(Old) Speak: Redtail's Compliant Texting Solution For Internal And Client Communications

Speak is a secure, encrypted, compliant texting app, accessible from within Redtail CRM (there is also a mobile app available for iOS and Android devices) and available as an add-on solution. Let's take a tour through the version within the CRM's features and usage!

Navigational Elements

Public Rooms

Team Rooms

Client Rooms

Join an Existing Client Room

Sending Messages

Speak Preferences

Compliance / Security

Navigational Elements

Speak displays in a collapsible pane on the right-hand side of your CRM:


On the top of the Speak pane, you'll see its logo, a search icon and the icon that, if clicked, will collapse the Speak pane to hide it from view:


The search icon, when clicked, displays an area where you can type in the word or phrase you'd like to search for among your previous Speak messages:


Clicking the icon to collapse the Speak pane will hide Speak from view:


When you are ready to access Speak again, you can simply click the Speak icon from the top right menu bar in your CRM:


Beneath the header of your Speak pane, the application is divided into three areas: Public Rooms, Team Rooms and Client Rooms:


Each of these areas displays the type of rooms it contains (e.g., "Team") and a search icon (which allows you to search for a specific room within the section you're searching). The Public Rooms area also displays a "+" icon, which you can click to create new Public Rooms. We'll look at each of the three room types in greater detail below.

Before we move on to that though let's go back to the search icon in the header bar of the Speak pane:


As indicated above, when you click that icon a box opens up, where you can search all Speak messages for text strings. After typing in your word or phrase, hit Enter on your keyboard. All messages containing your search criteria will be listed, with your search criteria highlighted. For instance, let's say you're planning a Super Bowl party for some of your clients, you're getting ready to extend invitations, but you know you've already invited one of your clients via text and want to be sure about who that was. If you enter the phrase "Super Bowl" in the search box and hit Enter, you might see the below:


Note that your search phrase is highlighted, and you can see that this is a conversation you (Ricky Redtail) had with client Clark Kent on 1/26/2018. Further, if you click the "Jump" link, you'll be taken to the room where the conversation occurred, so that you can view it in its original context:


Note that the message that contains the phrase is highlighted, but now you can see the rest of the conversation as well.

Now let's move on to consider the different types of rooms available to you in Speak.


Public Rooms

Public Rooms are rooms in Speak that all of your CRM database users can view and have access to:


In this particular database, you can see that there are currently five Public Rooms (that this database user has joined): Admin, Client Service, General, Legal Stuff and Accounting. You should also note that there are currently two new messages in the Client Service Room you haven't yet seen.

If you click on a Room Name, you'll be taken into that Public Room. In the example below, I've clicked on the "Client Service" Public Room:


You can see that Speak allows you to upload files (including images, which display inline) into your rooms as well as allowing the use of emojis. If you'll look to either side of the box directly above where you enter your actual message, you'll see the icons for attaching a file or selecting an emoji.

Let's leave the General Room now and go back to the top level of Speak (you can accomplish that by clicking the left pointing arrow directly beneath the Speak icon):


After clicking that arrow, you'll see your main Speak pane. Let's look back at the Public Rooms area:


Note the two icons to the right of the Public header. 

Clicking the search icon displays a popup search box, where you can search for Public Rooms by name:


Granted, this search option for Public Rooms that you are not currently a part of only begins to have value as the number of Public Rooms your office has created begins to expand. In the instance above, there are only two Public Rooms in this database which you have not currently joined - clicking either of their names here would allow you to join your chosen Public Room. But, if there were many Public Rooms in your database, you could begin typing in this search box until you saw the one you were interested in joining and then click it from there to join.

Going back to the icons at the top of your Public Rooms pane, if you click the "+" icon, you'll see the below:


This allows you to add a new Public Room to Speak. Just type in the name you want to provide it and then hit Enter on your keyboard. If you wanted to create a room called "Client Experience Suggestions" and followed those steps, the Public Rooms area would now appear as below:



Team Rooms

Under your Public Rooms, there are Team Rooms:


Team Rooms are in essence private rooms where any database user can talk with any other database user. Just click your desired Team member's name and you'll see a room where you can type your direct message to them:


If you've had previous conversations with them, those will be displayed here, just as in other applications with which you're probably familiar.

If we go back to the main Speak pane and look at Team Rooms, you can also see that users who are online will display the word "Active" in green beneath their name as well as a green icon to their right:



As in the Public Rooms, notifications will appear next to Team Room Names if there are unread messages:



Client Rooms

In addition to allowing you to communicate internally with other staff members, Redtail Speak allows you to communicate with your clients in a compliant way via one of the most commonly used forms of communication today: texting. Note: you should verify with your compliance department that you are approved to use Speak, but know that we designed this product to meet the compliance requirements for texting. All messages are archived in a compliant manner and are searchable and auditable when the need arises. Institution-level search is also available.

Let's take a look now at the Client Rooms area:


As you can see in the example above, this Redtail user has a number of existing Client Rooms. But, how do you go about adding a new one?

If you click the plus icon next to the "Clients" header, you'll see the below:



Type part of the name of the client you are looking for and hit Enter on your keyboard. Any contacts in your Redtail database that match what you have typed will then display, as in the example below:


Note the message here for the second contact that matched what I typed: "Add a number to use speak with this contact." You will need to add a mobile number for the client within Redtail in order to be able to send them a message and establish a Client Room for them. You can click their name here to go directly to their contact record to add that number. Note as well: International numbers will not work at this time with Speak.

After doing so, if you run that search again it will look like the below:


As you can see, the client is now displayed along with their mobile number (blurred in the example above).

When you click "invite" here, the Client Room will be created and a text will be sent to the Client's mobile number that looks similar to the below:


Note: see the Preferences section below for details on customizing this initial message to your Client.

