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Posts Tagged ‘Feature Enhancements’

An update on Call Report Form and Messaging Enhancements

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In December of 2016, iCarol announced a suite of enhancements for call report forms and Messaging. These enhancements include the following benefits:






  • Greater Productivity
    • Faster completion of forms
    • Faster onboarding of new volunteers and staff
    • Quicker geographic suggestions
  • Widen your volunteer pool
    • Improved accessibility
    • User friendly interface
  • Improved Connection to Help Seekers
    • Faster delivery of chat and text messages
  • Better Documentation
    • Report form opens with chat or text conversation
  • Quicker, more accurate referrals
    • Improves outcomes
    • Streamlined, powerful resource search tools

For more information about the enhancements, please refer to the Help page in iCarol, by clicking Help in the left hand menu. There are two documents and a training webinar available in the “New” section of the Help page with information about the enhancements.

It is our goal to upgrade all clients to the new version of the call report form and Messaging by the end of 2017. Therefore, this upgrade is mandatory, and all clients will be upgraded. We began this work by sending out a survey to iCarol Admins which asked which quarter they would like to be upgraded in. We used the responses to this survey to begin scheduling clients for the upgrade. Those who did not respond to the survey have also been scheduled for the upgrade. The timing of the upgrade for each client is based on the features they are using in their call report forms. Not all features are available in the new version of the call report form yet, but these features will be added throughout the year.

iCarol staff will be in close communication with clients who are being upgraded, and will provide all the information needed to successfully complete the upgrade. Timely responses from clients throughout the upgrade process would be greatly appreciated so the upgrade can proceed in an efficient and effective manner. Clients will be informed of when the upgrade will occur, and if the timing does not work for them, they can request to be rescheduled for a later date. Please be aware, we will do our best to re-schedule clients to a time they request, but we cannot guarantee this. We must balance the requests with the availability of iCarol staff to complete the upgrade.

For those not using Messaging, and therefore only upgrading call reports, and those using Messaging with Messaging portals (please note, call reports not related to Messaging will also be upgraded at the same time), the upgrade process will proceed as follows:

    1. During each month in 2017, iCarol will send an email to all clients scheduled to be upgraded the next month.
    2. A case will be created by iCarol staff to track the upgrade process.
    3. A member of the iCarol Support team will respond to the case and provide the following information:
      a. Which week the client is scheduled for the upgrade
      b. Where to find information about the enhancements
      c. Which forms, if any, are ineligible for the upgrade, due to special features which may not be available in the new version of the call report form yet
      d. Information about adding demo forms to the client system
    4. A member of the iCarol Support team will add demo forms to the client system. These demo forms will be copies of the client’s call report forms, upgraded to the new version of the call report form.
    5. A member of the iCarol Support team will respond to the case when the demo forms are added. The demo forms will allow clients to preview and play with the new version of the call report form prior to completing the upgrade. They can also be used to train staff and volunteers on the new version of the call report form.
    6. A week prior to the upgrade week, a member of the iCarol Support Team will respond to the case with the exact date the upgrade will be completed.
    7. On the day of the upgrade, the upgrade will be completed, and the demo forms will be deleted. A member of the iCarol Support team will respond to the case to indicate the upgrade is complete. If there were call report forms not eligible to be upgraded, iCarol staff will reach out later in the year to schedule the upgrade of these forms.

For those using Messaging without Messaging portals, the upgrade process will be a little different. Please note, call reports not related to Messaging will also be upgraded as the same time. The upgrade process will proceed as follows:

    1. During each month in 2017, iCarol will send an email to all clients scheduled to be upgraded the next month.
    2. A case will be created by iCarol staff to track the upgrade process.
    3. A member of the iCarol Support team will respond to the case and provide the following information:
      a. Which week the client is scheduled for the upgrade
      b. Where to find information about the enhancements
      c. A detailed list of steps to upgrade to Messaging portals
      d. Specific questions that the client will need to answer so the iCarol Support team member can begin setting up Messaging portals. Please note, the process cannot continue until these questions are answered, so it is very important that a timely response be sent.
    4. Once the answers to the specific questions noted above are received, the iCarol Support team member will begin to set-up Messaging portals in the client system. Once completed, they will respond to the case with instructions on the next step in the process which the client will need to take, which is to assign Vols-Staff member to Portal Programs.
    5. Client assigns Vols-Staff to Portal Programs, and responds to the case to let the iCarol Support team member know they have completed the task. Again, the process cannot proceed until the iCarol Support team member receives confirmation that this task is complete.
    6. Once confirmation of the task outlined above has been received, the iCarol Support team member will complete the set-up of Messaging portals.
    7. The iCarol Support team member will respond to the case and provide instructions on next steps, which include:
      a. Setting up Shifts for Portal Programs
      b. Updating website with new URL(s) for Messaging
      c. Editing Standard Messages
      This response will also include which week the upgrade process will be completed in, and information about adding demo forms to the client system.
    8. A member of the iCarol Support team will add demo forms to the client system. These demo forms will be copies of the client’s call report forms, upgraded to the new version of the call report form.
    9. A member of the iCarol Support team will respond to the case when the demo forms are added. The demo forms will allow clients to preview and play with the new version of the call report form prior to completing the upgrade. They can also be used to train staff and volunteers on the new version of the call report form. If there are call report forms that are ineligible to be upgraded at this time, these will be noted in this response.
    10. A week prior to the upgrade week, a member of the iCarol Support Team will respond to the case with the exact date the upgrade will be completed.
    11. On the day of the upgrade, the upgrade will be completed, and the demo forms will be deleted. A member of the iCarol Support team will respond to the case to indicate the upgrade is complete.

