What is Autopilot?

IN THIS ARTICLE:
Learn about iClassPro's Autopilot functionality and how it can be used to automate communications with your customers based on specific triggers.

What is "Autopilot"/automated workflows?

A "workflow" is a series of tasks that are completed based on a specific trigger. For example, the process of following up with families who have created an account but have not yet created enrollments could include:

  • Generating a report of families who created an account within a specified date range.
  • Checking the enrollment records for these families to note any who have no enrollment records.
  • Communicating with these families.

Automating this process saves staff the manual work of running the report, checking the enrollment history, and then either assigning keywords to the families to send them an Email Blast or email them one by one. Instead, a workflow can be triggered at a specific time (e.g., a week after the family account was created) to perform these tasks automatically.

Recommended order for setup

To ensure proper functionality once workflows are enabled, it is recommended that the Autopilot feature is configured in the following order:

  1. Confirm/configure staff permissions.
  2. Set up and customize communication templates.
    • Email
    • SMS
    • Push notifications
  3. Confirm SMS settings (if enabled)
    • Auto-Renewal
    • Available hours
    • Header and Footer
  4. Create/enable workflows
    • NOTE: if workflows will trigger only one form of communication, it is recommended to edit the workflow name to include the communication type so it is easily identifiable. (e.g., "Overdue Balance Email", "Overdue Balance SMS", etc.)

Enabling Autopilot workflows prior to your final import can result in unintended communications sent to customers. We highly recommend waiting to use this feature until your account is live.

Review Staff Permissions

In order to access the Autopilot Page and/or interact with workflows, staff members must either be granted "Admin Access" or have been granted the "Autopilot" Tasks permission.

The Autopilot Tasks permission has three states:

  • None - The "Autopilot" icon on the navigation toolbar will be disabled and staff will not be able to access the page.
  • View - The staff member will be able to access the Autopilot page but will only be able to view existing workflows/activity/audit log entries. They will not have any permissions to add/edit/cancel/delete workflows.
  • Full - The staff member will be able to access the Autopilot page and will have full control to add/edit/cancel/delete workflows.

Communication Templates

With the exception of the event-triggered "Check for mobile app download 'X' days after enrollment" workflow, all communication templates used for Autopilot can be customized under SETTINGS>SETUP>GENERAL SETTINGS>COMMUNICATION TEMPLATES>"Autopilot" tab.

The event-triggered "Check for mobile app download 'X' days after enrollment" workflow uses the "We Have a Mobile App!" email template located under SETTINGS>SETUP>GENERAL SETTINGS>COMMUNICATION TEMPLATES>"Custom" tab.

NOTE: All email communications triggered by workflows are considered transactional and will send to all families with the exception of the "Mobile app not downloaded after enrollment" and "Upcoming birthday" workflows.  See our "Which Autopilot Workflows are Available?" document for more information about these workflows.

Confirm SMS Settings

If you will be utilizing SMS communications for your workflows, ensure that the feature is properly configured, including defining your "Available SMS Hours" during which messages are allowed to be sent, and enabling the option to auto-renew credits if the number of available credits drops below your defined threshold. This will ensure that you always have enough credits to send communications that may be triggered by a workflow.

Accessing the Autopilot Page

To access the Autopilot page, click on the "Autopilot" icon in the navigation toolbar at the top of the screen (to the left of the User Menu).

autopilot_main01.png

Note that if this option is disabled, you do not have the required staff permissions to access the Page and will need to check with an administrative user to be granted access.

Navigating the Autopilot Page

The Autopilot Page is divided into three tabs:

  • Workflows (default view)
  • Activity
  • Audit Log

Workflows (default view)

The "Workflows" view will be displayed by default when you access the Autopilot Page. This tab is where you can view and control existing workflows, as well as create any new workflows from the Library.

At this time, workflows are limited to those provided within the Library, which can be copied to your account. From there, certain actions/inputs can be customized (as outlined below).

NOTE: the ability to select which communication template to be used will be disabled as each workflow has a specific purpose. However, the communication templates themselves can still be customized/branded.

Adding a Workflow

From the "Workflows" view, click the ADD A WORKFLOW button in the upper right-hand corner to launch the Tasks Library.

autopilot_main02.png

The Library lists all available Workflows, with a short description of what each one does. Click on a specific Workflow to copy it into your account.

Workflows can be triggered by either a specific event, or can be scheduled to run at a specific day/time.

Once a workflow has been copied into your account, it will be set to a "Disabled" status by default. This is because the system intends for you to customize some of the Workflow actions/input before you enable it.

