CRM Software for Economic Development Organizations
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How can I schedule automated tasks such as automatic inactivation of clients or automatic reminder of scheduled appointment?

The automated task feature is available under the Administration menu of Neoserra and thus, can only be configured by the Neoserra administrator. This feature should be used with extreme caution and it is strongly recommended that all tasks are initially set up in test mode so that you can verify the action of the task.

Neoserra supports eight different tasks:

  • Inactivate client after no reportable activity for N days
  • Inactivate client after no reportable activity for N days and no active bid match profile
  • Email contact(s) a reminder about a scheduled appointment N days before appointment
  • Email client a reminder about a scheduled appointment N days before appointment
  • Email Neoserra user(s) a reminder about a scheduled appointment N days before appointment
  • Send a survey N days after first initial counseling
  • Send a survey N days after first follow-up counseling
  • Send a survey N days after any initial counseling
  • Send a survey N days after any follow-up counseling

The tasks are described in detail below in three separate sections:

All tasks run early each morning on the day they are scheduled. Before the normal start of business.

Inactivate client after no reportable activity for N days

The first two tasks: "Inactivate client after no reportable activity for N days" and Inactivate client after no reportable activity for N days and no active bid match profile are perhaps the most beneficial tasks from a client management perspective. These tasks allow you to focus on those clients that are actively receiving services and and who are regularly updating their information. By inactivating clients that have not been heard from for years, you can use the "My Active Clients" link on the Neoserra home page to foster stronger relationships with those clients who are benefiting from your assistance.

These tasks merely inactivate clients - they do not delete any clients. Clients that have been inactivated can be reactivated by the counselor if/when they return for services. However, setting up these tasks requires careful attention to the details. As a precaution, Neoserra will not let you mass inactivate any clients that have had any reportable activity in the last 90 days (you can, of course, inactivate these individual clients manually.) Once a batch of clients has been inactivated they can be reactivated, but the reactivation is a manual process.

For purposes of both tasks, the reportable activity that Neoserra will look at is any one or more of the following sessions:

  • awards
  • capital funding
  • counseling sessions
  • inquiries
  • milestones
  • survey responses
  • training event
  • user-defined forms

In other words, if a client has any of the above listed activities within the date range specified and within the funding source specified, then the client will not be inactivated. The activity must be reportable.

If Neoserra inactivated the client, the action will only be logged in the data stream if you chose to create a close-out session, else it will be logged in the audit logs of the client.

For purposes of this task: "Inactivate client after no reportable activity for N days and no active bid match profile" the bid match status of the clients is also taken into account. If you choose the "Inactivate client after no reportable activity for N days" task then the bid match search profile WILL be inactivated along with the client record.

Setting up the inactivation task

To set up a new inactivation task log into administrator-mode and:

  1. Go to Administration|Automated Tasks:

  2. Click "New" in the upper right hand corner of the interface.
  3. Enter a meaningful "Task Name" that will help you easily identify this task later on.
  4. From the "Type" pick list select the "Inactivate client after no reportable activity for N days" task.
  5. By default, your newly created task will be disabled. Decide whether you are ready to enable this task or not. Disabled tasks will not run - not even in test mode.
  6. Next, decide whether you want to run this task in test mode, before running it live. Running a task in test mode will mean that you (the owner of the task) will receive an email message showing what Neoserra would have done, had the task not been in test mode:

    No action (other than sending the email) will be performed by Neoserra until the task has been taken out of test mode. The email message is sent at the same time the task would have normally been executed. A similar email will be sent when the task is live.

