RecChat: Support Tips, Tricks, and Best Practices - 05/18/2023
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We pride ourselves on the support we offer here at Vermont Systems, but there are always ways to streamline the process and make getting your resolutions as efficient as possible. Join Application Support Technician Dan Rotondi as we go through tips, tricks, and best practice suggestions to make your support experience better than it's ever been!
Bret Alarcon 0:08
hello and welcome to this episode of RecChat. I'm your host Bret Alarcon. So in today's RecChat, Dan is going to talk about tips, tricks and best practices and suggestions to make your support experience a smoother one. So we're joined today by Dan, obviously, and Zach, who always is here too, say hello, everyone.
Daniel Rotondi 0:29
Bret Alarcon 0:31
So what do you have for us today, Dan?
Daniel Rotondi 0:34
All right. Well, thank you, Bret. How's it going guys? I thought I would share my Screen here. And we can walk through the probably the best ways to get in contact with us when you guys have an issue. So let me share that. Here's a site you've probably seen before, it's our main landing page on the Fremont system site. We're only a few quick clicks away from getting to support. So you can Click Support here at the top, and the nice big green Button in the middle there. Now I will say, you know, our support portal is behind a login. So if you do not have a Username and password, this is a good time to point out that we have the support@Vermontsystems.com email address. So just shoot us a quick email saying that you or members of your staff would like access to the Support Portal, and one of our reps would be happy to set you guys up with that. For me, I already have a login. So I'm just gonna pop that in here and sign in. Here's another landing page you're probably already very familiar with. But we can go through all the different functionality here on the support portal.
Daniel Rotondi 1:54
So I guess, you know, starting at the top, we have you know, case management, where you can create and view cases that are already created in the system, you have access to our new knowledge base, which is also accessible via this very big banner behind it, which includes the RecChat archive now, so if you weren't are aware of our new Self Help Support Platform, we've kind of combined the two where the RecChat archive used to be solely behind the login on the Support Portal, it's now accessible to all publicly on the Vermont systems knowledge base there. If you're working with a tech, they may give you a session ID you can Click on this desktop assist and input the session ID get in contact and set up a Screen share. Using beyond trust with one of our Tech's it's probably the the easiest way we can kind of understand what the issue is. And it's really great when we can like get on and share the Screen and work through issues that you may be experiencing. Um, the other thing that I wanted to point out here is because we talked about creating cases, you know, you have an option down here to open a new case. And I'm sure you've heard of, you know, requested priority of cases, you may be heard of critical cases, major cases tossed around might not really understand what constitutes a critical case versus a major case. So we kind of have this definitions guide here for you, I just wanted to review.
Daniel Rotondi 3:36
So critical is anything that you know, system hangs anything that's really impacting day to day business, you know, the WebTrac site is down or we're unable to make transactions in global sales, you know, something that's going to have a large impact blocking a ton of end users from accomplishing their their goals are actually using the system. So obviously criticals are for emergencies and we treat them as such, when we see a critical, critical, critical issue come in on our end, we try to respond as quickly as possible. And make sure that that gets resolved in a timely manner for you. The next step down would be major, you know, those also have significant business impact. But, you know, the day to day operation hasn't come to a complete standstill, you know, this may be a time sensitive issue, like you have a registration coming up and you need to do some major planning beforehand. Or, you know, you have an issue but you're able to work around it but it is an inconvenience that could be impacting the business. So that is what kind of sets it apart from a medium. You know, a medium is not as time sensitive as a major. You still have some system functionality. There may be a way to work around it. That's an inconvenience. But it's something that still needs to be addressed. And finally, low is something like if you had a question about something, or maybe you're planning for next year, and you're like, hey, we want to change up our fee structure, and we want to set up a call, you know, it's not something that's time sensitive, but you just want to get ahead of maybe potential issues that may come down the road or you have an idea for an enhancement, you want to just reach out and say, like, you know, this is where we think there can be an improvement there.
