Send SMS Alerts with the Twilio SMS Application

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Introduction: Sending Text Notifications with Twilio SMS

Desk.com Twilio SMS App allows you to raise awareness of cases by sending an SMS text message to key agents or supervisors. You may also use the Twilio SMS App to send a notification when you receive cases from VIP customers, when case priorities reach a certain level, or when cases have gone unanswered for many hours.

Note : The Twilio SMS App integration here is used only for sending SMS notifications. It is not designed to be used for receiving and sending SMS text messages to customers.


Installation

Getting started with your Desk.com App to trigger a Twilio SMS requires a Twilio account. To start, go to yourdesksite.desk.com/admin/apps, click the Twilio button (you'll see an image like the one below) and agree to the Terms of Service.
 
 
You can set up a free trial Twilio account at Twilio.com. For new Twilio accounts, you will also need to pick and verify your Twilio account phone number first.
 

Accounts

Once the account is verified and a number is selected, you will need to acquire the Twilio Account SID and Auth Token for the Twilio account you're using, including the phone number which you verified earlier.
 
Copy and paste the Account Sid, Auth Token and 'From' phone number from Twilio, into the Install Twilio page in Desk as below. 
 

 
Once the Twilio integration is successfully added and the Sid and token accepted by Twilio, you should see the next page as below:

 

Actions

Now that Twilio has been added as an integration in Desk, the next step is to create an App Action, which is an action that will send the actual SMS text message from Desk.
 
Give the Action a Name, the Phone Number to send the SMS text to and the SMS Message. By default, the SMS Message sends Case {{case.id}} updated. Link: {{case.direct_url}} Subject: {{case.subject}} but you can modify the message here as you wish. The case ID, URL and subject here are dynamically populated using Liquid Variables
 
 
 
 
As this is a newly created App Action, there are no rules using this action yet, which we will cover in the next section.
 

Rules

Business Rules in Desk.com allow you to automate workflows or act on cases without agent intervention when certain conditions occur at events specified for a case. For the purpose of this integration, we will want to use a Case Updated Rule, which can trigger on a case to run the App Action we created above.
 
Here's an example of a rule, which triggers on a "Case Updated" event, where a case contains the "Send Twilio SMS" label:
 
 
A Business Rule fires when a certain event occurs (e.g. a Case is Updated) and the conditions specified for that case evaluate to be true. In our example, we want the rule to trigger on a Case Updated event with an All Condition requiring the label "Send Twilio SMS", and then remove that label at the conclusion of that rule so that the SMS will not be sent again, until that label is added to the case for a separate Case Updated event.
 
Finally, make sure you enable the rule then hit Update to save the newly created rule.
 

What happens when everything works?

So far, we have added the Twilio integration in Desk. We also created a Twilio App Action to send the SMS text message to a specific number and also a created a Case Updated rule which will trigger when there is a  case with the "Send Twilio SMS" label appended to it. To tie it all together, when a case is updated in Desk with the label, it will trigger the Case Updated rule, which in turn runs the Twilio App Action to send the SMS text message.