Welcome to the basic introductory overview for our brand new text messaging feature! This feature will allow our firms to communicate with their clients via text messages directly from PracticePanther, and keep everything logged for easy and secure viewing!
Please note that your firm's text messages to contacts may be subject to regulation from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). We recommend that you (i) consult with an attorney to understand your obligations and liabilities under the TCPA, and (ii) obtain the appropriate consent required under the TCPA, prior to sending any text messages to contacts.
To begin, navigate to your Settings page within PracticePanther, and click on the Text Messaging option as shown below.
Once on the next screen, please click "Enable Text Messaging" to begin the setup process.
From there, please ensure all required fields under the Firm and Contact information sections are properly filled out, as shown below.
Once you have ensured all info has been properly filled out, click Continue.
From there, it will ask you to select the country your firm operates in as well as the area code you would like to use.
**Note: only the United States and Canada are supported as of now.
Once filled out, click Run Search and we will find an available number to assign to your firm with the area code you entered.
Once the search is complete, your assigned number will appear and you will be asked to confirm the number you received. You also have the option of running another search to get a different number. Once you're satisfied with the number given, check the "Accept Terms and Conditions" box and hit Confirm.
**Note: Once the number is confirmed, there is not a way to change the number afterwards.
Sending Text Messages
Congratulations! You're all set up to use SMS. To send a new SMS, you can hit the Messages option in the upper left corner of PracticePanther to not only see the option to send an SMS, but a list view of all SMS messages that have been sent and received. This will be your main portal for SMS messages.
To create a new text message, click on the Messages icon as shown above, and on the following screen, click on New Text Message.
A new prompt will appear, asking you to fill in the Contact's name as well as any Matters, as well as their phone number and the recipient's name. If the Contact does not exist in the system or the Contact does not have any Matters, you will also see the prompt to create a new Contact/Matter as well.
You'll then be taken to the screen to send your message! You'll be able to see the full exchange on this screen, and the thread will be logged under the Messages section. The screen will update automatically with new messages from your client if you keep this page open.
You can also bill your client for your time communicating with them by clicking the "New Time Entry" button at the top right of this page.
Notifications and Unread Messages
If you are outside of the message screen with a specific client, you will receive a popup notification at the top right of the page, and the number on the Messages tab will open as well to indicate the number of unread messages you have.
If you want to see the full list of text messaging threads, navigate to the Message icon in the upper right and click on Text Messages. Messages will show a red icon if there are any unread messages from the client
If you're looking for specific text messages by Contact or Matter, you can view any Contact's messages by going to the Messages tab under the Contact or Matter itself!
Can clients text our firm first?
A client can also initiate the conversation with your firm! You can feel free to post your PracticePanther Text Messaging Number found in the Settings on your website or elsewhere for clients to start the conversation with you!
If a contact initiates a conversation with the same phone number listed as their mobile number, the message will appear under their contact. If their phone number or contact does not exist in your account, then a new contact will be created with their name listed as the phone number which texted you.
Accept payment via text
Accepting payments via texting is simple. You will find a “$” button inside conversation windows, which allows users to view a list of Invoices that can be quickly selected and sent via text message to contacts. Just use the dropdown menu to select the appropriate invoice, and send it to your client.
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have!