Daniel Rotondi 5:32
So once we we kind of have an idea of what issue we want to submit and reach out to support with, we can come here or again, from the top case management, believe it takes you to a similar looking Screen here, kind of merge the two. Here, we will just Click open a new case. Give it a title, again, something something that will best describe your case, but don't go into too much detail in here there is we have had a few people reach out saying they are unable to submit a case. And usually they're trying to put as much detail is possible in the title. And I believe there is a character limit here. So just a nice little summary of what you're dealing with. But don't be afraid to go into detail in the case details here, you know, actually, the more the better, the more information we can get to the responding tech, you know, before they even reach out to you as a better we're going to be able to help you with your problem or issue. You even have the the option to attach files here. So I'd encourage you, you know, if you're working with a report it attach a copy of that report to the case here, I'd even go a step further to encourage you to Toggle on print selection criteria and rerun the report so that the responding tech actually has a copy of the report you're having an issue with and they can see what selections you made to generate that report. If you're getting an error message or something doesn't quite look right, in RecTrac, you know, a screenshot, you know, tells 1000 words. So please include as many screenshots or relevant files here as possible. And I skimmed over this, but this is where you can enter enter those requested priorities that we just talked about, too.
Daniel Rotondi 7:31
So if it is truly a critical something, something may, you know, again, something interfering with business, identify it as such, and let us know, you know when this started and what's going on, and we'll have somebody reach out as soon as possible. Once that's ready, you can hit submit, and then it will show up, you'll be assigned a case number. And it'll show up again on that management DataGrid here at the bottom. As an open case, you have a little bit more information about it. You can see you know who's assigned so web web managers for your department will be able to see all cases listed under their account. If you're not a web manager, then you would only see ones that you submit here. So keep submitting cases through the portal is probably one of the fastest ways to get in touch with us. We obviously still have our email address I mentioned support@Vermontsystems.com. And we do have, we do have a phone number available. Zack, do you mind grabbing that for me? And maybe popping it in chat? I can't remember off the top of my head.
Zach Malloch 8:49
I'm sorry. Which one? Was that? Dan?
Daniel Rotondi 8:50
Just the general support number.
Zach Malloch 8:54
Yeah, just give me one second,
Daniel Rotondi 8:56
and no problems
Bret Alarcon 8:59
There's just a comment real quick. I'm going to read from John.
Daniel Rotondi 9:02
Bret Alarcon 9:02
He says you can only attach a single file initial case but you can add comments and each of the columns can have one file attached as well.
Daniel Rotondi 9:09
Oh, thank you, John. Yeah, I I knew there was a way to attach multiple I didn't realize the form only allowed one at the initial creation. But you can always go back here and case management and you know, add additional comments and additional files as John pointed out, and please the more information the better. It really helps the techs who respond get kind of get a better understanding before they even pick up the phone and reach out to you about what's going on. So while Zach's getting that that phone number, I did just want to point out that the phone number it's no longer manned, but it does go to a shared inbox. And everybody on the support team has access to that inbox. We have a designated rep every single day. Checking it periodically. And creating cases from the from the voicemails, so every single voicemail that we receive gets a case created, I will say that this is a bit slower than doing it yourself through the portal. Because often people will leave incomplete information, you know, they'll just be like, Hey, this is Jan, from the fitness center. And we're having an issue with our pin pads. Well, I'm sorry, Jan, you didn't give me enough info, like your numbers not in our system, the it could be any fitness center in any parks department. And it may take us longer to identify who you are, or have to give you a call back to to kind of facilitate that. And it just kind of slows up the process. So giving if you are going to leave a voicemail if that's the only thing you can do in that moment, again, as much detail as possible. Who are you? Where are you calling from, and you know, the department you're associated with. And again, exactly what what problem you're trying to get addressed. Some of you may already be aware, but it's kind of nested out of sight here in the corner, we do have a live chat feature. And this is probably the fastest way to get in contact with us. This is also as you notice on the portal so it is behind that that login wall. So not everyone has access to it but you can have an account created for you very easily. But you'll see when I Click on this, we get a little AI chat bot named Vin here or Vermont information navigator and he's offering up a few different options. So if there's something quick that you wanted to see like you need to grab the newest update from the FTP site and you don't have that we can Click on the FTP password here and he'll automatically redirect you to the appropriate information there.
Bret Alarcon 11:57
Just real quick another comment from Missy coming through about the attachment files. You can Control Click files and then Click Open and attach multiple flat files.
