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Text (SMS) reminders API for scheduled appointments

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Hi everyone, I got such great advice last time, I'm back for more!

Our site has an appointment function, where customers schedule 1-on-1 appointments with our providers, and we are looking for a product (API) to allow customers to sign themselves up for timed appointment reminders (e.g., Would you like to send yourself an appointment reminder via text? If so, how many hours before your appointment?)

Additionally, we'd like to create an airBnB style messaging client between our providers and customers to where they can message one another, but through a third party SMS number (for privacy / security).

We're considering Twilio for both, but I'm wondering if they offer the timed service, or would we build that portion ourselves? Any other products you all would recommend?

Thanks in advance!

10 Replies

Joel Auge
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Joel Auge Entrepreneur
Founder/CEO at Fan.si
Twilio.com -------------------- Joel Auge M:[removed to protect privacy]
Chris Phenner
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Chris Phenner Entrepreneur
Director, Enterprise Sales @ Gimbal
I'd have a look at Urban Airship, noting that they also offer native mobile alerts.
Parminder Singh
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Parminder Singh Entrepreneur • Advisor
Software Architect
We've used twillio and are very happy with the service. Regarding scheduling calls/sms it's better to keep that close to your application logic.
Gaurav Chawla
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Gaurav Chawla Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder
Yes, twilio is awesome. For timed events, it depends on where you are running your service. I am using Google's TaskQueue Service as I am running on AppEngine.https://developers.google.com/appengine/docs/java/taskqueue/
David Hauser
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David Hauser Entrepreneur
Young Entrepreneur, Speaker, Founder of Grasshopper and Angel Investor.
https://www.nexmo.com/tour/two-way-sms.html
Stephen McCurry
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Stephen McCurry Entrepreneur
Product Manager
Twilio is the best API and most reliable service overall.

I also used Mogreet because they gave me a short code for free. With Twilio you need to buy a short code at considerable expense so I use multiple standard phone numbers to achieve volume. Mogreet can send video messages that Twilio don't currently offer.

Scheduling is an application feature you will need to build but would be a simple piece of development. In a previous project my team custom built the kind of messaging app you are talking about with Ruby on Rails. It was relatively easily. No doubt their are gems for that kind of thing.
Khandker Hasan
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Khandker Hasan Entrepreneur
Principal Software Engineer at Symantec
I have been using a lot of aggregators for SMS sending at my current consulting gig (nexmo/bulksms/textopoly/ericsson/mythum/twilio) and twilio wins hands down. But none of these aggregators will provide the timed reminder that you are looking for.

We are currently using Quartz for the scheduling (sending SMS messages to patients to notify them of their upcoming appointments). I would suggest building that piece in house rather than relying on some external service, it would provide more flexibility if you want to tweak the messaging delays.
Ian Tyrrell
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Ian Tyrrell Entrepreneur
Co-founder / CTO at Ixty
For the telephony (SMS) aspect, in addition to Twilio you might want to consider:
Ben Sweat
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Ben Sweat Entrepreneur
Director, Product at Idealab
textmarks.com does this I believe. I know the guys there.
John Solamito
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John Solamito Entrepreneur
Advisor/CTO at Wedding Nook
biztexter.com amazing and is cheaper than all the rest.
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