SMS Setup & Usage

SMS Setup & Usage

If you're reading this guide, odds are you have signed up for the two-way SMS/MMS (Text/Picture message) system. Let's get started!

Part 1. Setup & Configuration

As you're already aware, there are two pieces of this system. One on the KC side and one through our partners Axion Communications. To setup the KC side, you must already be provisioned through Axion. Once Axion has worked with you to setup their side, they will send you an email that has a link to create your password. You must watch for this email and create your password in order to proceed. Please search your inbox for "Axion" without the quotes. Be sure to check junk/spam as well. 

IF you cannot locate the email from Axion, you may try these steps: 

To create your Axion portal password: 
  1. Navigate in your web browser to 
  2. Enter your username (email address)
  3. Click on the "Forgot Password" link. 
  4. The system will send an email to you right away where you can create your password right then and there. (If it says the email address isn't found in the system you have either not signed up yet OR a different email address was used for the account creation. Please try another one of your email addresses if you have multiple.)
  5. Once you have your password, you can move on to the next step in configuring Kennel Connection/Live Access for SMS. 

If you have already created your Axion password or you just did, here's how to configure the messaging in Kennel Connection.  (Please note that this service requires a Live Access account. If you do not use Live Access (, you'll need to get setup. Please contact for assistance. While Live Access is a paid subscription, we're offering a trial and if you decide you only want the SMS messaging, we can set you up with SMS only Live Access. 

Login to your Live Access system with your admin credentials. Click on the messaging menu item and choose SMS Settings. Check the "Use SMS Service" check box. 

Enter your new SMS number you received from Axion along with your email address and password you used for your Axion account. 

Click "Save Settings" in the upper right to enable your account. (If you get any error about account not found or email/password issues, it means your credentials you entered (email and password for Axion) are incorrect. Please verify you can login to your Axion portal: and make sure to enter those exact credentials here and try again. 

Once your SMS is active, you can choose to configure additional settings. Here is a list of the settings available: 

Phone number to notify: This is if you want your company text messages to forward to an external cell phone. Type in your cell number and click save. Any messages that come in to your business text line, will automatically forward to the entered cell number. Please note that while these will come into your phone as a standard text message, you cannot respond from your texting app. You MUST login to Live Access on your phone and reply from there. (This is to keep your own numbers private.)

Allow Sending SMS: This must be enabled if you wish to send messages from KC/Live Access. 

Allow Receiving SMS: This must be enabled if you wish to receive message into KC/Live Access. 

Restrict SMS mark handled to the following employees: There is an option to mark messages as handled or needs review. This specific option allows you to restrict this option from selected employees so they cannot mark messages as handled. If you enable this option and do not select ANY employees, it will be restricted for ALL. 

Restrict SMS reading to the following employees: This specific option allows you to restrict the ability to read/view messages from selected employees. If you enable this option and do not select ANY employees, it will be restricted for all. 

Restrict SMS sending to the following employees: This specific option allows you to restrict the ability to send messages from selected employees. If you enable this option and do not select ANY employees, it will be restricted for all. 

Auto-Reply After Business Hours: This option allows you to set your system to have an auto-reply after business hours. 
  1.       Don't send an automated message: This option disables the auto responder. 
  2.       Send an automated reply outside of your business hours as set in online reservations page: If you use online reservations and have your business hours configured, this will send an auto reply outside of              those hours. 
  3.       Send an automated reply between: Set your "between times" and an auto reply will be sent during that time when customers send messages. Example: 7:00pm to 6:00am. 
  4.       Automated reply message to send: Here is where you can customize the automated reply message that gets sent out. Using [[BusinessName]] will auto-populate your business name. 

Use automated SMS notifications: If you're interested in using some automated text message, check this option and be sure to read the warning thoroughly. Choose Dismiss to cancel or agree to opt in. 

Once you opt in, the automated options will be displayed. (Note that options are still being added so you may see more options available.)

Each module has these options.

