.


Sample Auto-Replies

Business-hours message: 

  • You have the reached <practice name>. We typically respond with 2 hours. Messages received outside of office hours will be answered the next business day. Thank you for your patience. If this is an emergency, please call 911.

After-hours message:

  • Thank you for texting <practice name>. We respond to texts during normal business hours. If this is an urgent matter and cannot wait until normal business hours, please call <(xxx)-xxx-xxxx>. If this is an emergency, please call 911.

Vacation message:

  • I am currently on vacation and out of the office until <date>. For all urgent or acute medical issues please contact <alternate provider> at <(xxx)-xxx-xxxx>, or call the main line during business hours. If this is an emergency, please call 911.

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