If your client responds to your message with a "yes", you will have established a Client Room for communicating back and forth with them via text. They'll then receive another text, that looks something like the below:


Going forward when they send a text to this number, you will receive it within Speak. When you respond from within Speak, they will receive your response via text.

Let's go back to your Client Rooms main pane:


You can see that the Client's mobile number is listed here under their name.

One quick note about the number of Client Rooms that will display here on Speak's main panel: the 15 most recently active (messages sent to them or received from them) Client Rooms will display at any given time. As you engage with clients via Speak, your older conversations will drop off the main pane, but you can always access historical conversations via each client’s Speak History within their record or bring their Client Room back into view by using the magnifying glass next to the word “Client” within the Speak pane.

Now, let's take a quick peek inside a Client Room:


Next to the client name, you'll see an Integrations icon. At this time, Speak integrates with Riskalyze, so you'll see an option to pull the client's Riskalyze Numbers:


If you use the Riskalyze integration and have run this for the client, after clicking this option you'll see the below within the Client Room (with their numbers, of course):


On the far right-hand side at the top there, you'll see two icons:


Clicking the red icon with the x will display a message, asking you to confirm that you want to disband the conversation. If you continue, you will be ending the conversation for all parties.

Clicking the gear icon will allow you to update the room's settings, either turning browser notifications on or off for new messages in this client room.

Beneath the Client's name, you'll see the date/time their invitation to join was sent, as well as when both you and they joined the room:


After that what you will find is your ongoing text history with that client. Note that the box for creating your message is at the bottom of the pane:


Note as well that you can add attachments or emojis to your messages, by clicking their respective icons in the Send box.

Any conversations you have with your Clients is tied to their Contact Record via their mobile number. For instance, if we go to Nils Styger's record in the CRM, and expand the Contacts menu underneath his name, we'll see a "Speak History" option:


If you click that option, you'll see your entire Speak Conversation history with the Client within their Client Record itself.

Join an Existing Client Room

If a Client Room has been established for a client by another database user, you can always join that conversation. To do so, use the search icon in the top of the Client Room section to begin searching for the client's name. In the below example, we've searched for client Robert Muldoon:


Note that for one of his phone numbers displayed here there is an option to join his Client Room. Just click that to join the conversation.

Sending Messages

We've taken a look at the three different types of available rooms. Let's spend a little time looking at how you go about sending messages in any of these rooms.

At the bottom of all of your Rooms you'll see a box that states "Enter your message here":


If you're only sending text, just type in your message there and hit Enter on your keyboard. Note though, that you also have the option to include attachments and/or emojis.

To add an attachment, click the attachment icon on the left of the message box. You'll then be presented with an option to browse for the file on your computer that you want to add as an attachment. Just select your file and then follow onscreen prompts for upload into the Room.

File types that can be uploaded are indicated on Twilio's website here. Note: Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon all allow PDFs to be sent through text message, but AT&T does not.

File size, regardless of type, is restricted to no more than 5MB in size.

Note: files such as pdfs will need to be downloaded in order for you to view them. Images, however, display inline as in some of the examples above. Further, if you click one of these inline images, they will display much larger on your screen against a black background, in order that you might view them better.

Further, for Android users of the Speak mobile app, to receive PDFs/attachments via that platform you will need to download "Messages by Google" to your device. Currently, this is the only way to ensure Android devices will receive PDFs via Speak messages.

To add an emoji, click the emoji icon on the right of the message box. You'll then see the below:


Just search, scroll or select an emoji type at the top to seek out the emoji you're looking for, select it and then click Enter to send.

Speak Preferences

You have a few preferences for your Speak account that you can set from the Speak Preferences area of your CRM. To access, click your name in the top right corner of your CRM and select Speak Preferences:


On your Speak Preferences page, you'll see the below:


  • choose number - this is where an admin user of your database can select the outgoing Phone Number (for the entire database) that will display for your clients when a message is sent to their mobile device from Speak. If you click that button, you'll see the below:


    Enter your Area Code and then click "next." You'll see a screen similar to the below, but reflecting your chosen Area Code:


    These are numbers that are available for you to use as an outgoing number, based upon the Area Code you provided. Just select the one you want associated with your account, click next and you're done.

    Returning to your other available Speak Preferences:

  • Receive Text Messages in Client Rooms When Offline - select "Yes" if you'd like a text message notifying you of a new Client Message in one of your Client Rooms (when you're not logged into Speak). Note: these will not be the actual client message, but rather a notification of message arrival so that you can log in to view and respond to the message.
  • Phone Number - enter the Mobile Phone Number you want associated with your Speak account, i.e. the phone number you want to receive text notifications on concerning incoming Speak Client messages when you're offline.
  • Invite Message - this is the message you want texted to a Client when you're trying to establish a Client Room for them. Note: you must include the second sentence of the default message (shown above in the "Invite Message Preview" box). Note as well that this Invite Message is database-wide, i.e., the message cannot be individualized for each database user. If you begin typing your desired message in the "Invite Message" box, you'll see that the the second sentence remains in place as you're crafting your new message.
  • Invite Message Preview - no need to add anything here. By default it reflects what you type in the "Invite Message" box (plus the default required second sentence).
  • Receive Browser Notifications For New Messages - this determines whether or not you receive browser notification popups for new messages within Speak. Note: you can control this setting within individual rooms, rather than setting it for all rooms here. These notifications will look something like the below:
  • Minutes Until Marked as Inactive - this determines the number of minutes of inactivity in Speak before your status will change from "Active" to "Away".

Compliance / Security

Speak meets the SEC's and FINRA's requirements for text messaging and compliantly archives all messages, which are then searchable and auditable. You should check with your compliance department, however, to seek approval to use Speak in your office.

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