In Case You Missed it: Roundup of 2014 Enhancements
It’s been a busy year here at CharityLogic, as we’ve added lots of new and enhanced features to iCarol. Below are a few of our favorites. If you’d like more information on how to use any of these, please check the Help section of your iCarol system to access videos and articles, or contact our support team via the case management links, also found in that Help section.
You can send followups via text message. This does not require a subscription to our text messaging add-on (just a fee based on text usage), but if you do have a texting subscription, you could use your iCarol system to respond via text to replies you receive from visitors.
You can now send text messages to colleagues from within iCarol, and users can designate if they’d prefer to receive automated reminders – such as upcoming shift reminders — via text message instead of or in addition to via email. Here too, this does not require a subscription to text messaging, and will only incur a text usage fee.
Greater resource search success:
If you use iCarol’s Public Resource Directory to let visitors search your resource database, you could improve their search results with a new tool that lets you associate colloquial terms (“I’m hungry”) to terms in your database (“food pantries”). Clients using this — this method is called Folksonomy — tell us they’ve seen stellar results. Find controls for this Folksonomy tool in the Resources> Manage Resources screen, in the Taxonomy column. There’s no additional charge to adjust the folksonomy controls for your Public Resource Directory.
- Instant Messaging: The counselor screen has a new streamlined design.
- Instant Messaging: Would you like to have us customize your Visitor Chat screens and Chat Now button, so the colors and graphics better match your website? Please contact support (there is a one-time charge for this).
- Instant Messaging and Text Messaging: We’ve improved the ability to let partners handle messaging sessions for each other, which also streamlines how partners in a collaborative messaging environment can share duties responding to visitors. If you’ve wanted to add a messaging service to your center, but are concerned about having adequate staffing levels, you could consider using this feature to partner with another iCarol-using center — or multiple centers — who could help field your messaging visitor requests.
- Text Messaging: If you’d like a texting number that connotes a wider geographic range than a number with a typical area code might imply, we now offer texting numbers with toll-free prefixes. Despite the name, these toll-free numbers don’t cost less to use than “regular” texting phone numbers, but to some folks, they connote a more universal service area. As a bonus, we have acquired a nice stock of such texting numbers attractive to help centers, crisis centers, and 2-1-1s. We’ll be happy to let you select from that stock to use with your iCarol texting service on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Automated Resource Verification:
Enhancements include the ability to see the results of verification emails sent, a useful new screen that lets you sort and filter responses, and the ability to save settings for future use.
We’ve extended the functionality of the tool that lets your developers, with your permission, tap into your iCarol-hosted data to create whatever you’d like them to build.
Do your call-takers and/or visitors sometimes prefer to work in a language other than English? Please ask us how we can set your system to function nicely in more than one language, letting you toggle between languages on the fly. You can even store resources in multiple languages, too.
Many of iCarol’s screens now look even better on mobile devices. This comes in handy, for example, when volunteers and staff would like to sign up for shifts directly from a smartphone.
Assign taxonomy terms to multiple resources concurrently. We’re always looking for ways to reduce the number of mouse clicks needed to complete a task, and this new feature sure speeds up the resource editing process.
We’ve added a handful of text messaging usage reports, and the aforementioned Resource Complexity Report.
We’ve added Admin dashboard access to release notes, which detail enhancements to iCarol on an ongoing basis. This list, in addition to the dashboard, is a great place to look to keep current on the ever-expanding list of enhancements.
There are a whole lot more video tutorials, to help you get the most out of your iCarol subscription.
Admins now have editing control of nearly all aspects of call report forms. Make changes instantly and easily.
More recently we’ve been busy in our labs finishing an Internal Chat tool, which we expect to release in the next few weeks. This tool lets anyone with access to your system exchange short, typed messages with each other, and Admins have total control over who can use this. if you’d like to test this out in your system now and have an advance peek. Otherwise, we’ll keep you posted on the system-wide launch date via the Dashboard, which is where we’ll continue to post all enhancements as they become available.
It’s sure been a productive year, and we’ve got lots in store for 2015. We welcome your input, and expect to conduct phone-based focus groups with clients throughout the year on topics such as the Public Resource Directory, Messaging, Statistics, and more. Please if you’d like to participate in those, or any other topic. We truly do want to hear your ideas on how we can improve the software to help you help others.
Tags: API, Automated Verification, Folksonomy, Helpline software, I&R, iCarol capabilities, iCarol Features, Information and Assistance, information and referral, instant messaging, live chat, Multi-language Capabilities, online emotional support, Public Resource Directory, Resource Management, SMS, texting