Confirmation SMS:  These are sent as soon as you add the appointment.
Thank you SMS:  These are sent as soon as the pet is checked out.
Appointment Reminders:  These are sent based on your settings, X number of days before their checkin date.

Grooming has additional option for Completed SMS.  These are sent as soon as you mark the groom complete on the schedule.

Desktop users: 
IMPORTANT:  In order for SMS confirmation texts to go, you must enable confirmation emails.  This is on in File, Business Info, Email tab, module tab.

Check the ones you would like to enable. Once selected, you will be able to enter custom text for each item. 

Information in brackets will automatically load that info, such as module, pet name, dates.

You can edit these messages as needed.

Appointment reminders are now available! As mentioned above in this section, after you enable and agree to the automated SMS terms, you'll have the above options along with appointment reminders shown here: 

Simply enable the reminders, choose how many days in advance and at what time you want the reminders to go out. You may also request a reply YES or NO on the reminders with the options to:

On NO reply, cancel appointment and send email confirming their NO response. Here's what this means: 

If you enable the "Cancel appointment on No Reply" setting, this will automatically update your database and mark the appointment as cancelled when the customer replies "no" to the SMS message.  You MUST have "track cancelled reservations" enabled. Please see here if you don't: Without this option enabled, the appointment will NOT be cancelled in your system!

If you enable the "send email confirming their no response", this will do two things. It will send them an immediate SMS reply stating their appointment has been cancelled AND it will also send them an email message (if you have their email address on their client card) stating their appointment has been cancelled. 

Please note:  You can enable YES/NO on confirmation and automatic reminder texts.  The system will not cancel an already confirmed appointment.  So if your client replies YES to the confirmation text and then replies NO to the automatic reminder text, KC will not cancel the appointment because it has already been confirmed.

To avoid this issue, you will want to turn off the YES/NO feature on confirmation texts and only leave them enabled for automatic reminders.

Click on Messaging, SMS Settings.  Under each module for the confirmation text, uncheck the options for the YES/No feature.

You can enable this feature under the Automatic reminder section.

**Please note that mass SMS messaging/texting is not allowed so to deliver groups of auto-reminders the system uses an outbox system. Your reminders will NOT be instant. All the appointments matching the criteria to receive a reminder, (at the time you set your reminders to send), will be generated and added to an outbox that you cannot see. These will send one at a time until all are delivered. It may take a minute or two for the first one to be received and the rest will send until none are left. Depending on how many you have, it may take a little time to send all messages. 

BE SURE TO CLICK SAVE in the upper right when done. 

Part 2. Using the SMS System

There are two ways to view, send and receive texts and pictures. This is all done through your Live Access page. 

Option 1: From the client card directly. Open a client card and click the SMS button in the upper right. This will open the SMS messaging screen. Here you can send and receive messages with your client. Note that in the upper left corner it shows their text message number. This will only work to a valid cell phone number. If they have multiple numbers on file, you may need to verify which number they want to receive texts to. Clicking the "edit" button will allow you to choose a number. 

*If you used utilized the old text messaging system in KC desktop, the text # field required for that system does not apply to this new system. Phone numbers must be added to the client card in any of the phone fields. 

You can reply from here or you can opt to mark the message as "needs review" if you want to keep it as "new message" status for others to review or for you to review later. Note the "new message" icon in the upper right will change to reflect number of new messages. 

Option 2: Click on the messaging menu item and choose inbox. (Note this option is only available to admin ID and employees marked as managers in Live Access user list. 

Features here include:

Show Unread Only - Displays only messages that aren't marked as handled.
Hide Automated messages - Hides any of the automatic messages like confirmations, reminders, completed.  Only messages that the user manually typed or your client sent will display.
Mark all as handled - Will mark all messages as handled.
Search conversation - You are able to search for a particular client, pet, number to find a specific message.

You can also send a message through this screen.

Please note, there is no way to delete messages. Messages are retained for historical reference. Currently images, are only retained for 30 days but texts are in your KC database forever. 

Your customers should add your new SMS messaging number as a contact to their phones using your business name so they know it's you. 
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