A fundamental part of many Action Items is communication. How do we send that communication, and to whom do we send it? In this article, we'll discuss the process to adjust how your workflows communicate both internally and externally.
Who Gets the Notification?
Action Items can send notifications at each Step change automatically. What notifications are sent, and to what users, is determined by how the Action Step is set up.
Navigate to Settings > Action Types/Steps.
From here, find the Action Type you wish to modify, click the dropdown arrow to expand it, and find the Step in question from the list.
Send To: The Send To column determines what users will receive notifications from that Action Item. This can be set to any role and will send the Action Step to applicable users of that role.
For example: if you choose the Homeowner role, the Step will send to the Homeowner assigned to that Action Item. If you choose a Manager role, it will send to all Managers with responsibilities tied to that Action Item's Association.
Reply To: The Reply To column determines which role within your organization will be receiving responses to these alerts. For example, if I sent a notification to a Homeowner, and they reply to the notification, who should get that reply?
Note: The Reply To field determines who will get any replies while in that step. This means that if you send a notification on step 1, and someone replies when that action item is sitting at step 5, the Reply To field for step 5 will be used to determine who gets that Reply.
To modify the Send To or Reply To selections for a particular step, click the Edit button and it will become editable. Only Roles found in the Default Followers of the Action Type will be available to Send To or Reply To.
How will they get the Notification?
How a notification is sent is determined by the Rules for the Action Step. The Rules set several things for an Action Step. Here, we only care about the Notifications option. For more information on other Action Type Rules, visit Action Type Rules.
From here you can choose what type(s) of notifications are sent out by the Action Step. There are a number of options you can choose:
- (General User Preference) - The default notification method. This will look at the user's notification preferences and send in the way that is chosen: by email, text, through the app, or by paper. If the (internal) user has multiple notification methods chosen, this will send through all of them. Additionally, if the user's communication preference is not set to email, text, or app, this will default them to paper regardless of the setting.
- No Notifications - This Action Step will not notify the Send To user(s).
Note: These users can still see the Action Item under pages such as My Action Items.
- Paper - The Action Step will send a physical letter to its user(s). This letter will go to the Mailroom > Print Queue page to be printed.
Note: this requires there to be at least one attachment on the Action Step. This can include Letter Templates, Reports, etc.
- Email - The Action Step will send an email to its user(s). If the user does not have an email set to send to, no notifications will be sent.
- Electronic (General User Preference) - The Action Step will send a notification to the user electronically, in whatever way(s) they have selected: by email, text, or through the app. If none of these are selected, it will default to email.
- Paper and Electronic - This will attempt to notify the user electronically but will also always send a notification by paper as well.
- (Billing User Preference) - Only available for sending to Homeowners. The Action Step will send notifications based on the account's Billing User Preference.
Note: There is an additional safeguard: if the Action Step has no attachments and thus cannot generate a letter, but the preference is set to paper, it will default to an email notification.
- Electronic (Billing User Preference) - Only available for sending to Homeowners. The Action Step will send an electronic notification depending on the account's Billing User Preference.
- Electronic Preference, If None Then Paper - Vantaca will attempt to send an email, text, or App notification if they have an electronic preference. If they do not have an electronic preference set, it will default to an email if one is on file. Finally, if there is no email on file the item will send via paper.
What gets sent in this Notification?
Once your Notifications are set, you will need to select what to actually send.
Click on the Hamburger Menu on the Action Step to get several options for choosing what your users and homeowners will receive.
Note: In order to successfully send a Paper notification from the Action Step, you must have at least one of these attachments selected or attach something to the Action Step manually. Otherwise there will be nothing to print.
Note 2: If you send an Email notification, the attachments selected here will appear as attachments to the send email.
- Letter - Select one or more letters you have set up under Settings > Letter Templates.
- Email - Set up the email as you want it to be sent from this Action Step. If this is empty and the Action Step sends an email it will send a default email with minimal information. You can use Merge Tags in email templates to customize the message that is sent to your users.
- Reports - Select one or more Reports, either from the regular Reports module or from your Custom Reports. Vantaca has many reports, for information on what these reports are, visit Types of Reports.
- Documents - Select documents uploaded to the Association > Documents page. You can also set the Action Step to export documents to that page for other uses.
Note: Adding Documents to Action Items allows for very dynamic workflows that can easily send Association-Specific items without additional setup needed. Visit Documents on Action Items for ideas on how this can enhance your workflows.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Below is a flow chart that may help when converting your existing workflows into Action Items.