Table of Contents
Scheduled Events: Overview & Use Cases
Updated by Morgan Wynnes
Read Time: 7 mins
Scheduled events are automated actions that you can set up in order to make changes to an account on a future date. They are useful when an account change needs to happen outside of business hours and can also be used as an alternative to making a note to complete an account change at a later date. The scheduled events are configured individually per account, and once set up, are viewable from the Overview tab of an account.
If you do not remove the existing data service prior to adding a new data service, the scheduled event will fail.
Scheduling service or account status changes can also be pro-rated, and the dropdown will default to using your instance's default settings. If you'd like to override these settings, expand the dropdown, and select whether or not to pro-rate the services.
How To Set Up A Scheduled Event
To set up a scheduled event, first, navigate to the account that you wish to set it up for. From the Overview tab of the account screen, you will see a Scheduled Event section on the right-hand side. Any existing scheduled events will appear here, otherwise, it will say "no results to display". In this section you will also find the Create Scheduled Event button, to set up a new scheduled event.
Clicking Create Scheduled Event will cause a pop-up window to appear, where you will define the event. This window will only have 3 fields displayed initially:
- Event: This is a drop-down list of predefined events where you will need to select which event you would like to schedule. The available options are: adding a package, adding a service, changing the account status, making a bank account payment, making a credit card payment, price overriding an existing service on the account, removing a package, removing a service, and removing a price override from a service on the account. Depending on the event you choose, additional fields may appear and be required to fill out as well.If you are scheduling a payment event (i.e. for a credit card or bank account payment to be made), please note that once the scheduled event triggers, the payment amount will be moved into the account's Available Funds; the payment will not be used to pay down any open invoices.
- Date & Time: This is where you will select the date and time that you want the scheduled event to occur. You will first select the date, and then the option for the time will appear directly after.
- Description: This field is primarily for providing some information regarding the scheduled event that is set to happen. It can be used to provide details around why the event is happening and if it was requested, by who, just so that when anyone else is viewing the account they can see any necessary information.
Once you create the scheduled event, it will appear on the right-hand side of the account screen within the Overview tab. From here, clicking on the scheduled event name will open the sidebar, where you can see the main details of the scheduled event, including the account it is happening on, the event, description, date & time of the event, and the event assignee. In this same section, you're also provided with a view of when the events are scheduled to occur - detailed in years, months, days, hours, and minutes - as well as being able to see how long ago these events occurred, using the same metrics. Additionally, hovering over the time counter of the event will provide you with the exact date and time the event is or was scheduled to occur.
Example #1: Removing A Service
A customer, Charlie Child, calls in and wants to upgrade from the Silver Internet service currently on his account to the Gold Internet service. However, he does not need the upgrade to happen just yet, and instead would like it to take effect on January 9th. To complete this request, we can use scheduled events rather than making a note for ourselves to complete in the future.
First, we will need to create a scheduled event to remove the Silver Internet service from Charlie's account (we will handle adding the new service in Example #2 below).
Since billing runs at 5 minutes past midnight within Sonar, scheduling the event for midnight on January 9th will allow it to take effect prior to billing running. Now that we have created the event, we will be able to view it and monitor the progress from the right-hand panel of the Account Overview screen.
Example #2: Adding A Service
Continuing from the above example, since we have successfully created a scheduled event to remove the Silver Internet service, now we need to create a scheduled event to add the Gold Internet service to Charlie's account.
Since billing runs at 5 minutes past midnight within Sonar, scheduling the event for midnight on January 9th will allow it to take effect prior to billing running - this means that on January 9th, Charlie's account will now have 2 actions taking place: 1) the Silver Internet service will be removed, and 2) the Gold Internet service will be added. Now that we have created the event, we will be able to view it, as well as the other scheduled event, from the right-hand side of the Account Overview screen.
Example #3: Change The Account Status
Salvador Barrows, a customer, calls in saying that she will be on vacation from March to July, and will therefore not be needing any services during this time. Instead of making a note to set their account to Inactive and also to change the status back to Active once they return, or having them call in again when she is back from her vacation, we can use scheduled events to automatically change Salvador's account status.
First, we will need to create an event to change the account status to Inactive on March 1st.
Next, we will need to create an event to change the account status back to Active, for when Salvador returns from vacation on July 1st.
Now, both scheduled events have been set up and Salvador's account will change to the appropriate status during her vacation as well as return to Active once they're back.
Considerations when changing the account status
The above example for changing the account status works for most situations where customers are away for periods of time. However, if the account's billing parameters have the Day Billing Runs and Invoice Day as different values, this might cause an unexpected result in the case of prorating when the account is reactivated.
For example: We have an ISP that bills on the 20th of the month but their invoice date is set for the 1st of the month because they bill in advance. If the customer's account was set to an Inactive status for this entire time, but then became active on the 25th of the month, then when billing runs on the 20th that means that billing didn't run on their account yet - therefore proration did not work as expected.
One solution for this would be to use a combination of a vacation status, scheduled events, and the Next Bill Date billing parameter for the account. Creating a vacation status for these customers and having them moved into that status, instead of just being moved into Inactive, helps to let you know that the customer is indeed returning and is not going to remain inactive. Then, using scheduled events, you would be able to set up 2 events to change the account status from Active to Vacation, and then from Vacation back to Active. Lastly, you would only need to change the Next Bill Date on the account's billing configuration. Doing this would make the disconnect process similar to the process below:
- Create a Vacation account status (if not already created)
- Create a Scheduled Event to change the customer's account status from Active to Vacation
- Create a Scheduled Event to change the customer's account status from Vacation to Active
- Change the Next Bill Date parameter to a future date beyond the date the customer is scheduled to be reactivated
For further information regarding creating a Vacation status, as well as an alternate method for placing customers into a vacation mode, check out the Accounts In Vacation Mode article.