Daniel Rotondi 12:08
Oh awesome. Thank you for the tip and trick Missy. All right, so you know maybe maybe we had an issue with the FTP site or you know, this didn't give us the full information we were looking for. Now he does have a couple of other options here for some videos or just to help you kind of navigate through the site if you know chatting with a bot is is more your speed. But at the top here what I wanted to point out is chat with a live agent so if it is if it is something critical and you want to get get the issue in front of a live person this is probably the fastest way to do it. So I'll go through this process I will preface this that you know it's it's mid day and it could be pretty busy for our chatters so we may not connect and then that's when if I if I got that message here that's when I would want to send out an email or just create a case through the through the portal I won't let me Type in here for a second
Bret Alarcon 13:19
While you do that. John has one more comment. When submitting a ticket it is good to describe the steps that you took give specific examples provide information that you did to try and resolve the issue and whatever you tested in your live or Demo systems or whether you tested it in your laboratory systems
Daniel Rotondi 13:37
Yes, that's that's a great point. For some reason, my chat is not letting me Click in here let me try excuse me for the technical difficulty Let me try on my other browser chat with a live agents here we go all right excuse me folks. Sorry about that. Let's go to Chrome here. its gonna ask you for your email. I'll grab work number so right now once we get this message it's attempting to notify one of our live chatters so on their Screen they're gonna get a pop up with your name and info saying that they're trying to connect. And you'll see once their name pops up here, though. You know that you've you've connected. So let's see. I see. Michael said Hello Daniel. How can I help you today? So, maybe I'll ask him because we're looking at the FTP information here. I'll ask him, you know what I can use to access the FTP site?
Daniel Rotondi 15:23
I was a little rude. I didn't say hello to Michael. But hopefully he is straight to the point, you know, this is a mission critical issue. So hopefully Michael can help me here.
Daniel Rotondi 15:42
Now, chat is great for quick questions like this. You know, if you had a question about a report, or you know, a specific Toggle, or trying to do something quick, you want a quick answer. Usually, our chats don't last anywhere, you know, from 10 to 20 minutes would be a long a long chat. But you know, more often than not, we can get a quick answer like this in a couple of minutes.
Daniel Rotondi 16:15
Now, if the person you're chatting with is unable to resolve your case over the chat, every single chat that comes in the Rep is creating a case on the back end for so even if they resolved it with you over over chat. We like to document you know, what's coming in, you know, have some good data to understand what kind of issues people are using the chat Window for and and then that way we can, you know, better tailor this experience to your needs. But again, if they were unable to resolve the issue over chat, they already have the case created and they'll reach out to the support team and say, Hey, that so and so just chatted in, they're having an issue with their report, you know, if anyone's available, please pick this one next from the queue and reach out. So we have a good system where you know, the chatters are in communication with the other available texts. If anything critical comes in on chats. More often than not before the chats even wrapped up with the individual who chatted in the rest of the team is already aware of it. So probably the fastest way to get in touch with us. And we encourage you to use this chat as much as possible.
Bret Alarcon 17:34
I think John was on to Dan said Dan must have warned them to be nice because he was in RecChat my snarky self would have said something Otherwise there might not have been appropriate for the public
Daniel Rotondi 17:47
I did give Michael a little heads up that I would be chatting and I didn't want to put them on the spot there you go!
Zach Malloch 18:06
Tell him RecChat says Hi
Daniel Rotondi 18:21
All right, so after we got our help from Michael, either he will end the chat or i'll end the chat and then here you have an option to enter your email to receive a copy of that chat. So if if Michael detailed some some instructions for me to go back and maybe test in my Demo database, I can have that emailed to me so I don't have to scroll back up and try to remember what he said or copy and paste it out of here. So once that's wrapped up, you'll get a notification of the chat session ended and you can start over from the beginning all right, so we talked about creating a case on the portal we talked about setting up a chat again if the chat if you get that notification we didn't see here today but it will say something along the lines of our normal support hours are Monday through Friday eight to five Eastern time. All chatters if you're seeing this all chatters are currently tied up. We have multiple chatters on the system at once. And each Chatter is usually responding to multiple people at once. So we do have a limit on how many that they can do simultaneously just to make sure that you know everybody is still getting the proper attention. We don't want to overwhelm anybody or make anybody wait too long.
Daniel Rotondi 19:48
So if you do see that message during normal business hours, the next fastest way is going to be either submitting that case yourself or reaching out to us on email. So just like with the voicemail, the email inbox is tied to everybody in support. So we all get a notification and we'll see, see that issue come in or that critical come in, and somebody will jump on it or a senior tech or management will assign it out to the appropriate contacts to assist in that specific case. That being said, we do have a structure in place on the support side, various, we do have the general queue that everything gets funneled into, but then from there, we have various sub cues or disciplines that different Tech's are a part of. So we encourage you, you may have a tech that you like working with, but they may not be the best person for the specific issue that you have right now. So and instead of reaching out to them directly, you may have their email from a past case, we encourage you to go through the proper channels and email the general support email or set it up through the portal, because then we can see that maybe that tech isn't a part of the discipline that your case falls into. And we want to make sure that we're assigning the person who has the best experience and the most knowledge about that area of the software that you need help in.
