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View How to Design a Cancellation Confirmation Template

Category:HWeb Agent

How to Design a Cancellation Confirmation Template


When clients cancel a reservation or booking with your service, it is important to send a followup confirmation, typically by email, to show the client that their transportation request(s) has indeed been canceled.

The Hudson systems (both web and local office) are installed with default cancellation confirmation templates. These templates are basic and rudimentary and should probably be improved and customized so that you can also use the cancel confirmation to further promote and market your business.

Templates and Tokens

All confirmation templates are a combination of plain text and tokens.  The text is typed almost as you would type a letter to a friend or associate. In the strings of text, you insert pre-defined Hudson "Tokens".  These tokens are place-holders, and represent information that is to be pulled from the reservation details and inserted into your confirmation text string.  A token will always appear in UPPERCASE letters and will begin and end with a percent symbol: < % >.  Examples of commonly used tokens include:
  • %PICKUPDATE% - Pickup Date
  • %PICKUPTOD% - Pickup Time Of Day
  • %PAX% - Number of passengers
  • %NAME% - Name of primary passenger on reservation
  • %PICKUPLOCATION% -  Pickup location
  • %PICKUPADDRESS% - Pickup street address 1
  • %DROPOFFLOCATION% - Delivery location
  • %RESPHONENUMBER% - Your company Reservation telephone number
  • %COMPANY% - Your company name
 For a complete list of tokens, please visit the following page:
http://www.hudsonltd.net/docs/tokens.html

By combining text and tokens, you can arrive at a sample confirmation message:

Dear %NAME%,
We thank you for the opportunity to be of service to you.
We will pick up your party of %PAX% on %PICKUPDATE% at %PICKUPTIME%.
We will then transport you from %PICKUPADDRESS%, %PICKUPLOCATION%  and deliver you to %DROPOFFLOCATION%.

Should you have any questions or need to make any changes, please call us at:  %RESPHONENUMBER%.

We realize you have many options for your transportation needs and appreciate your doing business with %COMPANY%

Now you should have an idea as to how text and tokens are combined.  You can now begin planning and typing the text you would like to use for your cancellation confirmation.  You may type the document using most any text editor. When finished, save the confirmation template with a name that indicates the purpose of the template: e.g.  confirm_cancel.txt
Save as a txt or rtf formatted document.  (NOTE: Web system confirmations MUST be saved as a *.txt formatted document). 

A sample cancellation confirmation template may be downloaded for your review. You may then edit or revise to suit your needs.  See the Attachments panel above and to the right to download your sample template.

Once you have created and saved your new confirmation template, you can move it or copy it to the Hudson / Templates folder on your system, where other confirmation, invoice, report templates are saved.  Typically this is on your network server and is similar to:
:\\<ServerName\Hudson\HWeb\Templates\Confirmations\
If you need assistance locating the folder where the confirmation template is to be saved, please call Tech Support.

Template Configuration

Now that the template is ready to use, you must configure the system to know when to use the template.  The configuration process is different for the Web and Local systems.  Further, the process differs if you are simply replacing an existing confirmation template or adding a new one. We will cover the local system configuration in this article. Find the section below appropriate to your situation.

Local System

Tools > Configuration > Application Configuration > General Configuration > Templates

Replacing existing template

  1. In the Template Maintenance window, select "Email confirmation" from the Template Type drop down list, then press the tab key.
  2. Scroll through the Email Confirmation templates displayed, looking at the Description field in Template Detail box, or the Primary File name which may indicate the type of confirmation.
  3. When you have located the existing cancellation confirmation item,  double click inside the Primary file field ‘box’.  This will take you to the folder in your Hudson system where the current cancellation template is located.
  4. You should now be able to browse to and locate the new file created above (e.g. confirm_cancel.txt)
  5. Double click to select this new template name. You will be returned to the Template Maintenance window.
  6. Click ‘Update’ and ‘Save changes to DB’ buttons.  You may now exit out of Template Maintenance.
  7. Press F11 to refresh your system configuration and you are ready to test. (**If the new confirmation template does not work, you may need to restart your HWeb Bridge Application and test again.)

Adding a new template

If you do not already have a cancellation confirmation configured, you will need to create or add a new template to your system:
  1. In the Template Maintenance window, select "Email confirmation" from the Template Type drop down list, then press the tab key.
  2. Scroll through the Email Confirmation templates displayed, looking at the Description field in Template Detail box, or the Primary File name which may indicate the type of confirmation. Ensure that you do not already have a cancellation confirmation configured.
  3. Click the White box icon to start or create a new template configuration.
  4. On the General Tab of the Template detail:
    1. ‘Template alias’ field - Enter an alias, identical to the other types of email confirmations already displayed. The default is:  ‘Email Conf’
    2. ‘Template type’ field - Email Confirmation
    3. ‘Primary file’ field - double click inside the Primary file field ‘box’.  This will take you to the folder in your Hudson system where the current cancellation template is located.
    4. You should now be able to browse to and locate the new file created above (e.g. confirm_cancel.txt)
    5. Double click to select this new template name. You will be returned to the Template Maintenance window.
    6. ‘Header file’ field - double click inside the Header file field ‘box’.  This will take you to the folder in your Hudson system where the current system templates are located.  Browse for and locate the email header file being used by your system. The system default name is: ‘EmailHeader’
    7. Double click to select this header template. You will be returned to the Template Maintenance window.
    8. Double click inside the Description ‘box’.  Type a brief description of when this template is to be used.  When browsing a large number of templates, this description can be useful in quickly locating the desired template.  Ex:  "One way cancellation confirmation template"
  5. On the Match Keys** tab of the Template detail window:
    1. Match key 1 - browse to and select: "Operation (status) - Cancelled"
    2. Match priority -  enter  < 0 >  or < 1 >
    3. Click ‘Update’  and "Save changes to DB’ buttons.
    4. You may now exit out of Template Maintenance.
  6. Press F11 to refresh your system configuration and you are ready to
    test. (**If the new confirmation template does not work, you may need
    to restart your HWeb Bridge Application and test again.)

**About Match Keys

Match Keys are "rules" that you set that the Hudson system reviews when determining which template type should be used.  In the case of confirmations, you have given all confirmations the same Alias= Email Conf.  When you tell the system to send an Email Confirmation, the templates are reviewed, starting with the lowest Match Priority number (0). The system then looks at the Match Keys for this first template as "conditions". If all of the conditions are met, then this is the template that will be processed.  If the conditions are not met, the system looks to the next highest Match Priority Number (1) and repeats the process. Once the Match Key conditions are satisifed, the remaining templates and Match Priority Numbers are disregarded.  This means that there is a very strict hierarchacal process that must be followed when setting Match Keys and Match Priority numbers.  The end result is that your most complex or least common situations are listed first, with the lowest Match Priority numbers,  and your MOST common situations are listed last and with the Highest Match Priority numbers.

If you review the Match Key drop lists inside Template Maintenance, you will see that there are many different options to select from. You can further combine up to 3 Match Keys for a single item to make the conditions under which a template is selected, very specific.

Match Key 4 is not a drop down list, but is capable of accepting other specific codes / values that further define the specific conditions under which a template is to be processed.  For additional help with this field, please contact Hudson Tech Support.


For additional information on Template setup and configuration, including sample Match Priority and Match Key settings, please read our article titled:
Advance Confirmation Template Configuration

 

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