Blog / Announcements

Help Us Help You: A Guide to Getting Quick and Effective Support


by Michael Berry

May 27, 2019

Providing a chat support option was a big step for Kentico and has proven to be accessible, fast, and enjoyable. We've had a lot of pleasant conversations with customers, and helping customers through chat has been a rewarding approach to the otherwise mechanical grind of solving support issues through email. 

Your success is our success, and there is something extremely satisfying about smiling emoticons when we’re able to solve an issue together in a chat conversation. 

Top Things to Consider 

Pleasantries aside, we also know that timely responses to your questions are important and that high-pressure deadlines can severely reduce your smiley-face-to-chat-message ratio, so here’s a list of questions to consider before reaching out to the Support Team:

Have you checked our Tutorials or API Reference Guides? 

Aside from testing solutions in our projects, these two resources are the core source of information that we’ll use to troubleshoot issues and discuss features. You may be able to find what you’re looking for with a quick search.

What is the desired end-state?  What are you trying to achieve? 

Context and communication are key for the Support Team to provide accurate and useful suggestions. If we’re confused on what you are trying to accomplish, it may make the process more challenging for both of us and delay the solution.

What have you tried so far, and what are the steps to reproduce the issue?

A major benefit to supporting Kentico Cloud is that we can quickly test the issue in our own projects if you provide steps to reproduce the issue. This can speed up our testing and allows us to see the issue the same way you see it. It also gives us a nice set of steps to quickly pass on to our developers if the issue is a bug, shortening the overall time it takes to create the bug report. 

Is the occurring in multiple projects? What is the ID of the project the issue occurs in? 

Determining if the issue is project-specific, subscription-specific, or exists throughout Kentico Cloud can help us narrow the scope of the issue and can define further steps for testing. For example, if a webhook is not working in one project, but works in one of your other projects, we can start comparing the differences between the two projects instead of troubleshooting webhooks from the ground up.

Is the issue occurring in the Kentico Cloud interface, or is it an issue with the API or frontend website?

Knowing the answer to this question is paramount to providing helpful support. Consider the phrase “I’m trying to find a content item.” Both a developer pulling content items into their frontend over the Delivery API and a content editor filtering items in the content listing can experience this, but they mean totally different things. Being specific in this regard can move things along more quickly and smoothly.

If the issue is related to the Kentico Cloud interface:

  1. What browser are you using?  Does this problem persist in multiple browsers?
    Kentico Cloud runs best on the latest modern browsers. Even so, an update or an unforeseen scenario can cause styling or JavaScript issues. Testing multiple browsers can help us narrow the troubleshooting scope if the problem is unique to one browser.
  2. Are you using browser plugins?
    Sometimes browser plugins can negatively affect the Kentico Cloud interface, so we recommend disabling all plugins to rule out any “foul play” that may be coming from the plugins rather than Kentico Cloud. A great way to do that is to use a private or incognito window.
  3. Have you cleared your browser cache and cookies?
    Stale or incorrect values should never be cached or stored in cookies, but sometimes they just are (there’s always an underlying reason, but there are too many variables to list). Clearing browser cookies and cache or using a private or incognito window helps to ensure that the interface is loading all fresh values and is working as intended.
  4. Are there errors on the page or in the browser console?
    Sending a fullscreen screenshot of any visible errors you encounter can really speed up the support process. Not only do we get the error message presented in the alert, but we can also see where it occurred in the product. Most browsers show the console when you press F12 or may provide an option if you right-click anywhere on the page.

If the issue is related to the API or the frontend website:

  1. Are you using an SDK? If so, which one?
    Although SDK support is available through dedicated community-involved channels (StackOverflow or by submitting a GitHub issue on the SDK‘s repository), this information is important for us to rule out whether the issue stems from the open source SDK’s codebase, your frontend website’s code, or the Delivery API. 
  2. Have you checked the README for the SDK’s GitHub repository?
    Much like our Kentico Cloud Docs, a lot of the core information surrounding the SDKs should be available in the GitHub README.md for that project. This can include important installation and configuration steps that are unique to each SDK.
  3. What version of the SDK are you using and did you upgrade the package recently?
    Most of the Kentico Cloud SDKs follow semantic versioning, meaning that major version releases contain breaking changes and even a minor version release could require adjustments in your app for complete functionality. Checking the “Releases” tab in GitHub for the changes from version to version can help pin down any issues introduced to your project due to a package upgrade.
  4. Have you checked if there is a similar Open issue in the GitHub repository?
    Our Kentico Cloud Developer Community is constantly growing and is great at finding and squashing bugs in their open source projects. It’s possible that someone else has already reported the issue you’re facing on the “Issues” tab in the SDK’s GitHub repository. If you can’t find a similar issue, feel free to submit a new one.
  5. Is the Kentico Cloud Status page showing that the service is up?
    We track our API status and incident reports at status.kenticocloud.com, which can be helpful if your project is not reaching the API endpoints correctly.
  6. Have you tested a cURL request against your project using a browser or a REST client? Testing standard Delivery API requests from our API Reference can help determine if the problem is with the API. For example, a successful response from an item listing or view item request can suggest that the issue is with an SDK or code within your frontend website.
  7. Are you expecting the right results from our APIs? You can request Kentico Cloud content using the Delivery API, which shows published content, or Delivery Preview API, which shows unpublished content. Knowing which API you are using and what content you are expecting from it can help avoid confusing results.
  8. Have you configured caching in your project and are you using the latest version of your code? Making sure you are not experiencing a red herring due to the architecture of your project is a good step to take to rule out possible culprits. If you have configured caching, you could try clearing your cache or restarting your server. If you have a source control solution, you could check that you are not re-treading already-solved bugs.
     

Get Help Quickly

Our global, 24/7 support team is always ready to help you if you need it. By no means is this list exhaustive, nor do we want to discourage anyone from chatting to us in a more relaxed or conversational tone, but running through these points can really shorten the time to resolution when you’re on a tight deadline. 

Help us help you by providing complete troubleshooting information, and we can both spend more time sending cat gifs and thumbs-up emoticons to one another when your project goes live!

If chat is not your thing, you can always email us at support@kenticocloud.com

Should you have any questions about pricing and licensing, or if you need help regarding Sales, please contact our Sales department directly.