If there were call report forms not eligible to be upgraded, iCarol staff will reach out later in the year to schedule the upgrade of these forms. If there are any questions about the upgrade process, please feel free to submit a case to the iCarol Support Team via the online case management system, accessed by clicking Help in the left hand menu in your iCarol system.

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Add your logo to Call Report Form PDFs

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In our most recent release we added an enhancement that many may find useful — you can now add your organization’s logo to the top of call reports when they are generated into PDFs.

Creating a PDF of a call report form is useful for a number of reasons. Forms that are made into PDFs can be easily saved, printed, or emailed if needed. You can also conduct an advanced search of your call reports in iCarol, and then generate the resulting forms into a single PDF. This can be useful if you’d like to print or save a number of forms together at one time.

In instances where you may be saving or printing and then sending these forms to a third party, having your organization’s logo on that PDF can be extremely helpful in easily identifying the source of the PDF and attributing ownership to your service. When your funders and collaborators receive the PDF they can easily identify it as being from you. This also adds a professional touch to your form and an element of branding.

This enhancement is available to all iCarol subscribers and can be set up by anyone with Admin permissions. Here are the steps you take to enable this enhancement:

    To upload your logo:
  • Log into iCarol as an Admin
  • Click on “Admin Tools” from the left menu
  • From the Setup tab, click on “upload your agency’s logo and mission statement”

  • Add logo to iCarol

  • From the new page that opens, add your logo to the bottom section by following step 1 and step 2 to browse for and upload a logo

From there, you can decide individually which of your call report forms should have the logo appear when a PDF is made of that type of call report form, using the following steps:

  • Log into iCarol as an Admin, or an account with Call Report editing permissions
  • Click on “Calls” from the left menu
  • Click on “Manage Call Report Forms”
  • Click on “Edit this form” from under the Call Report version
  • Click on “Overall settings for this call report form” from the top of the page
  • Click on the setting “Put the Org’s logo at the top of each page on PDF’s of the call report” from under the “Other Features” section

  • Enable logo on PDF

  • Click “Save Settings”

Once these simple steps are complete, any PDFs generated from the selected call report form will include your logo in the upper left of the document.

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New tools to organize and sort your Volunteers and Staff

On the heels of Internal Chat we’re introducing yet another Volunteer and Staff feature. We’ve recently enhanced the ability to search and sort on the Volunteer and Staff page. You can use the new “Search” function on the right, just above the list of users, to search for specific names, aliases, preferred shift types and times, and more.

Helpline volunteer staff main page search

A companion feature lets Admins create checkboxes for shift preferences. Those shift preferences can then be selected in each person’s profile. In this way, you could note, for example, who likes chat shifts, who is available filling in at the last minute, or who likes to work Tuesday afternoons. Admins set up those checkboxes in the Shifts tab in Admin Tools.

Last but not least, you can now assign Skills and Achievements to multiple people concurrently. For example, if 30 people in your organization completed CPR training together, you could now mark that as complete for all of them with just a few clicks. To do so, put a checkmark in front of the names on the main Volunteer and Staff page, then scroll to the bottom of the screen and click “Assign Skills & Achievements.”

Helpline Volunteer and staff skills and achievements

We sure hope you enjoy these new enhancements and that they increase the efficiency with which you complete volunteer and staff related administrative tasks. Whether it’s more easily finding the volunteer profile you need to access, quickly adding a new skill or achievement to a group of folks who attended the same training, or speedily locating all the volunteers who can potentially help fill a morning shift, we think you’ll make great use out of these enhancements and that they will save you some extra time and clicks as you navigate through iCarol.

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