SMS conversational app

Innovating Amid COVID Times

Keyhole Software Conversational Apps, Keyhole Creations Leave a Comment

Attention: The following article was published over 4 years ago, and the information provided may be aged or outdated. Please keep that in mind as you read the post.

They say necessity is the mother of invention, and the pandemic has given us plenty of need for finding and innovating new ways of functioning. For us at Keyhole, this has taken shape as an SMS conversational app. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted most aspects of modern-day work life, perhaps most notably, physical office spaces. Working from home has become the new norm and many offices, including ours, have few if any folks working from their physical locations.  

As things begin to reopen, many organizations will ask their staff to slowly transition from home back into the office. As Keyhole embarks on this transitioning process, our goal is to be as safe and responsible as possible. 

With almost 100 people on the Keyhole team, we have chosen to limit the number of folks allowed to work from our office at one time to continue to ensure the safety of our employees. 

In this post, we discuss how our SMS conversational texting platform, KHS {Convo}, has allowed us to manage our return to the office and how it could benefit your organization as well.

A Logical, Safe Solution

Keyhole’s main objective is to deliver quality software solutions to our clients, but we’ve also worked to develop a number of internal software products and frameworks available for a wide variety of purposes.

One that has become increasingly useful is our SMS conversational texting platform KHS {Convo}. We’ve used this open-source tool to create an easy-to-use office scheduling system. 

KHS {Convo} is a framework that allows users to create automated conversational applications. It has an administration dashboard built with React and conversations are implemented as Node.js server-side elements. Multiple conversational applications can be built and supported. 

KHS {Convo} also has a way to generate dynamic HTML UI pages from a conversation. Detailed instructions on how to configure it with Twillio and numerous usage examples can be found on Keyhole’s Github.

How KHS {Convo} Works

For this instance, we formatted KHS {Convo}, a SMS conversational app, to work for our in-office work schedule use case.

Employees begin by texting “O” or “Office” to our organization’s phone number. The KHS {Convo} application responds by sending the prompt shown below:

The message gives the user options to reply based on what they are trying to accomplish. Available options include: 

  • “S” – to schedule a visit during the current week, texting “S” results in another prompt to enter the days the user would like to come in (separated by a comma)
  • “H” – to reveal what other team members are currently in the office
  • “T” – indicating the user plans to visit the office that day
  • “U” – to receive a link to an HTML schedule generated and sent by KHS {Convo} 
  • “X” – to cancel the interaction at any time

Other handy features of the KHS {Convo} application include date awareness. At the end of a day, folks will automatically be marked out. Additionally, the schedule is rolling, so it resets at the beginning of each week. 

A Possible Solution for Your Organization?

The KHS {Convo} application implementation has been a successful tool for our team as we navigate through these unprecedented times. It’s simple, straightforward, and user friendly. It has allowed us to manage our return to the office in a relatively hands-off way while ensuring a safe environment for our employees.

As your organization begins to transition back into the office, you’re likely making the same decisions and considerations we have been. With the KHS {Convo} application, your return can be smooth, safe, and easy. 

We encourage you to look into using KHS {Convo} as a solution for your staff as you return to the office and as a tool to meet other communication needs. To learn more about KHS {Convo}, visit its product page

All associated code is available on the Keyhole Github with a detailed Readme for installation and usage. The specific office application described in this article is included as well. If you have questions or need assistance installing the KHS {Convo} application, please reach out to the Keyhole team at [email protected].

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