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Replies with Twilio SMS integration

We've been using Twilio for SMS for a few months now, but we haven't been using the reply features. I set up the request URL in Twilio, but my replies don't seem to be going though.  I used the link provided in the setup instructions (http://r.elvanto.com/sms-reply.php?twilio=true) along with a fallback URL that simply sends an automated response, in case Elvanto is down. Both URLs are set up as GET requests, since the Elvanto didn't specify whether the endpoint was expecting a GET or POST request.


To test I sent a 'YES' reply to a scheduling notification. I waited a few hours, but the roster was never updated. I also sent an unrelated test message to test the email forwarding feature, but that doesn't seem to work either. I never received my automated response, so it seems that the request was accepted by Elvanto.


I'm guessing this is a setup issue. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Additionally, I manually sent both GET and POST requests (without any request parameters) using the Postman chrome extension and received an empty response. Since there weren't any request parameters that may be expected, but wanted to make note in case it was helpful.

Hi Brian.


Thanks for your patience. I hope your Easter went wonderfully.


Unfortunately, due to the nature of SMS, using SMS can often be quite tricky, and sometimes doesn't work as well as Emails.


If, for example, your mobile number was being shared by another user, such as a Child or Spouse, the system can quite easily get confused who is meant to be sending the reply, etc. Another thing that can often cause issues is if you are rostered onto multiple services and have multiple SMS being sent out.


Regarding sending the manual requests returning the empty responses, the server is expecting parameters that Twilio, or other providers, send in the requests.


With that all in mind, I had a look at our Twilio account, and they are set up as POST requests. 


Hope this all helps,

Stewart

Thanks for your response. Switching the Twilio request to a POST request did solve my issue with responses being processed and relayed.


Thanks for the warning about the fragility of SMS. One thing that may be nice as an end user, is some sort of confirmation or error message after receiving an SMS response. There could be just a few generic responses, depending on the purpose of the response:

  • "We have received your response and [confirmed/declined] your volunteer position for [service name and date]" 
  • "Your message has been received and will be relayed to [sender's name]"
  • "We were unable to process your response. Please log into you account to continue [link?]"

Thanks again for your help!

Also, it might be helpful to specify that the Twilio request should be POST in the help text that appears in Settings -> People, when you select Twilio as your SMS provider.


Thanks!

Hi Brian.


Glad to hear that it's working.


I've made a note of these thoughts, and have passed these onto the developers to look into.


Hope this helps,

Stewart

OK .. I just set up our Twilio integration .. wanting to be able to have people reply to confirm or decline like we are able to do with planning center online now.


It doesn't seem to be working.  The text message goes out through twilio and the response is recorded in twilio, however, the roster never updates.


I've posted the url as a post string in twilio .. (see attached) .. ideas?



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Hi Jon


When you have sent out the roster notification SMS, are you sending them out for multiple services at a single time, or just a single service?


Stewart

only one service

Hi Jon


Would you mind sending an email to support@elvanto.com with which service and who you tested this with?


Thanks,

Stewart


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