What do you do if you have problem with your CAD software? How do you get help?
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Sometimes I get emails or comments asking me for a solution. It’s not that I don’t want to answer, I will answer as soon as I have time. And the time zone difference will make it even longer. There are ways for you to get help faster.
Let’s see the options.
Note: I focus on Autodesk products because I have access to their support. But you should be able to use these for other software too.
Find it using search engine
Search engine like Google has become the most popular way to find information on internet.
Let’s say you ask your colleague when you don’t see AutoCAD open file dialog box. It’s not a surprise for us if he says:
“I had that problem once, but I can’t remember it! Just find it on Google.”
How to perform better search
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The problem is sometimes it’s difficult to find the correct answer.
You can limit your search within a website. Let’s say you want to limit your search in Autodesk website. Open your browser, go to google.com.
Type your inquiry then add site:autodesk.com after your keywords inquiry. This search will give you result from knowledge base, discussion forums and from every source under autodesk.com domain.
Another example, finding dynamic block tutorial on CAD notes. The query is ”dynamic block” tutorial site:cad-notes.com. The quotes will force Google to use exact phrase.
Almost every website provides their own search box. However, I believe Google is still the best. We just need to learn using it more efficiently.
There are many more search operators to get better search result. If you want to find out more, go see the complete list of Google search operators here.
Ask it on twitter
Your response is probably like “yeah, right!”. But it’s true.
Many big companies are actually using twitter to support customers. I use it many times to get support, and I always get response.
Autodesk has dedicated twitter account to support their customers: @AutodeskHelp.
It’s a convenient way to ask a quick question. The team will answer almost everything Autodesk support related, but you need to remember that twitter is for public. Be careful so you don’t give sensitive data. Like serial number.
Ask in discussion group/forum
Discussion groups are the place where the customers can get help by the others. The employees are also monitoring the forum, but most likely you will get answer from the others.
Autodesk has a discussion group. You can submit your questions there. If you email me a question, you only ask me. But if you ask in the forum, there will be hundreds of active members that can help you, 24/7.
Discussion forum is a great place to learn and get help. The senior members were also beginners once. And they probably start using discussion group because they have problem. Like you. And when they become good on it, they decide to help the other member.
So if you feel that the discussion forum can help you, you should consider to participate and help the others as well.
There are many other independent forums that you can try to visit. I believe many of them are also active in Autodesk discussion group, but you should try to visit them as well.
To name a few:
Contact your reseller
Contacting the reseller is a logical choice. If you purchase your software from reseller, then ask them to help you.
Yes, I didn’t put this at the first place. Sometimes the problem is easy to solve. Using above solutions probably can give you solution faster.
Request a web support
If you are on subscription, then use your advantages. You can request a web support to Autodesk.
You can see how to request a web support here: Web Support for Subscription Products & Services
Which one is your preferred method?
Each method has it’s own advantages and downsides. Using search engine can quickly give you answer, if the answer is available on internet. Many times it can help you to solve it quickly. Using forums and twitter is probably not really convenient if you need to provide sensitive data.
Asking your reseller or Autodesk web support probably will take more time. But we can let them to trace the problem and we can relax a bit.
So which one is your favorite place to find solution? And why?