Last year RBD Instruments started using a new online Portal to provide you with an easier way to communicate with us regarding support, products, or service. This new Portal also makes it easier for us to manage all aspects of your inquiry, resulting in better customer service.
Some of our customers have asked us a variety of questions about the Portal. This blog post will try and answer most of those questions in addition to providing an overview of how the Portal ticketing system works.
Why should I register on the Portal instead of just sending an email with my question/request?
Many people would rather just send an email than register or create an account in a system. We understand this, so we’ll talk about the issue with emails a little later. For now, though, here are a few of the benefits of using the Portal:
- When you register on the Portal, you have access to all of your tickets. This includes open and closed (resolved) tickets, as well as sales and service tickets. (Closing tickets is discussed later).
- You have access to our Knowledgebase, which is discussed in more detail later.
- You can search though your tickets, using any of the topic-specific words you have used in the ticket, to help find the relevant ticket more quickly. (Try doing this quickly when you have many emails – maybe even thousands of emails – to go through! But again, more on emails later). It may be a little while between when you post and the search finds the ticket because there’s some data base indexing going on behind the scenes.
Do I need to register to use the Portal?
If you are asking for support assistance, yes, you need to register to use the Portal. If you have a sales-related question, no, you don’t need to register on the Portal. But, we encourage you to register for the reasons given elsewhere.
Why should I register on the Portal if I have only a sales-related question?
We have discovered that tickets that begin as sales questions frequently include technical discussions that contain information that is useful later, even if a purchase isn’t made right then. So, when you register, you have access to these discussions when you need them. And you can avoid the dreaded search through emails to find that wonderful technical tidbit you need.
Registering on the Portal also gives you access to our Knowledgebase (KB). Our KB contains articles that address many commonly asked questions about Physical Electronics products that we work on, trouble-shooting tips, and information about RBD Instruments products and services. Many of our customers have found it helpful to use our KB to determine which version of our products (like our 9103 or water vapor desorption products) will best meet their needs.
How do I do register?
Go to rbdinstruments.com and click on the Portal Register button as shown here:
On the Registration screen, we ask you to enter the following information.
- A Username. It can be anything that you want. Many people just use their first and last name, which makes it easy to remember.
- A Password with at least 6 characters; it can’t match your username. You can even have the Portal remember you on your computer.
- Your email address.
- Your full name.
- Your phone number.
- Your time zone.
Then, just click “I’m not a robot” then click “Complete Registration” and you’re done!
What’s the issue with using emails?
Many of you have gotten comfortable sending emails to a specific staff member at RBD Instruments. But when that person is out of the office and is unable to check emails during the work day or maybe for a couple of days, your email could get stuck in their email list and it may be awhile before they get back to you. Enter the Portal.
When you create a ticket in the Portal, it goes into a General Queue, which is something that everyone at RBD Instruments is able to view. We can then, depending on what you’ve asked, help you quickly or assign your ticket to the appropriate expert. Now that you have created a ticket, all communications about your question are in one, easy-to-access spot. Continuity is maintained!
Please note that you should always create a new ticket to address a new topic or request. This keeps communications nice and clean. Have you ever written an email that has asked about a few different things but not all of them are answered in a single reply? And then you end up with multiple emails that are kind of about the same things but not completely? Using tickets in our Portal takes care of this: one ticket that contains a discrete, entire discussion.
Can I still send an email with my question?
The Portal is actually an email-based system. So, when you send an email to our sales or support department, your email is automatically sent to the Portal and a ticket is created there. We will be able to tell if it was a sales-related or a service-related question based on the email address you sent it to, and route it to the appropriate person in the applicable department.
When we reply, you get an email with a ticket number added to the subject of your email. If the subject of your email was “Question about your microCMA,” the subject of the reply will look something like “[123-1234DEV-456] Question about your microCMA”. The stuff in the brackets () is your ticket number, which you need to keep. The ticket number is what our system uses to identify your ticket. When you reply to the email, keep the ticket number in the email’s subject to maintain continuity. If you change or delete the ticket number, the continuity and history of your discussion will be interrupted, which will make it more difficult to ensure that you get the answers you need. So, please don’t change or delete the ticket number.
How do I reply to a ticket?
Because the system is email-based, you can reply to the email you received or you can reply in the Portal itself.
When you reply to the email itself (and as mentioned above, please don’t change or delete the ticket number) this will ensure that everything already discussed in the ticket will stay in the ticket. If you change or delete the ticket number, it can get confusing and discussions will be interrupted. Yes, we’re saying this a lot, but it is really important!
You can avoid concerns about losing continuity by logging into the Portal and replying to a ticket in the Portal itself:
- Log into the portal.
- If you don’t see “My Tickets”, click the Tickets button.
- Find the ticket you want to reply to. You can enter the ticket number if you know it, or some text that you know was included in the ticket.
- When you are in your ticket and want to reply, scroll to the bottom of the screen. You should see something that looks like this:
- Type your reply in the big text box.
- To attach a file, click the Choose File button to open the document storage location on your computer. Navigate to the file you want to attach and double-click it (or however you normally select a document). You can attach multiple documents.
How do I download documents that someone at RBD Instruments has attached to a ticket?
When you view RBD’s reply in the Portal, the ticket may look something like this:
See the “Attachments” line at the bottom of this post? The light blue text to the right of the word Attachments is the name of the file (or files) that an RBD staff member has attached to the reply. Click on the file name to open the file.
How do I close a ticket? And, is a closed ticket permanently closed?
When the question that you asked has been resolved to your satisfaction, your ticket can be closed.
A ticket can be closed in a couple of ways:
- As you can see in the graphic above, there is a check box that says “This ticket can be closed”. Simply click that box. We will receive a notification of your request and close the ticket.
- You can reply to the ticket and ask us to close the ticket for you.
Let’s say that you later determine that you have more questions about the same issue. You don’t want to create a new ticket because you would lose the continuity of the earlier discussion. Instead, you can simply go back to the ticket in the Portal (which you can do if you have registered on the Portal) and reply to it again. The ticket is automatically reopened.
We are excited about how our new Portal helps us to help you! We encourage you to register if you have not already done so.