C17.11. Technical and other support. Support for registrars and for Internet users and registrants. Describe technical help systems, personnel accessibility, web-based, telephone and other support, support services to be offered, time availability of support, and language-availability of support.

To support the .org registrars, the UIA Team will provide a complete customer service solution. Registrants and end users will be directed to their registrar for support, though the UIA Team will be available for escalation of very high level complaints related to policy and compliance. The UIA Team customer service function will contain the following elements:

  • 7x24x365 support
  • Support for business functions
  • Support for technical functions
  • Language support
  • Telephone, e-mail and web-based support
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools and technology
  • Customer Service and Registrar Tools

A customer service desk (CSD) located alongside the RCC (also staffed 7x24x365) will be able to instantly escalate technical issues. The UIA Team will address issues that require escalation during normal business hours.

Hours of Operation

The CSD will be staffed 7x24x365. This coverage is essential to handle the variety of registrar issues that may surface in support of the .org TLD. These issues normally focus on connectivity problems, registration problems, reporting problems, domain name or nameserver maintenance, and finally, billing issues. Onsite coverage will allow the support team to escalate issues immediately to either business or technical teams on behalf of the registrars.

Onsite support also assists with internal company escalations. If any issues require communication with the registrars, the CSD will be able to communicate the problem to the registrars and handle questions or concerns from the customer base.

Language Support

Language Line will be used for all telephone and document translation needs. Language Line is a 24-hour operation that offers instant access to interpreters versed in more than 200 languages. This service has been instrumental in allowing the CSD to communicate more easily with registrars during escalations. If a registrar is having a problem, the CSD will be able to conference in an interpreter and begin collecting information regarding their issue. Minimal time will be lost due to language barriers.

Occasionally, foreign language e-mails are received at the CSD. In these situations, an online translation tool on AltaVista will be used to interpret the e-mail. Telephone calls remain the primary use for Language Line. The use of a language service will enable the .org CSD to support a large base of languages at a reasonable cost.

Telephone, E-mail and Web-Based Support

The CSD will utilize a basic Nortel telephone system that allows Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) to log into a queue and accept incoming calls. The Nortel telephone system includes these standard features:

  • Greeting/welcome message for customers
  • Hold music
  • Menu-driven customer choices
  • Reporting system
  • Call monitoring
  • Conference call
  • Transfer call features
  • Multi-agent login
  • Ability to create skill sets and direct calls to certain agents
  • A back-up system that can reroute calls to a DR site if necessary

A Microsoft Exchange Server will be used to handle all e-mail communications, with Outlook Express the client interface used to process e-mails. The Exchange server provides these basic functions:

  • Multiple e-mail accounts
  • Multiple user access
  • Closed mailing lists
  • Archiving of all messages
  • Easy management of all customer e-mails and storage of messages
  • Easy search features to locate customer e-mails
  • Options to create rules for easier filing
  • Virus protections
  • SPAM protection
  • Encryption features for added security
  • Back-up e-mail system in case the CSD needs to fail over to disaster recovery site

The UIA Team will establish a web site to house important information and tools for the registrars, which will be accessible by using a userid and password assigned by the CSD. All registrars will be assigned a userid and password as part of the certification process. The following list covers the types of material to be made available to the registrars:

  • Software Development Kits in C and Java
    • Contain the source code required to perform RRP commands

  • Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) Acceptance Criteria
    • This document contains the Tests Cases required to be certified as a .org registrar.
    • The OT&E environment allows registrars to test their system before taking the formal exam.

  • OT&E FAQ
    • Lists the most popular questions and answers we receive on ramping up as a registrar.

  • Calendar of Scheduled Maintenances
    • List of the upcoming maintenances to be performed over the next 60 days.

  • News Bulletins
    • These announcements focus on customer feedback, bugs, changes in policy, etc.

  • Billing FAQ
    • Questions and answers related to the invoices generated for registrars.

  • Links to Registrar Tool
    • Direct link to the web-based Registrar Tool (described in detail below).

  • Registrar Tool User Guide
    • User guide on how to operate the Registrar Tool.

  • Registrar Reference Manual
    • A laymen's guide to using RRP and understanding the business rules applicable to domain and nameserver registrations.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tool

The UIA Team will use advanced CRM software to track all customer contacts. This software includes the following features:

  • Ability to organize customer contact information
  • Ability to categorize requests by e-mail/telephone/web
  • Ability to organize company information
  • Ability to create Case Types (e.g., billing problem, technical problem, etc.)
  • Ability to create internal departments (e.g., Ops, Finance, Engineering)
  • Ability to dispatch customer requests to other departments
  • Ability to assign a level of priority to each customer request
  • Ability to create a database of solutions to various issues
  • Ability to generate canned summary reports

When communicating with registrars, the CSD will always use the Clarify case number for future reference. A daily report will be generated showing the status of all open issues and distributed to the RCC, Operations and Engineering departments. These departments will use Clarify as well to document and research their assigned cases. This results in a permanent audit trail of actions and status that can be accessed in real time by .org registry business, and technical and customer service staff.

Registrar and CSR Tools

Web-based CSR tools will provide the UIA Team with direct access to the .org registry database, allowing them to perform domain name and nameserver maintenance on behalf of registrars. The CSR tool will also allow Finance staff to add/transfer monies within registrar accounts.

Registrars will also be given a scaled-down version of the CSR tool. The Registrar tool allows registrars to be self-sufficient and less reliant on the CSD for each domain name or nameserver issue. The features of this tool include:

  • Domain Name maintenance: Modify, Delete, Renew, Transfer
  • Nameserver maintenance: Add, Modify, Delete
  • Registrar Account maintenance: add/delete contacts, check account balance
  • Reports:
    • Daily Transaction Reports (previous-day adds/mods/del/renew activity)
    • Daily Transfer Report (previous-day transfer activity)
    • Daily AutoRenew Report (previous-day autorenew activity)
    • Weekly Domain Name Report (list of all domain names owned by a registrar)
    • Weekly Nameserver Report (list of all nameservers owned by a registrar)
    • Weekly Domain Names Hosted Nameserver Report

Registrar Surveys

Twice a year, UIA will conduct a survey among the registrar community. The goal of the survey is to measure the level of satisfaction among registrars with UIA's registry service and their overall satisfaction with the business, technical and support aspects of the .org registry. This survey also allows registrars to provide feedback and suggestions regarding escalation, ramp-up or finance issues. Customer surveys are handled in a modern fashion, utilizing a web site where registrars can complete the survey online in a matter of minutes, increasing participation and reducing cycle time.

Advanced Technical Support

For issues requiring technical expertise beyond what the customer service desk can provide, the Registry Command Center is onsite 7x24x365, and a 50-person technical staff is available 7x24x365 for any Severity 1 problem (problems materially impacting a registrar's ability to do business). Technical issues that are not high severity are handled during normal business hours. 


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