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Queues: Configure email and SMS notifications for tickets (including customized alerts)

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To help you and your queue's users stay on top of tickets, you can set up various automatic notifications and alerts. For example, when a new ticket is received, you can set LibAnswers to automatically send email alerts to one or more people. That way, you can know when new tickets arrive without having to log into LibAnswers itself. You can even reply to the new ticket emails to claim the ticket and send a response to the patron.

You can also opt to receive text message (SMS) notifications for any new SMS tickets submitted to the queue.

Or if you would prefer to configure Customized Alerts, they can be set up by admins to notify staff via email or SMS of custom situations that you define.

To access a queue's Notifications settings go to Admin > Queues > Edit Queue () icon for the queue > Notifications tab.

Notification emails

When a patron submits a new ticket to your queue, you can choose to receive Notification Emails. This is helpful if you or your colleagues don't frequently sign into LibAnswers and want to know when a question needs your attention.

  1. In the Notification Email field, enter the email address where notifications should be sent.
    • You can enter multiple email addresses, too -- just separate each one with a single space.
    • NOTE: do not enter an email address that is currently forwarding messages into LibAnswers.
  2. Save your changes.
Example of adding notification email addresses

New reply notifications

The New Reply Notifications option allows you to configure which users should be notified when a patron replies to an existing ticket.

  1. In the New Reply Notifications field, select which users you want to be notified about replies to tickets.
    • Owner and Notification Emails: notifications will be sent to the ticket's owner and all addresses listed in the queue's Notification Emails setting.
    • Owner: notifications will be sent to the ticket's owner only.
    • Notification Emails: notifications will be sent to all addresses listed in the queue's Notification Emails setting. If the ticket's owner is not listed there, then that person will not receive a notification.
    • No One: no user will receive a notification email. With this option, users will have to log into LibAnswers to see if new replies have been received.
  2. Save your changes.
Example of configuring new reply notifications

SMS notification number

The SMS Notification Number option allows you to select a set of SMS numbers that should be notified when a patron sends in a new SMS ticket. 

Note: this option will not send SMS notifications for email-based tickets, only for new SMS tickets.

  1. In the SMS number field, add the number(s) that should be alerted when a new SMS ticket is sent to the queue.
    • You may add up to four numbers -- separated by a space -- to be alerted.
    • Include the country code for each number that you add.
    • These alert messages will count towards your messaging allowance.
  2. Save your changes.
SMS notification number

Customized alerts

There are three types of Customized Alerts triggers that you can create based on:

  • Number of unclaimed tickets
    • An alert will be sent when the entered number of unclaimed tickets occur over the entered period of time.
    • Ex: A number of patrons are reporting that a database has gone down and the queue is hit with 10 new unclaimed tickets in 10 minutes. Your alert would trigger and send a notification out to any email addresses and SMS numbers that you have added to the custom alert.
  • Keywords
    • An alert will be sent when any keywords you have defined in the alert are found in a new ticket.
    • Ex: You've configured a keyword alert for "emergency" and "outage" When a patron submits a new ticket with either of these keywords included in it, your alert would trigger and send out a notification to any email addresses and SMS numbers that you have added.
  • Reminders
    • These are automatic reminder emails (they cannot be set up for SMS numbers) that can be set up for either to a custom list of email addresses or to individual ticket owners, to alert/remind them about particular things
    • These can be created for:
      • When a librarian has tickets that have been open for X days.
      • When a librarian has tickets that have been open for X days and the patron is waiting on a reply.
      • When there are X number of unclaimed tickets in your system
Custom alerts example

Creating Alerts

To create a new custom alert follow these steps:

  1. Click the Create Alert button to open the Create Alert window.
Creating a custom alert
  1. In the Alert Triggers section, choose the type of trigger to be used.
  2. Set the options for the trigger type that was selected.
    • See below for more details on the options for each trigger.
  3. In the Alert Recipients section, choose the email addresses and phone numbers that should receive the alert.
    • Note: Reminder alerts cannot be sent to phone numbers
  4. For Number of Unclaimed Tickets and Keywords alerts, set the minimum time in hours and minutes between alerts. The minimum time allowed is 5 minutes.
  5. Click Save.
set up of a custom alert
Options for Number of Unclaimed Tickets alerts:
  • Set the number of the Unclaimed Ticket threshold needed to trigger the alert.
  • Set the Time threshold (in minutes) that the number of unclaimed tickets must arrive in to trigger the alert.
Unclaimed ticket alert triggers
Options for Keywords alerts:
  • Add the words or phrases (one per line) that will trigger an alert if found in a new ticket in the Keywords field.
keyword alert triggers
Options for Reminders alerts:
  • Select the Ticket Status criterion to use in matching tickets to be included in the daily alert message. You can choose from:
    • Open Tickets (days since last update)*
    • Open Tickets (days since created)*
    • Days since last Ticket reply by patron
    • Unclaimed Tickets (days since created)
  • Set the number of Days to use in the "days since" calculation for the Ticket Status choice.
  • In the Alert Recipients section, along with defining a set list of email addresses to alert, you can also check the option to email the owner of tickets that match the trigger options that you set.

*Does not include Pending tickets

reminder alert triggers

Managing Alerts

After you have created alerts, you will see them listed in the Customized Alerts box. In the Action column. For existing alerts you can:

  1. Click the Edit () icon to make changes to alert -- change the trigger, add more email addresses/phone numbers, etc.
  2. Click the Reset last triggered date () icon to reset the time from when the alert was sent out last.
  3. Click the Delete () icon to permanently remove the alert.
Managing customized alerts