What information should be provided when submitting a support call to InFlow Technology, and what are the best practices for describing a question when reporting an issue.
Let's first tackle the obvious question: How do you contact the InFlow Support Team?
If you choose to Login to the Support Portal, you will then be redirected to the CATI Support Portal where INFLOW and CATI share this capability. You will be asked to login.
If you do not have a log in, you can easily request one, and you will be provided a login.
Now that you have determined a method of contacting InFlow, effectively submit your issue.
THE SUBJECT LINE OF YOUR SUPPORT ISSUE:
Although it might seem unreasonable or silly for some, composing a good informative subject line for the issue will make sure that the most qualified person, someone that is specifically trained in the area is helping you with your issue.
An Example of a bad Subject line: "EPDM issues"
On the other hand a short, an informative subject line like this one will give enough information for the issue to be assigned to a support engineer specializing in Installation Issues: "SolidWorks EPDM 2012 SP1 installation fails with error 1603 on Dell M90 laptop with Windows 7." Skilled members can tell, at a glance, what problem you're having, on what product version, and perhaps even the reason for your problem.
THE SUBJECT BODY OF YOUR SUPPORT ISSUE:
When asking questions it is vital to format the question and its content in a proper way in order to greatly increase the possibility for a prompt resolution, thus saving you time and frustration.
You know you have not provided enough information when you receive the following response after submitting a support request: "Your question does not contain all the required information needed for us to reproduce or research the issue and help you". At this point, we may request that you clarify the question or re-submit your question following the guidelines listed below.
Know how to ask the question, and provide all the necessary information in your initial contact. For example, a question like: "Please help me, I cannot log into the Vault" will typically receive the same sort of answers that this blog tries to teach you how to avoid. The support engineer would need to ask for more information, which in turn will cause you to come back and explain yourself, thus lengthening the answering process. Good examples of questions will include information from most of the following list:
- Research obvious answers in the guides provided within EPDM media kit and help files
- Assist us in determining that this issue being experience by an individual user or an entire team
- Describe what steps have already been taken, and what was the result of your actions?
- Describe you're availability to assist in researching the solution
- What was the exact error message that you received?
- Gather screen shots of errors and warnings
- Collect support information… (in the Admin tool, RMB on your vault icon)
- How long have you been experiencing this problem?
- Have you recently installed or uninstalled any software or hardware?
- What changes were made to the system between the time everything last worked and when you noticed the problem?
- Is the problem reproducible?
- Is this problem affecting the entire team, or just you?
- What Operating System are you using?
- What SolidWorks version and Service Pack level are you using?
- What EPDM version and Service Pack level are you using?
- Are you are using x32 or x64 version of Windows
- Do you have any special Add-ins installed?
- Is there a Firewall on the host or on the network?
- What does the Application, System or Installation Event Log say?
- Are you using Anti-Virus or Anti-Spyware/Adware tool? If so, have you checked for virus infection?
- Any other information you think we might need in order to help you.
DURING THE SUPPORT CALL:
InFlow, similarly to the CATI support team, will use email, telephone and even WebEx sessions to effectively communicate additional questions and solution suggestions. It will also be acceptable to reply directly to the sender of communications, but please remember, based upon skill sets and consulting projects, you may have several InFlow Team members assist with your issue depending upon the complexity.
Once a solution suggestion has been provided, please follow up with a brief email or call notifying the InFlow Team we can close the call.
If there is a lapse in communication, the Inflow Team may contact you requesting a response, or explain that the call will be closed after a predetermined time frame.
InFlow would like to thank everyone in advance for following these guidelines to help make your support experience enjoyable, productive and most importantly, resolved.