Customizing/Editing a Workflow

Each Workflow has three "action" options that can be accessed by icons to the left of the Workflow title.

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From left to right, these actions are:

  • Edit Workflow - Allows you to edit specific actions/inputs related to the Workflow.
  • View Activity - Switches to the "Activity" view, pre-filtered to only display entries related to the selected Workflow.
  • Duplicate Workflow - Allows you to duplicate the selected Workflow. This is especially helpful for Workflows that you may wish to run with different triggers. (e.g., sending a Trial follow-up email to users 3 days after their original enrollment, then again 7 days after the original enrollment.)

Scheduled vs Event-Driven

The name of each Workflow has either the word "Event" or "Schedule" at the beginning. This word describes how the Workflow will be triggered:

  • EVENT workflows are triggered if a specific event occurs. (e.g., an enrollment action, family creation, etc.)
  • SCHEDULED workflows are triggered on a specific day or date/time. (e.g., on the Nth day of the month, on a specific day of the week, etc.)

Locked actions

Note that some workflow actions or options are locked and cannot be customized. This is because each workflow has a specific purpose and changing some of these settings could have unintended consequences (such as sending out repeated communications to a family). This includes locking the action to choose which communication template will be use for a particular workflow.

However, the communication templates themselves can still be customized/branded.

Disabling a Workflow

To disable a workflow, toggle the "Enable" option for the workflow to the "off" position. Disabling a workflow stops new processes from running; it does not cancel any activities that are in the process of running or in a waiting state.  These activities will need to be canceled individually.

Canceling a Workflow

A workflow can only be canceled from the Activity view for a specific instance of the workflow being run. Canceling a workflow leaves it in an enabled state, but stops the current process if it is in a waiting state.(i.e., if it is in the process of running and is waiting between actions)

Any bulk communications that have already been queued to send as a result of the workflow will still complete. These jobs will be seen in the Background Tasks. Therefore, even if the workflow has been canceled, it may be necessary to look at the Background Tasks to confirm whether the task needs to be canceled there as well. 

NOTE: Bulk communications are only sent for schedule-driven workflows.  Communications for event-driven workflows are sent individually and therefore do not produce Background Tasks.

Deleting a Workflow

Deleting a workflow can have different effects on communications, depending on the status of the workflow when it is deleted.

  • If the workflow is currently ENABLED, deleting the workflow will stop any current "in progress" activity on that workflow. Any communications that have already been queued to send will still complete. All historical activity records will remain in place and an entry will be added to the Autopilot-specific "Audit Log" recording the deletion.
  • If the workflow is currently DISABLED, deleting the workflow will simply remove it from the "Workflows" page. All historical activity records will remain in place and an entry will be added to the Autopilot-specific "Audit Log" recording the deletion.

Multiple Workflow Instances

It is possible to have multiple instances of the same workflow running with different criteria. For example, if you wish to trigger the "Trial enrollment follow-up" workflow three (3) days after a Trial enrollment and then again seven (7) days later, you cannot currently accomplish this with one workflow.

However, you can copy the workflow over twice and configure each instance differently. To accomplish the scenario mentioned above, you would set the "Wait For Action" on the first workflow to "3" days, and the "Wait For Action" on the second copy to "10 days" (e.g., the initial 3 day communication trigger + 7 additional days).

Likewise, you could trigger different communications by using different communication options. For example, you could copy the "Upcoming Birthday" workflow twice with different triggers:

  • "Send Bulk Communication" via email when "Birthday in X days" is in 30 days.
    • In this workflow, the template might state that the student has an upcoming birthday and remind the parent that your services include birthday parties.
  • "Send Bulk Communication" via SMS when "Birthday in X days" is in 3 days.
    • In this workflow, the template would be modified to a simple "Happy Birthday" communication.

If you decide to use multiple instances of the same workflow, it is recommended that you edit the workflow title to make it easier to identify how each one is configured.

Activity View

The "Activity" view is where you will be able to review the history of workflows that have been run, including the response from the system. If a workflow fails for any reason, you can review the request/response history to find out why it did not complete.

Audit Log

The "Audit Log" view is where you can see entries related to creating/editing/deleting workflows. These activities are Autopilot-specific and are not recorded in the main iClassPro "Audit Log" that is accessible from the User Menu.

However, it is important to note that if an automated workflow triggers an action in iClassPro, those actions (such as sending communications) will be reflected in the iClassPro Audit Log.

Need more assistance?

Customer support is available at 1-877-554-6776 Mon - Fri, 9 am to 9 pm (CT) and Sat, 9 am to 6 pm (CT).