Inbound SMS matching to case


We are building an app for arranging Supply Teacher cover that will be sending out requests for cover via SMS and email templates to all registered teachers. As you can imagine, we expect multiple texts or emails to be sent every day to the same recipients and need to ensure that replies containing offers to cover are matched correctly to the appropriate case.

Emails pose little challenge as a recipient can reply to individual emails and it will be matched easily by subject line/content etc.

Texts can be matched successfully by asking the respondent to include [[case ref]] in the body of the message, but given the volume of requests we anticipate will be sent to each teacher, this leaves a high margin for error.

Does anyone know of a better way of matching inbound SMS replies to the originating case?

Thanks in advance,

Hi Jane,

Presuming that you are sending both sms and email in tandem, there are two approaches you could take.

a) Simply notify the user to check their emails regarding x school for y day.


b) You could build a handler for SMS responses that would automatically assign as a response where there was no ambiguity, single school in catchment with message within x time frame or where there are multiple eligible candidates, follow up with a choose from a, b, c request.

Hi Adam,

Thanks for your response.

The teachers will be able to select their preferred method of contact and an email or SMS will be sent as appropriate.

Schools are likely to have multiple active requests open concurrently, so I’m interested to find out more about how to build the handler to follow up with a choice from the open requests - can you help?

If not, I’d be grateful if you could point me in the direction of a resource that might shed some light.


Afternoon Jane,

When new messages enter the system they fire an event, from here we can either apply them to an unallocated subset for manual review or we can write a script to either add them to a specific subset or relate them to another item or case.

If you have mentoring days available we could assist you in creating a handler that would match the sms back to the owner and placements offered within a given window. We can order these offerings and translate them into choices such that we can reliably map a subsequent response to a case.

However, it may be beneficial to only have the substitute register availability for a given date such that a human could more readily allocate available substitutes to all required placements rather than substitutes being able to cherry pick and leaving unfilled vacancies.

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