13 October, 2009

Getting support from EurekaLog team

Where?

There are many ways to contact EurekaLog's team:
The best option is to use support sending form.

That's because you can select type of your request, so it will go directly to appropriate category in our internal support system (the very similar way is to use our support system - it provides a little more detailed options, but setting them wrong can slow down your ticket processing).

You can use our forum, if you want to discuss your issue in public (all other ways of conversation keeps your messages private, not accessible by other users) or if you want to hear opinions from other customers of EurekaLog (and not only from EurekaLog team). In all other cases it is best to select another way.

The sending e-mail (while looking very convenient) is not a best choice. That's because e-mails must be sorted and inserted into queues manually. So, if you send us a e-mail with support request, it first needs to be redirected to appropriate ticket's queue and only then answered by staff. Other reason: you may forget to specify about what version of EurekaLog you're talking, so your request may be placed in wrong queue (like Delphi/C++ Builder instead of .NET), so it may takes days (spend in strange conversation), until we realize mistake. In other words, if you want to get reply faster - it is better to use support sending form and specify proper options.

Our internal support system also have external interface, so you can use it directly. It provides you most options, but probably it is too much for majority of our customers. It can be also used to troubleshot problems with your support tickets (see below).

Of course, you can also use IM client to ask questions. But it is better to use it to ask short questions, which requires simple answer. Like "Is there any plan for XXX?". Such answer can be answered very fast. It is not a good idea to ask questions like "I'm trying to do XXX. I do YYY and ZZZ. I'm getting AAA instead of BBB. What am I doing wrong?". It is best to send this question via support sending form (it is also a good idea to attach screenshots and demo).

What to write?

It is very important part, as it may greatly speed up/slow down processing of your request. First, simple rules about choosing options for your ticket (if you use support sending form): select appropriate category for your request.
  • If you have question about prices, warranty, licenses, upgrades, your registered previous account/e-mail, etc, etc - you should place it to "Sales" category (it is called "Pre-saled questions" in support form though).
  • If you have question about EurekaLog usage, how to do XXX, does it support YYY, problems, bugs, etc, etc - you should place it to "Support" category.
  • Place your question in "General" category only if it is really a general question. Like "Are there any plans for EurekaLog for PocketPC"? :D  In other case, your ticket will be redirected to other category, and you just lose your time waiting.
Other important part is the message itself (wow, that was a great statement :D ).

PLEASE, specify your versions of EurekaLog, IDE and Windows. Remember: support staff do not have telepathic abilities and they can't read your thoughts. If you don't point this, then you will slow down processing, as the very first reply may be like this: "Excuse me, are we talking about Delphi or C++ Builder here?" :) BTW, it is good idea to reinstall EurekaLog, using the latest available RC version. That's because your issue may be already fixed. You may also send a request and check a new version while request is processed.

Of course, your message should be quite clear about what you want us to do, but I'll leave this part to your hands ;)

Other piece is demo or steps to reproduce. Many of our clients think: "gosh, it is so simple, just do XXX and you'll see what I mean". Ummm... except when I do this on my machine, nothing happens. That's because client uses some option or event handler. So it is a good idea to reproduce your issue in just empty VCL application with one TButton and "raise Exception.Create('Test');" in its OnClick. If you try to do that, you may often unable to get test application behave like desired. And if you look deeper - you may notice differences between test application and your application (options, events, etc), that caused your issue. That way you'll be able to solve it by yourself (BTW, I recommend to use import/export buttons to transfer your EurekaLog's settings between projects). Doing a little work before sending question can save you days of conversation.

Of course, there can be cases, when you're unable to reproduce your issue in new application. In that case just mention it: "I wasn't able to reproduce it in a test project" and don't forget to attach your project's settings, screenshots, etc - anything, that can give a hint.

Hint: instead of screenshooting every page of your EurekaLog's options, you may just export your settings to .eof file and send it to us (there is "Export" button in EurekaLog's options dialog).

Well, it is fine to state your requests as "I've assigned exception event, but it is not getting called. What am I doing wrong?", but be prepared to long conversation in that case :D

Using native languages?

If you don't speak English (gosh, in that case, you're not reading this blog's post, right?), then you can write in your native language. EurekaLog staff will use some translator to translate your request and answers to appropriate language. But it is not recommended. If you only know English a little, you may say your request as you can in English and repeat it on your native language. That's because it's hard to understand machine translations. So if your request was short-formulated and was badly translated by auto-translator - we'll simply not understand you. So attaching your request in bad, but still "human-produced" English may greatly help.

Some of you may write in native language even if you're capable of speaking English - if you know, that someone from EurekaLog team speaks on that language too. Well, this is still a not so good idea. As your request may be answered by different people, and sometimes we discuss certain issues together, so it is good to keep conversation in English, so everyone can read it (without need to use machine translator).

Heck, I'm not native English speaker too, so my English must be far from ideal :D (I hope you have no problems with understanding my blog's posts though :) ). So there can be cases of some misunderstanding. If you think that somebody don't get your actual request - please, keep your anger down and try to explain in other words or in more details.

I'm not getting any response?

Unfortunately, sometimes this happens. Really, we may miss your reply and so your thread may be forgotten, but I can assure you, that this is really a rare case. In most other cases there is lost e-mail or similar case. If you have not received expected reply in reasonable amount of time (say, a week) - send your message again!

If you use forum, you may notice, that the last message on every thread is usually by one of EurekaLog team members. By keeping that "last word" from us, we can quickly see if there is any unanswered topic on forum.

If you use e-mails, then there can be chances that reply was marked as spam or was rejected due to suspicious attachment. