Providing excellent customer service is a top priority for the iCarol team, and recently we have been working to enhance the ways in which we serve our valued customers. Below are details about several new initiatives we have implemented:
*NEW* Live Chat with Support
Beginning Friday, March 1, our Support Team is available through Live Chat during normal support hours for all of our customers as a part of our Standard Support Package that is included with an iCarol system subscription.
Designated support contacts can initiate a Live Chat session with members of the support team during normal support hours by taking the following steps:
- Log in to your iCarol system
- Click ‘Help’ in the left hand menu
- Click ‘Cases – contact the iCarol Support Team’ at the top of the screen
- Click the ‘Live Help Online’ button in the middle of the screen, OR the ‘Chat Now’ button at the bottom of the screen
Premier Support Package
We now offer a Premier Support Package. This includes all of the features of the Standard Support Package, as well as:
- A member of the iCarol Support Team designated as the customer organization’s Technical Account Manager (TAM). This is an assigned member of the Support Team who oversees all requests for ongoing support assistance.
- One scheduled, 60 minute team screen share/call per month between the TAM and the Designated Support Contacts, scheduled by the TAM.
- If additional iCarol team members are brought in to best assist the customer, all interactions will be directed and managed by the TAM.
*NEW* Expanded Support Hours
We have added weekend availability to our normal support hours. In addition to our previous hours of 8am to 8pm Eastern Monday through Friday, members of our Support Team are available Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm to 5pm Eastern.
These are the hours during which our team is available to investigate and respond to support cases through the case management system, email, and live chat. In addition to these support hours, our technical and infrastructure teams will continue to monitor for system uptime and performance 24/7, and our Support Team has a process in place to routinely check the case queue for urgent issues at points beyond normal support hours, as has been our policy in the past.
If you are a customer and have any questions about the services outlined above, or if you would like to upgrade to Premier Support, please open a case with the Support Team. If you are a not an iCarol customer yet, please contact us. We would love to hear from you.
We want all of our customers to feel comfortable navigating through iCarol and be confident in their use of the various tools and features we offer. This assures that they are getting value out of their system, and that they’re using it to make biggest impact possible when serving their communities. We have an entire area of the iCarol system dedicated to providing our customers with assistance they need to accomplish this.
When you click ‘Help’ in your left side menu in iCarol, you are brought to the iCarol Help Library, which is made up of 4 main areas:
- Training Materials – short video tutorials, webinars, and PowerPoint training kits for various features areas of iCarol
- Help Articles – written documentation about the various feature areas of iCarol and how to use them to best meet your organizations needs
- iCarol Ideas Portal – area where iCarol users can go to submit and vote on ideas for possible future developments to help make iCarol even better
- Support Cases – area where your organizations cases with the iCarol Support Team are stored and where live chat with the iCarol Support Team can be accessed by organizations subscribed to the enhanced support feature. This area of iCarol is only available to Admin and Supervisor level users, so not all users will see this section in the Help Library.
The 4 areas above are found as links at the top of the pages throughout the iCarol Help Library. Until the latest release in iCarol, the landing page of the Help Library has been the ‘Training Materials’ area, but now the landing page has been updated to the ‘Help Articles’ area. This means when users click ‘Help’ in their left side menu, they are now brought to the ‘Help Articles’ area first, as shown below. This area of the Help Library will soon include all information found in the ‘Training Materials’ area of the Help Library, streamlining their navigation and giving users easy and quick access to the search bar so they can find any relative help materials they may need.
This doesn’t change anything about the functionality of the Help Library or the information found within. But, if your organization has training materials written that direct users to the ‘Help’ area in their left side menu, you may want to review those training materials and update them accordingly based on these changes.
If you are experiencing issues with your iCarol system that are difficult to describe, where information may not be populating, saving, or loading as quickly as you expect, it can be helpful to complete these 3 diagnostic tests prior to submitting a case to Support. The results of these tests may help us to eliminate local network issues, and find the root cause of the issue faster.
When you submit the case using the iCarol online Case Management Tool, please include the 3 screen shots, the time/date you completed these tests, and what browser you were using.
Test One: Complete a Speed Test
1. Login to iCarol, as an affected user and reproduce the slowness issue
2. In a separate browser window/tab, go to www.speedtest.net
3. Click the “Change Server” link and type Toronto in the search text box
4. Click on any of the Toronto, ON servers that appear in the list of search results
5. Click the “GO” button, allow the test to complete and take a screen shot of the results (a full page screen shot is preferred, that will include the browser type and system time.)
Test Two: Complete a Trace Route to iCarol server in Command Prompt
1. Open the Command Prompt window by clicking the MS Windows Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, and then clicking Command Prompt. (A new black background window should open.)
2. Type in exactly, tracert webapp.icarol.com, and press Enter on your keyboard.
3. Allow the Trace to complete, and take a screen shot of the results (do not close the window yet.)
To perform Test Two on Mac Computers
1. Open Safari and enter http://pingtest.net in the Smart Search field.
2. Click Begin test.
3. An alert appears saying “Do you want to trust the website www.pingtest.net to use the “Java” plug in? Click Trust and then Run in the Do you want to run this application window.
4. You should see your IP and ISP name at the bottom left of the globe. Check if this is correct.
5. Click Being Test.
For more information go to http://www.macworld.co.uk/how-to/mac/how-test-ping-on-your-mac-3524076/
Test Three: Complete a Ping to the iCarol server in Command Prompt
1. Use the same Command Prompt window as opened in Test 2
2. Type in exactly, ping webapp.icarol.com, and press Enter on your keyboard
3. Allow the Ping to finish, and take a screen shot of the results.
To perform Test Three on Mac Computers
In addition to the diagnostic tests above, it is useful to use a timer extension to see exactly where the slowness is occurring. A timer extension will break down the process of loading a page and tell you how long each step is taking. With this detail, you may be able to determine if the slowness is happening on the iCarol side, or if it may be an issue with your computer, internet or network speed.
Most browsers have a timer extension you can download and use. Some browsers may call these “extensions” or “add-ons”. Each browser will have a different name for these extensions or add-ons. For example, Google Chrome’s extension is called “Page load time”. The first step to using a timer extension or add-on is to find and download it. Once this is done, you will usually find the timer extension in the tool bar of your browser.
To use the timer extension to time page loads in iCarol, complete the following steps:
1. Navigate to the page that is loading slowly
2. Click the timer extension icon in the tool bar of your browser
3. You should see a chart or a list of events or actions, and how long each of those events or actions took
4. In general, it should not take more than 5 seconds to load a page in iCarol.
The exception is when searching resources, especially if the resource database is very large; some resource searches can take up to 10-20 seconds.
5. If the total load time for the page is greater than 5-10 seconds, refer to the timer extension chart or list to see where the most time was spent. Each timer extension will call the events or actions by a slightly different name, but there should be enough similarities to recognize the names of most of the events or actions between browsers.
Use the information below to determine if the issue is on iCarol’s side, or if the issue is with the computer, network, or internet service being used:
- The iCarol servers are responsible for the Request and Response times
- Slow Redirect, DNS or Connect times may indicate an issue with the internet connection or network being used
- Slow DOM or Load Event times may indicate issues with the computer itself
If the issue seems to be with your computer, network, or internet connection, please consult with a member of your IT team or your internet service provider.
If the issue seems to be with iCarol’s servers, please take a screenshot of the timer extension results. Then have a designated Support Contact submit a case with the screenshot as an attachment, and an explanation of the slowness that is occurring.
Are you ready to get started with a new way to learn how to do things in iCarol? We’ve always provided training materials in the form of Help Articles, PowerPoint presentations, Webinars, and Short Training Videos. As talked about in the first blog in this series, we’re working hard to improve our existing training materials, and to create new ones.
In addition to these learning channels with which you’re already familiar, we are now ready to add what we’re calling ‘Learning Guides’. If you’re a new iCarol subscriber, then you’re likely already familiar with using Learning Guides from your trial. We’re excited to announce that an initial set of Guides will be released to all Admin users on Thursday, September 7th.
What are Learning Guides and how can they help me?
Think of these new Learning Guides as activities that will take you through various tasks in iCarol, step-by-step, to help you improve your skills and knowledge within the software. They are a self-serve way to receive active training, and will enable you to learn more about iCarol and perform the actions you need to complete, on your schedule.
Who will be able to access the Learning Guides?
During the initial release of Learning Guides, they will only be made available to Admin Level users at your organization, as that is the audience for whom they are written.
When will the Learning Guides be available?
The first series of Learning Guides will be released on September 7th. This first series will be related to the upgraded Call Report V5, giving you an overview of the upgrade and teaching you about the new functionality available. But of course, this is just the beginning, and we’ll be releasing more Learning Guides in the upcoming months.
Where can I access the Learning Guides?
The Learning Guides will be accessed in the ‘Help’ area of iCarol, through a ‘Get started!’ pop-up menu that will appear at the bottom right corner of the page. Once you click the menu, you will be able to search through sub-categories or use the search bar within this menu to search particular Learning Guides, such as “How to use the new location lookup tool”.
After the first series of Learning Guides are released on September 7th, additional series for different areas of iCarol will be released. Your feedback on which Learning Guides you’d like to see created in the future is welcomed, and encouraged! So if you have feedback, we’d love to hear it! If you’re logged into iCarol, you can click this link go to the iCarol Idea ‘Client Training: Learning Guide Feedback’ to submit your feedback. Or you can find the idea by logging into iCarol, clicking the ‘Help’ link in your left side menu, then clicking the link at the top of the page for the ‘iCarol Ideas Portal’. From here you can search for the idea by name using the search bar at the top of this page, or click on ‘Planned’ from the status filter and look for the named idea here (and while there, check out what else is planned!)”
This blog is the second in a series of blogs that we’ll be releasing to keep you up-to-date on changes you’ll be seeing to the iCarol Help Area. Just in case you missed it, the first blog in the series is named ‘Upcoming Changes to ‘Help’ Area in iCarol’.
In response to the increased use of alternate communication channels for help seekers, many iCarol clients are adding Messaging to their iCarol systems. Using Messaging, you can communicate with your help seekers via chat or text. As with other areas of iCarol, sometimes issues can arise that require making a report to the iCarol Support Team. The preferred method to communicate with the iCarol Support Team is to submit a case via the Online Case Management Tool. Please click here for more information on how to submit a case. When the issue is in regards to iCarol Messaging however, there is another tool that we encourage you to use to report issues with this area of iCarol.
This tool is called the Report Incident Tool and is found at the bottom of the counselor’s screen when addressing a Messaging conversation.
Any user can us this tool to report an issue. When one clicks Report Incident, a small form will appear in a pop-up window. Please enter a concise Subject that describes the issue, and then use the Description text box to further describe the issue in as much detail as possible.
Once the security code is entered, and the “Report Incident” button clicked, a case will be created and sent to the iCarol Support Team. This case will also appear in the Online Case Management tool. All cases created in this manner are named “Messaging Incident #xxxx: Subject”. For example, the name of the incident shown in the screenshot above might be “Messaging Incident #2650: Strange symbols appearing in chat conversation”. The case will be appropriately attributed to your agency. The first available member of the iCarol Support team will respond to the case and begin the investigation of the issue.
The benefit of submitting Messaging cases in this manner is that this tool conveys additional details about the specific Messaging conversation the user was addressing that helps the iCarol Support and Technical teams immensely when investigating issues. Some of the details conveyed include browsers being used, platforms being used, and whether the visitor was using a mobile device. The details can be extremely helpful in investigating and ultimately resolving an issue.
This quick and easy to use tool can be a benefit to you by conveying details “in the moment” so they are not forgotten. It can cut down or eliminate conversations or emails between the user who experienced the issue and an Admin user who wants to report the issue to iCarol Support. It can also mean that issues are reported faster, which could lead to faster investigation and resolution of the issue.
As always, if you have any questions about the Report Incident tool, or anything else, please do not hesitate to contact the iCarol Support team!
In June of 2014, we updated the online case management system in iCarol and requested that our clients use this system to submit questions, requests and issues to the iCarol Support Team, rather than sending an email. While sending emails to firstname.lastname@example.org is still permitted, submitting cases via the online case system has these benefits:
- Correctly attributes the case to an authorized Admin at the client Agency
- Ensures that clients are prompted to provide all details necessary to address the inquiry
- Keeps all communication, including past cases, in one place for easy reference
- Provides better information to our support team which will lead to improved response time and quality to the client
In order to use this tool, you will need to indicate who is a designated support contact at your agency. Two people can be set as support contacts, but this can be extended to five via a request to the support team. To set the designated support contacts, an Admin should follow these steps:
- Click Admin Tools in the left hand menu
- Click the Contacts tab
- Use the drop-down menus in the Support contacts section to choose a name
- Click the Save settings button at the top of the screen
We highly recommend that you consider an internal process whereby a small number of Admin users (between 2 and 5) are set as designated support contacts, and all iCarol questions, requests and issues are forwarded to these Admins first. You will likely find that some of the questions, requests or issues can be addressed without the need to escalate the issue to the iCarol support team. For example, it may be that someone just forgot how to complete a particular task in iCarol, and the Admin can provide instruction. If the Admin cannot answer the question, fulfill the request or address the issue, they can then submit a case to the iCarol Support Team using the online case management system.
To submit a case, follow these steps:
- Click Help in the left hand Menu
- Click the third link at the top of the Help screen, which states “Cases – Contact the iCarol Support Team”
- You will be presented with this screen:
- At the top, you will see a blue circle with a question mark; click on this for answers to common questions about the case management system. On the right hand side of the screen, you will see three filters; Open, Closed, and All. You can use these filters to filter which cases will display on the screen. You will also see an Export to Excel icon at the bottom of the screen. You can click on this icon to export the list of cases you have displayed on the screen.
- To create a new case, simply click the “Create new case button”. Please note that this button will only appear for those Admins who have been set as the designated support contacts. However, all Admins in your system can access the case system, and can read all the cases that have been submitted to iCarol either through the online case system or via an email to email@example.com. Your screen will look like this:
- To begin, choose a reason for your case from the drop-down menu. The help tip provides definitions for all options in this list to help you choose to most appropriate one. Once you choose a reason, you will be presented with a second drop-down menu, to select the feature affected, or, said another way, the feature your case refers to. Here is what the screen looks like with both the reasons and feature affected drop-down menus displayed, and with selections made:
- Depending on which option you chose as your “reason”, you will be presented with a number of text fields to fill out. Here is what your screen will look like when you choose “Not working as expected” as your “reason”:
Just as in other places in iCarol, red asterisks indicate required fields. The first required field is the subject field. As indicated in the screen shot above, please give a clear, concise and descriptive subject, and avoid generalizations. For example, “iCarol issue” is not a good subject. “Cannot edit Caller Profiles” is a good subject. Regarding the other fields as seen above (Description, Examples, Who is affected and Browser and URL), please fill in the text fields with as much detail as you can regarding the question, request or issue you are submitting.
Also, screenshots or other documents that illustrate the issue or provide further detail or explanation about your question or request are extremely helpful. You can attach up to five documents to your case via the “Attachments or screen shots” section at the bottom of the case submission screen. Please note, you cannot paste screen shots into the text fields on the case submission screen. They must be saved as a document onto your computer, and then attached to the case. The more detail you provide when submitting a case, the easier it is for the support team (and technical team, if the case relates to a technical issue) to understand your case, complete a thorough investigation, and reply in a timely manner. If we require further details, this might delay resolution of the issue as we gather additional details from you. It is truly in your best interest to supply as many specific details as you can so your case can be addressed efficiently, effectively and quickly.
Call Report changes
If you would like to request some call report changes, please note that as of November 10, 2014, Admins can now access a vastly expanded tool to make these changes themselves. We encourage Admins to learn how to use this tool and to make call report changes themselves. If you would prefer the iCarol Support Team make these changes, please submit a case via the online case submission tool and choose “Settings, configuration and form changes” as your “reason”, and “Call report – Edit form” as the “feature affected”. These selections will cause your screen to look like this:
If you click the highlighted drop-down menu, you will find a list of your call reports. Choose the call report you would like to make edits to. You will then be presented with additional drop-down menus where you can choose the exact Category, Group and Field you would like to edit. You will also be given a text field to type in specific instructions about the edit you want to make. When you have finished outlining the edit you want made, you will click the “Append request to this case” button. You can then add another request, again using the drop-down menus to indicate very specifically the call report, category, group and field. This is what a call report change request might look like:
If you have a large list of edits to be made, you can also attach a document that outlines these changes. We request that the document include the same specifics that the case submission tool does, namely, that you indicate clearly which call report, categories, groups and fields need to be edited.
As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the support team!