Daniel Rotondi 21:25
So we just want to make sure again, that's where the detail in the case comes in, make sure you're properly you know, explaining what issue you're having, so that we can match you with that with the next appropriate tech there. So I think with phone, email, chat and portal, that kind of goes over all the different ways that you can reach out to us one thing while we're here, you know, if you've submitted a case, and you want to do some DIY, or self help or brush up on the topic that you're about to, you know, maybe get some help on. Who knows, you might even answer your own question before the tech even responds. That's why we here at Vermont systems and within the edu team, we spent so much time building out this new knowledge base system. So from here, I didn't articulate it, but I clicked on the nice big banner here on the support site. Just beneath that we do have a welcome guide to so if it's your first time using the new knowledge base, we put this together, kind of answer all the major questions we've got about you know why we switch the system and, and how we can view various articles and very on different topics. And just navigating through. And I will plug the feedback here. If while you're navigating through the knowledge base, you see anything that's that's off, please submit feedback here. This is only for issues about articles. So if there's a typo or missing image, or you know, some of the steps are vague, and it might need a rewrite, please submit feedback here for that. I have I'm usually the one that hops in and responds to those. But I have seen a couple of people submit things that maybe might have been more of a support case. And unfortunately, they didn't leave me their email, they submitted some anonymous feedback. And I couldn't really respond or help them out in that case. And that's kind of why we wanted to have this session today is we just wanted to get it out there and make inform everybody of all the different ways that you can get in touch, touch with us in the proper channels, just because we know it's coming up on Memorial Day weekend. It's usually everybody's busy season. And we want to make sure you guys get the support you deserve in a timely manner so that you're not waiting around and it's not going to have a big business impact during this time. Other than that, Zack, I think that's all I really wanted to touch on. I know we're getting close to time. So were there any questions about what I covered today?
Zach Malloch 24:11
Well, John made another worthwhile comment, actually. Bret I saw Heather made a comment also if you wanna bring that one on.
Bret Alarcon 24:21
Yeah, so Heather was saying Do you know what help juice will be fully ready or another place for Do It Yourself help I searched help many times to get stopped by pages since under construction and appreciate provided two examples. So the help juice is ready to be used. What's happening there with the under construction is we basically migrated all the help that we had over into help you so everything that already existed before didn't make its way over to help juice but there are still some topics that didn't exist in either help or help juice at this point that we still have on our list of things to do. So unfortunately, look looks like you found two of those articles that are still currently under construction. But we are still updating those as we get to them and should have full help for those in the near future. Not quite sure when, but they are coming as we go.
Daniel Rotondi 25:25
Yeah, thanks, Bret, it really just comes down to what Bret said is that, you know, some of those weren't built out weren't built out before the migration. And so the under construction transferred over. But this is a good example of where you'd want to submit the feedback on there. Because there there may be a few that we didn't identify. And if you could bring it to our attention, that this one still needs to be built out. It and the more people that do that it may raise the priority of that help page to get a speedier resolution to that.
Zach Malloch 26:00
Yeah. And I'd also like to just point out two things. One, John, I see your snark there, John also, but he very appropriately says that he encourages everybody to submit to us areas, you'd like to see more information, because we do want to know, like, where we can focus to get the most bang for the buck. I mean, we have kind of a background project to eventually go through and show like a little video that shows how almost every little tiny piece of the system works. If anybody has been in helped juice, well, actually, I know from analytics, it's not all that frequently that you get into the fast track area. But if you go to help juice, and actually, Dan, if you want to bring up the Fast Track category, these are all designed to be like five minute or shorter videos about a very, very specific part of the system. And we'll actually eventually be getting into kind of conversations about how we can make a list of onboarding videos so that you can just have a collection of links that said, these are your responsibilities, here are some little tiny videos to just show you what each of those pieces are about. So we are certainly hoping that helps you continues to evolve into a fully featured and completely one stop shop for all of your answers. Of course, that can never happen. Because I think everybody knows RecTrac is a little bit of a complicated system and everything, everybody does things a little bit differently. So getting the exact interpretation of how you are set up and how you are doing things with the needs of your organization and your board involved. We'll always need a personal touch. So we're not going anywhere as far as support goes. But we we do have it as a goal to get as many things in here as we can to be as useful as possible. And the more feedback we get in you know, Heather's point about a couple of those that are missing. That's exactly what we're focusing on getting there. I'd also like to point out that, you know, Dan said that he personally kind of takes care of a lot of the feedback pieces. He and Julia our technical writer, have been working very hard on knowledge bases and mystery submissions. So basically, anytime we have one of our support reps, take a case and we think, Well, this might apply to somebody else. They submit something to us and basically say this was a question that I got, I think if we had a knowledge base that somebody could have just read that and then gotten the answer that they were looking for. And so I think we've already published over 100. Since we have launched back in March. Right now there are 81 that are basically ready to go. We just need to do some final edits on those. And then you know, there's over 100 new issues that are waiting to get to that review, and then final publish state. So it is very actively growing. And if you don't find your answer today, certainly would be worthwhile taking a look at them next, or again.