  7. Configure the number of days since the last reportable activity before a client is inactivated. Keep in mind that Neoserra will not let you inactivate any clients with reportable activity in the last 90 days. In other words, the number of days must be greater than 90.
  8. Use this field with extreme caution! It is generally recommended that you leave the selection to all funding sources. Only counseling sessions with the selected funding source(s) would be used to determine whether the client has been active, or not. In other words, if you select "DLA" as your funding source here, then only DLA-funded sessions will be considered when evaluating whether the client had recent activity. If the client had SBA activity just last week, but no DLA active for over a year, this client would run the risk of being inactivated.
  9. Select the centers upon which you wish to execute this task. Only clients belonging to the centers selected here will be affected by this task. If no centers are selected then the task is essentially moot since there won't be any clients upon which to perform this task.
  10. Since you are inactivating clients, you will need to decide if you want to log a close-out session for these clients, for documentation purposes. If you decide to create a close-out session then the non-reportable session will be created using the counselor and funding source assigned to the Neoserra user who is setting up this task. No time will be assigned to the close-out session and the date will always default to the date when the task was executed.
  11. If you do want to create a close-out session, then you may also want to log some notes in the session to explain the reason for the inactivation. The close-out session will, of course, be logged to the data stream and will look something like this:

  12. Upon completing all the fields, your task should look similar to the screenshot below. If you are satisfied with your configuration settings, then click "Save". Please verify all your settings carefully since this task (if enabled and not in test mode) cannot be undone. Each client that is inactivated by this task will need to be reactivated manually. Your task will be executed, either live or in test mode depending upon your configuration, tomorrow morning.

  13. To inactivate this task simply edit the task and uncheck the "Enabled" checkbox. Alternatively, you can delete the task from the More menu.

Email reminder about a scheduled appointment N days before appointment

There are three "reminder" tasks that all perform very similarly. The three tasks differ as to who will receive the reminder email, but otherwise are identical in their configuration.

Note: It is important that the Neoserra system administrator, who configures the task, is located in the same time zone as the counselors, who create the follow-up appointments. The system administrator will need to make sure that their time zone is set correctly under their personal preferences.

Setting up the follow-up reminder tasks

To set up a new follow-up reminder task log into administrator-mode and:

  1. Go to Administration|Automated Tasks
  2. Click "New" in the upper right hand corner of the interface
  3. Enter a meaningful "Task Name" that will help you easily identify this task later on
  4. From the "Type" pick list, select one of the following:
    • Email contact(s) a reminder about a scheduled appointment N days before appointment
    • Email client a reminder about a scheduled appointment N days before appointment
    • Email Neoserra user a reminder about a scheduled appointment N days before appointment
  5. Keep in mind that, within Neoserra, all follow-up appointments are always made with clients - not with contacts. However, the distinction offered here within the task interface, is to allow you to email the follow-up reminder to the contact's email address rather than the company's email address on the client record.

  6. By default, your newly created task will be disabled. Decide whether you are ready to enable this task or not. Disabled tasks will not run - not even in test mode.
  7. Next, decide whether you want to run this task in test mode, before running it live. Running a task in test mode will mean that you (the owner of the task) will receive an email message showing what Neoserra would have done, had the task not been in test mode. No action (other than sending the email) will be performed by Neoserra until the task is taken out of test mode. The email message is sent at the same time the task would have normally been executed.
  8. Configure the number of days prior to the scheduled follow-up meeting when you reminder should be sent. Keep in mind that the task is executed early each morning (between roughly 1:00-4:00am), before the start of business. The number entered here represents "N" in the task name.
  9. Select the centers upon which you wish to execute this task. All selected centers will be affected by your task. If no centers are selected then the task is essentially moot, since it will not perform any action.
  10. Mostly importantly, select the email template you want to invoke as part of this task. By default, for the client/contact reminder messages, Neoserra will select the "Client Followup Reminder" email template; while, for the Neoserra user reminder message, Neoserra will select the "Counselor Followup Reminder" email template, by default. However, you may select a user-defined template, assuming one has been configured as discussed in this FAQ.
  11. Upon completing all the fields, your task should look similar to the screenshot below. If you are satisfied with your configuration settings, then click "Save". Please verify all your settings carefully since this task (if enabled and not in test mode) will send an automated email to contacts, clients and/or Neoserra users. Once the email is sent it cannot be retrieved. Your task will be executed, either live or in test mode depending upon your configuration, tomorrow morning.

