Hi, I’m Katie, and I’m part of Emergency Reporting’s Customer Support team. I’ve started a series of blog posts to help you, our awesome customers, take advantage of the knowledge and information available about the ER system. If you missed the first two installments, I showed you how to access the online Support Center and use the Knowledge Base to find articles and videos about the ER system. Let’s get logged in and head onward to today’s topic – participating in the Community Forum.
First, we have to get to the Support Center itself. Remember, you can access the Support Center from our main marketing website, or by using the “Support” button on the home screen of your ER account. You should get to the login page for Support, and I’d recommend saving the web address (emergencyreporting.zendesk.com) for easy access anytime.
Because our Support Center is hosted in a different platform, you’ll have to login to access the information. This is different from the login you may already have for the Emergency Reporting system. If you’ve never logged into the Support Center, you’ll use the “Sign Up” option to create a username and password. If you’ve submitted a Support ticket and emailed with someone on the Support team before, your email address may already be registered in the system. Then you can choose the “Get a Password” link to finish creating your account login.
Now you’re in the Support Center! Welcome – we want this to be an awesome place where you can learn about the system, keep updated about new, upcoming features, and reach out to the Support Team anytime you need help.
When you arrive in the Support Center, you’ll notice on the very top menu bar a quick link to our Community. You can also scroll down your main page to see recent activity in the forum (the latest posts and comments) and another quick link to “join the conversation” in our online Forum:
Clicking either Community link brings you to the main Forum page. Our most popular topics are at the top, but there are lots of different channels for conversations. In all these areas, our ER Support and Training teams participate to help answer questions, provide best practices, and give updates about the system. We collaborate internally as well to get information from our Development Team about bugs, features, and updates.
When you select a topic, like Questions & Answers, you can scroll through the recent posts to see if your information might already be posted, or you may even find a post you can comment on to provide some insight! We want to encourage users to reach out to us in the Forum for information, but even more so we love it when departments can help each other with examples, ideas, and best practices for using ER.
If you decide that you’d like to post a question or idea, just click New Post to get started. While you type your title, the system searches for posts with similar titles throughout the Forum. You may find a post with your same question, already answered! If you’re adding a Feature Suggestion, this feature is super helpful to reduce duplicates and direct users to vote on and follow the original suggestion post.
One of our more popular areas of the Forum is the Feature Suggestion topic. Here, users can post ideas, add comments, and most importantly vote up all the features they’d like to see added to the system.
We’ve included some guidelines for posting suggestions – this includes some instructions for voting, a “best practice” template for creating descriptive, meaningful posts, and some considerations to be aware of about the Feature Suggestions. Right now, we’re hard at work collecting data about the entire collection of suggested ideas (over 500 already!) in order to present this information to our Development team managers. They’ll determine what new features will be included in the ER system.
We encourage everyone to post suggestions and vote on the ideas they feel will be powerful, useful changes to the ER system. Because of the incredible volume of posts, you may not receive a response immediately. But please know that we read every single feature suggestion and we always support more ideas – your input helps us make decisions that will improve all the ER products.
Overall, we want the online Forum to be a great source of information, a place for everyone to share insights and help us determine the future of the ER system. Collectively, we all have an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience that we can share, and the Community Forum is a great place to connect with other departments and help everyone become an ER expert. I hope to see you in the Forum!