VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) numbers allow you to make calls and send text messages from Gecko.
You must create a VoIP number to send texts in Gecko or make calls. VoIP numbers can be added, edited, or deleted by heading to Settings > VoIP Numbers.
Once created, VoIP numbers can be specified in workflows, call campaigns, and when calling/texting individual students. They can be selected ad-hoc or set as a default for your account in the Settings > Account Settings > Default Caller ID and Default SMS ID fields.
Purchasing a number
New VoIP numbers can be added to your Gecko account anytime, and there's no cap on how many VoIP numbers you can have. Gecko fully supports texting and calling international numbers.
To get started, go to Settings > VoIP Numbers. Click + New Number in the top-right corner and select Purchase a number. Fill in the following fields:
Name - Pick a name to identify your number in Gecko. Internal only.
Country - From which country should your number originate?
Area Code (optional) - If you'd like your number to originate in a specific region or post/zip code, enter your area code here.
Type - Choose from one of four unique types of numbers.
Capability - Choose between Voice only or Voice and SMS capability.
Click Search, find the number you're happy with, and confirm your purchase.
Purchased numbers in Engage only support one-way texting (i.e., the student cannot send back a reply). Two-way texting can be achieved using Chat.
Verifying a number
Verifying a number is a super option for institutions with a pre-existing masked number.
For example, do you have a telephone number at your institution that, when used to call a student, causes the institution's name to appear on the student's phone instead of the telephone number? You can use this same number to make calls through Gecko.
To get set up, go to Settings > VoIP Numbers. Click + New Number in the top-right corner and select Verify a Number. Give your number a name and enter your telephone number.
When you click Save, your office number should ring. Answer it, and a robotic voice should give you a short numeric code to enter into Gecko to pair the number. Click Save again, and success! You're now able to make calls using your masked number through Gecko.
Number masking is a fantastic option if you'd like your texts to come from a name (i.e., "Gecko Uni") instead of a number (i.e., "+447577465355).
Once enabled on your account, any SMS (outgoing) capable numbers can be masked and managed from the Settings > VoIP Numbers page. Number masking gives you up to 11 characters to create your masked number name.
Number masking is only available in certain regions, so be sure to check availability here.
Inbound calls can be enabled in Gecko by going to Settings > VoIP Numbers. Inbound calling can only be enabled for VoIP numbers with a green tick in the Voice (incoming) column.
Click the number you'd like to enable inbound calls for and toggle the Available for Incoming Call option to on. From here, you have three options available to you:
Standard - Pick your Available Users and click Save. When a call is made to your VoIP number, it'll notify your available users that a call is ready to be answered. You can also configure welcome messages, unavailable messages, and queue update messages if desired.
Unavailable Message - Enter your Unavailable Message and click Save. When a call is made to your VoIP number, Gecko will play your message to the caller and hang up.
Forwarding - Enter your Forwarding Number and click Save. When a call is made to your VoIP number, Gecko will automatically forward the incoming call to this number.
Chat allows you to have a back-and-forth, two-way texting conversation with any student whose telephone number you have on record.
There is no cap on the number of SMS channels you can create.
Chat SMS Channels
Users can only create SMS Channels with Supervisor or Admin privileges. Before creating your channel, head to Agents and click on your user. Click Edit Agent Details, and add your phone number to the Telephone field. Having this number in place means we can send you a text message from your channel post-creation to make testing as simple as hitting reply! You can, of course, remove your telephone number from your profile immediately afterward.
Go to Settings > Channels to create your channel and click + Add New. Find the SMS card and click Add New Channel. Give your SMS channel an internal title and pick the country/number you'd like to use for back-and-forth texting.
Once saved, your channel can be used for messaging immediately. Check your phone for a message to say the setup was successful.
Chat SMS channels can be used to send messages in Engage. Ensure your Engage and Chat accounts are integrated to have your channel pull through to your Engage account. On Chat, head to Settings > Integrations and find the GeckoEngage card to set this up. Once done, you should see all Chat SMS channels listed on the Engage Settings > VoIP Numbers page.
Any questions? Start a live chat with our support team, or feel free to explore the rest of our Academy. Spotted an error or want to suggest a future article for the Academy? Let us know here.