Using the PALS Support Center
About the PALS Support Center
PALS uses customer relationship management software to track support requests, host documentation and publish answers in a knowledge base. The software consists of a web-based end user interface for our customers and a web-based agent interface for the PALS staff. The software allows us to efficiently move your support requests to the appropriate PALS staff and to publish answers to frequently asked support questions.
Navigating the Support Center
- You must have a registered account to log in the PALS Support Center.
- If you are new to the PALS Support Center, you need to request an account with PALS.
- Upon requesting an account with PALS, you will receive an automated message with a link to "Finish Account Creation".
- If you forget your username or password, follow the Forgot your username or password? link in the log in screen. You can have your username emailed to the address you have on file and/or can reset your password and receive an emailed link to create a new password.
- Both your username and password may be changed once you are logged in.
Before Submitting a Request – Other Help
- Check online documentation from the PALS home page, the Ex Libris Documentation Portal, and Help windows within the Aleph client.
- Check with your Systems Librarian.
- Check the Answers in the PALS Support Center (see searching tips below in Answers section).
- In some cases, posting questions to the PALS Discussion List or PALS Forum may be helpful.
- While it is not required to enter a request into the PALS Support Center, it will help us efficiently track the problem.
- If you do enter a request, choose Urgency level “1 – Site Down/Software Not Responding”. If multiple modules are affected, choose any Product/Subproduct that has been affected.
- Record the reference number.
- During PALS office hours (8-4:30, M-F), call the PALS Support Center phone number (507-389-2000), explain that it is an emergency and provide the dispatcher the Support Center reference number, if you have one.
- Outside of PALS office hours (8-4:30, M-F), call the PALS Support Center phone number (507-389-2000) and follow the instructions provided on the voice message.
Other Ways to Contact Us
- It is not required to first enter a request into the PALS Support Center, but it will help us efficiently track the problem.
- Call the PALS Support phone number (507-389-2000). Provide the reference number of your Support Center request, if you have one. Otherwise, explain the issue to the dispatcher, who will enter a request in the PALS Support Center for you. If the Support Specialist assigned to your request is available, you will be connected. If not, they will be notified to contact you to follow up.
- Email the dispatcher at firstname.lastname@example.org (link sends e-mail). Provide the reference number of your Support Center request, if you have one. Otherwise, explain the issue to the dispatcher, who will enter a request in the PALS Support Center for you and assign it to the appropriate Support Specialist.
- Calls or emails directly to individual PALS staff may not result in the quickest resolution of your request. If an individual staff person is not available, your request will be escalated most efficiently if it originated in the PALS Support Center. While individual staff’s email or voicemail is only monitored by that individual, multiple PALS staff have access to and are monitoring requests through the PALS Support Center.
- After logging in, click the Answers tab to access and search for answers.
- Answers in the knowledge base have been created by the PALS staff, often in response to frequently asked support requests.
- When first accessing the Answers tab, all answers are displayed in the list, in multiple pages. Pages of answers may be scrolled through using the navigation tools at the bottom of the page.
- The default sort of the “all answers” list is on the update date of the answer, in descending order (most recently updated first). To change the default sort and the order, use the Advanced Search window.
- Specific answers may be found by using the Search box at the top of the page. Type keywords, phrases, questions or the answer number, if known, in the search box. Narrow your search by selecting a product/subproduct in the dropdown box.
- Search terms are stemmed by default (e.g. “record” retrieves “records” and “recording”).
- If multiple terms are entered in the Search box, answers with any of the terms will be retrieved, but answers containing multiple terms will be listed first.
- Answers marked “New” have been created in the last 30 days. Answers marked “Updated” have been updated in the last 90 days.
- To display the entire answer, click on the highlighted subject. Answers may be rated by answering the question “Was this answer helpful?” in the display of the entire answer. If the answer was not helpful, you may submit a feedback message to us.
- If a particular answer doesn’t seem helpful, you may find more help in the answers listed in the section “Answers others found helpful”.
Submitting a Request 'Using Ask a Question'
- After logging in, click the Ask a Question tab to submit a request.
- Required fields are Subject, Question, Product/Subproduct and Urgency.
- Send one problem per request; this allows the specific question to be directed to the appropriate Support Specialist.
- Attachments may be included in the Attach Documents section.
Include as much information as possible or appropriate, such as:
- Select appropriate Product and Subproduct
- Provide examples of the problem
- Record ID numbers; ex. Bibliographic/Holding records, Item/Patron barcodes
- Screen shots
- Document the process you were using
- Text of error messages
- Can the problem be duplicated? On more than one PC? With different log ins?
- When did the problem first start occurring and with what frequency?
Use Urgency Levels appropriately (see Support Center Urgency Levels for more information):
1: Site Down/Software Not Responding
2: Major Functionality Deterioration
3: Some Functionality Deterioration
4: General Questions
- After entering the requested information, click the Continue button. An intermediate screen will open with suggested answers. Click on any suggested answers to open them in a separate window.
- If none of the suggested answers are helpful, close the separate answer window(s) to return to the window where you may click the Finish Submitting Question button to submit your request.
- Once your request has been submitted, you may manage it in the Your Account tab.
- Your requests can only be accessed by you or someone at your organization. They are not accessible to other organizations.
- When your request is updated by a Support Specialist, you will receive email notification. You can update your request by simply replying to that email. You may also respond by following the link to the Support Center in the email and updating the request there.
Managing Requests in 'Your Account'
After logging in, click the Your Account tab to manage your requests. The Your Account tab has a dropdown window in the tab itself, to allow you to go directly to one of the four main areas of the Your Account section:
- Account Overview – access all other areas in the Your Account section from here
- Support History – search and update your support requests/questions
- Account Settings – update your user name, password and contact information
- Notifications – set email notifications by product for updates to answers
- Click on the See All Questions link in the Account Overview window or on the Support History choice in the Your Account tab dropdown window to access and update your support requests/questions.
- You can search your support requests/questions using the Search box. You can limit the search to “Only my incidents” or to requests “From anyone in my organization”.
- To return to the entire list of your support requests/questions after limiting by a search, clear the Search box and click the Search button.
- The default sort of the list of support requests is on the Date Created of the support request, in descending order (most recently created first). To change the default sort and the order, use the Advanced Search window. You can also click on the column headers to resort by that parameter and to resort by ascending/descending order.
- To update your request, open the request by clicking on it. You can add additional information in the text box or add attachments. If you do not wish to close the request, choose “Yes, please keep this request open” and click Submit to send the update.
- If you wish to close the request, you may enter a response and choose “No, please close this request” and click Submit. This will send your response and close the request.
- In the Account Settings window, you can change your username, update contact information or follow the link to change your password. Be sure to save changes by clicking the Save Changes button.
- In the Notifications window, you choose products/subproducts for which you wish to receive email notification of updates to answers. To set notifications on specific answers, access the answer and choose “Notify Me” at the bottom of the page.
If you have a question regarding the service you have received please contact PALS via phone. Please include the reference number of the Support Center request that you would like to follow up on.