Communicating with members by sending messages and automated notifications is an important part of Shiftboard. There are many types of messages and notifications sent out, and there are a number of ways to customize the types and frequencies of notifications received. Site Administrators and Managers can also customize which messages are used by the Shiftboard site or the teams that they manage.
Every member can choose the email address to receive messages and whether they'd like to receive messages at all. To set notification preferences, a member should click on their name to go to their account, then on the Notifications tab.
By default, all new accounts are set up to receive all email messages and notifications immediately. To disable emails completely, change the notification option from "Send Email" to "No Email." In this state, the only messages members receive would be related to gaining access to their account (like the Forgot Password message).
Get Reminders--Shiftboard will automatically send out a reminder message two days before an upcoming shift that includes details about the shift and a link to view it on the calendar. This timeframe isn't editable. To stop receiving reminder messages completely, members can uncheck the Get Reminders box.
Get Confirmations--Confirmations are types of messages that provide new information, such as when a member offers a trade, takes an offered trade, or has been assigned a shift. Even with this option disabled members will still be alerted by email when one of their shifts is changed, re-assigned, or deleted.
Managers can use this setting to control many other types of confirmations as well, such as alerts when a member picks up or drops a shift, a trade is completed, a sign-up list is used, or when members accept or acknowledge their shifts.
Change Message Delivery Preferences--If receiving many messages every day from the Shiftboard site, members may wish to change their message delivery preference from "Send Immediately" to "Send Daily" or "Send Weekly." Weekly messages are sent on Sunday evening and will contain all of the messages that would have been sent during that week. If using this option, a member may also want to disable the "Get Reminders" option, as many of the reminders will be out-of-date by the time the weekly digest is sent.
Please note: These settings are the first place to check if members are not receiving messages the way they expect. However, an organization may have other settings or preferences in place as well that a manager or site administrator controls.
Some organizations send additional information to members by text. These messages can be sent to members directly, to a team, shift, or other grouping. Shiftboard's text notifications are always sent by an actual person, not an automated process. This means that none of the automated messages like shift reminders, assignment notifications, or confirmations will be sent by text.
- Text message limitations--An individual text message is limited to 160 characters. If a message is too long it can still be sent, but each recipient's carrier and device may treat the message in different ways. For example, members may receive the entire message, only the first 160 characters, several messages broken up into 160-character chunks, or no message at all.
To send basic texts, Shiftboard needs to know which mobile carrier each phone number is associated with. If a carrier is missing from the selection list, let Shiftboard know, and we may be able to add support for the carrier. Shiftboard uses the carrier's publicly accessible SMS Gateway to send these messages, but not all carriers provide these gateways to their customers, so it may not be possible to receive messages through the standard SMS tool. Nearly all US carriers and many other North American carriers provide the necessary gateway; however, very few carriers in the rest of the world provide this service.
- Premium SMS--Shiftboard has a tool called Premium SMS that allows Managers to send notifications of new or assigned shifts by text message. Members can pick up those shifts or accept the assignments by responding with a short code. More information about this tool can be found in our article about the Premium SMS feature.
Team Manager Settings
Each Team has its own settings that can be established by a Manager or Site Administrator. Messages sent to the team Manager or concerning a specific shift are directed to the team's Primary Contact. Site Administrators set the specific types of messages that Managers receive, but Managers can customize some of the messages that their members will receive.
- Message Customization--The Reminder/Confirmation message, the No Pick-Ups message, and the Welcome Message for Newly Added Team Members can all be configured at the Team level. Each of these messages has an uneditable portion that contains shift or team details. To add to the message, go to Teams > Name of the team to update > Settings tab for that team. After editing any of these message fields, click the Update button to save changes.
Site Administrator Settings
Site Administrators have global options to configure settings that impact the entire site, as well as access to the settings for controlling notifications for individual teams or members.
All notifications and other messages can be completely disabled for the entire Shiftboard site if preferred. This is usually done in one of two scenarios: 1) when setting up the site and exploring the shift creation tools, it does not make sense to send notifications to members about test shifts being created; or 2) when creating shifts in advance for seasonal events and do not want to accidentally message members before ready.
To disable email and site notifications, go to the Settings cog, then the General Settings tab, then change the Enable Site Email and Enable Site Notification options to No.
Many messages can be customized at the site level. Find these settings by clicking on the Settings cog, then Templates. If a custom reminder/confirmation message is added at the site level and at the team level, then both messages will be included in reminder and confirmation messages to that team.
Shiftboard's site can automatically send notifications to Managers about new assignments, acknowledgements, and additions to sign-up lists. Find these settings by clicking on the Settings cog, then Application Settings, then Schedules, then looking for the appropriate setting near the bottom of the page.