Appointment Based Automations
Appointment automations are a powerful tool for sending out reminders or follow ups relative to the date and time of the matter's appointment. For example, you would use an appointment automation to remind someone of their appointment "one day before" or "30 minutes before" the appointment start time. You can also trigger something relative to the end time of the appointment, for example "two hours after" the appointment ends.
If you wish to trigger a time-relative automation for a date that is not populated as an appointment on your calendar, you can do so with our date field based automation feature.
Before getting started with these automations, it is important to note that you also have the option to set up automatic appointment confirmations and reminders in settings, in fact this is recommended. To do this, you will not even need to create an automation. Instead, simply go to the Appointments/Events tab in settings, and add in a confirmation and/or reminder(s) for your various appointment types. These will be sent out automatically as per your stipulations, no need to create an automation.
Appointment based automations can still be useful if you wish to send an HTML email as your confirmation or reminder, or if you wish to trigger any other actions besides emails.
To use appointment automations, all you will need to do is create a normal automation, and then select Appointment Created as the entry condition. Once you make this selection, the automation will automatically change from trigger-based to appointment-based.
The main part of the automation, as shown above will function just like any other automation. When the appointment is scheduled, the automation will trigger and any actions that you have added will run at that time. These actions are not relative to the date and time of the appointment, rather they trigger at the time the appointment is scheduled on the calendar. This is where you would want to send an automated appointment confirmation email.
To access your time-relative appointment automations, simply click on the orange Appointment Automations button highlighted in the image above. Appointment automations are where you will create automated reminders or follow ups for the appointment.
Once you arrive on the appointment automations page, you will see a button on the right to create a New Appointment Automation. Select this button, and then enter the timeframe when this automation should trigger relative to the time of the appointment, as shown below.
Give the appointment automation a name, this is just internal and for your own reference. Then enter your timeframe and click create.
You will then see the new appointment automation listed.
Now that you have created the appointment automation, you still need to add your action items to it. Simply click the edit pencil, shown on the right above, or click directly on the automation name to edit the automation.
At this point, your appointment automation will look just like a regular automation with one exception. It will already have an entry condition selected so you do not need to select a trigger, since the trigger is built-in as relative to the time of the appointment.
Once you have added your desired action(s) to the automation, you can click the breadcrumb on the top left, highlighted below, to return to your appointment automations page and add an additional appointment automation if desired.
Here you can add as many time-relative triggers as you would like. After you create each one, make sure you then click on it to add your automation actions.
After you have created all of your appointment automations and added any actions that you would like to the main automation, you are now ready to activate the automation. Begin by activating the main part of the automation, this can be done from your Automations page showing all of your firm's automations.
If the automation has current matches, as shown above, it is very important to pause here and decide whether you wish to run the automation on current matches or future matches only. Typically for appointment-based automations you will want to select future matches only, so that you are not running the automation on anyone who has already had their appointment.
After you have activated the main automation, you will then click the orange Appointment Automations button once more, and activate each appointment automation. You will not see a warning message for current matches on these, since the only way they will have a match is when the time trigger is matched.
If you reschedule an existing appointment, the appointment automations will adjust as per the new date and time of the appointment.
For example, let's say you have an appointment booked for March 18th. Your "one day before" appointment automation would run on March 17th, and let's say the person responds to that reminder and says they would like to reschedule for March 20th. You would edit their existing appointment accordingly, and then Lawmatics will automatically adjust all appointment automations as per the new date. So they would receive the "one day before" reminder again on March 19th.
Should you ever need to cancel an appointment after it was booked, the appointment automations simply will not trigger once the appointment is cancelled.