  12. You will receive an automated confirmation email each time the task is executed:

  13. To inactivate this task simply edit the task and uncheck the "Enabled" checkbox. Alternatively, you can delete the task from the More menu.

Send a survey N days after...

There are four different "survey" tasks that all perform very similarly but are triggered off different criteria.

Setting up the survey tasks

To set up a new survey task log into administrator-mode and:

  1. Go to Administration|Automated Tasks.
  2. Click "New" in the upper right hand corner of the interface.
  3. Enter a meaningful "Task Name" that will help you easily identify this task later on
  4. From the "Type" pick list, select one of the following:
    • Send a survey N days after first initial counseling
    • Send a survey N days after first follow-up counseling
    • Send a survey N days after any initial counseling
    • Send a survey N days after any follow-up counseling

    Note: There is a subtle but important difference between these options. Since you may have multiple programs using Neoserra, each with their own funding source, a client could, potentially, have multiple initial counseling sessions. Take, for example, a Neoserra database that includes both a PTAC program and an SBDC program. A single client could be counseled, theoretically, by both programs and thus have an initial counseling session with each program. Furthermore, PTAC programs, under the current DLA regulations, can record multiple initial counseling sessions with the same client, assuming a 12+ month absence from the program.

    You will need to determine whether you want to send a survey after the first initial counseling session or whether you want to send the survey after each initial counseling session.

  5. By default, your newly created task will be disabled. Decide whether you are ready to enable this task or not. Disabled tasks will not run - not even in test mode.
  6. Next, decide whether you want to run this task in test mode, before running it live. Running a task in test mode will mean that you (the owner of the task) will receive an email message showing what Neoserra would have done, had the task not been in test mode. No action (other than sending the email) will be performed by Neoserra until the task is taken out of test mode. The email message is sent at the same time the task would have normally been executed.
  7. Configure the number of days following the counseling session when the survey should be sent to the client. The number entered here represents "N" in the task name.
  8. Select the funding source(s) of the counseling sessions you want considered for this task.
  9. Select the centers upon which you wish to execute this task. All selected centers will be affected by your task. If no centers are selected then the task is essentially moot, since it will not perform any action.
  10. In the next three field, you will need to identify the survey and email template that you want to send out:

    • Choose the appropriate "Email Message Template" from the drop down. By default the "Survey Request (Client/Contact)" email template will be selected, however, you may select a user-defined template, assuming one has been configured as discussed in this FAQ.
    • Next, choose the actual survey that you want to send. The survey must be a client survey, it must be active and it must have an active request list in order for it to appear in the drop down selection.
    • Last but not least, choose the active "Survey Request List" to which the qualifying client should be added. Note: A Survey Request List only needs to be active when the task is configured. The Survey Request List can expire before the survey is sent - Neoserra merely needs to have a list where the survey request and subsequent response is logged.
  11. Upon completing all the fields, your task can be saved. Please verify all your settings carefully since this task (if enabled and not in test mode) cannot be undone. Each client that meets the criteria of this task will receive a survey request. Your task will be executed, either live or in test mode depending upon your configuration, early tomorrow morning.
  12. To inactivate this task simply edit the task and uncheck the "Enabled" checkbox. Alternatively, you can delete the task from the More menu.

Upon configuring this task, you will notice a new section at the bottom of the screen:

The "Queued Emails" section will initially be empty, however, as counselors add counseling sessions that meet the criteria of the task, the queue will grow over the course of each day. The "When" column indicates when the survey will be sent. Once the survey is sent, the queue will be cleared out but each client will have been added to the respective Survey Request List.

Note: The automated task must exist before the counseling session is entered into the Neoserra database for it to be added into the queue. In other words, if you set up an automated task today, then only sessions added after today will be queued, even if there are prior sessions that would have qualified under the task rules.



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