Daniel Rotondi 28:55
Absolutely. So I did see Joyce's question about. So I mentioned the rector archives. And I have that here on my Screen. If you had Click the link from the support site, it will take you directly to this Screen. But I just got here through the categories. It's its own category page, and we have it all by date, you know, newest to oldest. But she asked where are the virtual symposium topics are archived. And so the virtual symposium is actually a subscription base. So you have to be a virtual symposium subscriber, and because of that, we can't host it on help juice with the rest of the content. It's actually accessible through through rec chat RecTrac itself. So here's my RecTrac and if we Click on the Support icon here, and you Click on RecTrac lab, this should open up my absorb and you should have access to it. The catalog, the back catalogue of symposium virtual symposium videos.
Bret Alarcon 30:07
And Joyce, I actually see that one topic from last week, I still have it on my desktop, I forgot to upload that. So I'll have it uploaded within the next day or two for you.
Daniel Rotondi 30:19
Thank you for that Joyce.
Zach Malloch 30:21
A real quick shout out to the virtual symposium, I think it's one of the best values you can get. We have a library right now of around 50 hours of different content, their deeper dives into particular topics that are influenced by your requests and suggestions. It's $600 for the entire year. And that's where your entire organization and that also gets access to the entire archive. And we typically do a virtual symposium preview week where we do a couple of topics in kind of the RecTrac format, with Zoom and with different presenters doing them. So keep an eye out for that. But if you're interested in accessing virtual symposium, as a subscriber and getting the archive, just email sales at Fremont, systems.com. And they can certainly set you up and then we'll, we'll get you into the lab, the deeper every area of the lab, actually, just real quick. So the other portion. So one of the main reasons we moved to help us and we're kind of moving away from the support side was to get everything into one place. So you didn't have to go to the support portal for rec chat, you didn't have to go to RecTrac. For the in app help, you didn't have to go to a separate place for all the knowledge bases. They're all in helped us now, except for the stuff in the lab. And that's because the lab is either those subscription base pieces or the interactive, kind of like how to demonstration parts. If you could bring up the lab again, just real quick, Dan. goal with this was to create, just go to your homepage, as they should be right there. So these nine chapters, and we're eventually wanting to get back to it so that we have an example of every single one of the modules. But these are really, really nice, especially for people who are just about to touch the product for the first time, or they've only had a couple of days. And you want to get familiar with how RecTrac works, how global sales works, how and Activity Registration and cancelation works. So this is a really good resource. And everybody has access to these nine chapters, interactive tools. And most of them have like cheat sheets, you can download and print RecTrac engine, we try to be slightly entertaining in them. Everybody else judge how well we hit that. But yeah, I would recommend it.
Daniel Rotondi 32:37
Awesome. Well, I know it's 232 went a little bit over. Were there any other questions?
Zach Malloch 32:48
That's always seeing right now.
Daniel Rotondi 32:50
I do see, I do see John's comment, I would encourage people to submit to the edu team areas that you would like to see more information. They're interested in learning what we as users need more information on. Absolutely, John, and I want to thank you, I saw your feedback. I think it was last week or two weeks ago about a couple of articles and keep it coming! I I love, you know, getting those comments and finding areas that we can improve the system because ultimately, the more work we put into this, the more you guys are going to get out of it. So I rather I rather hear you know, something's not working then just have a week of radio silence and no feedback to look at. So please, even if it's something small, like a typo, send it my way.
Zach Malloch 33:36
Exactly. I think that. I mean, that's pretty good for wrapping things up, then thank you all for your attendance and your contention or it attention, not contention. And John is reassuring you, Dan, he will not stop submitting bugs. So
Daniel Rotondi 33:53
Zach Malloch 33:55
All right. All right. I think we're probably ready for you to take us in and this wreck chat will also be up in the archives before too long.
Bret Alarcon 34:02
Yes. Take care.
Daniel Rotondi 34:04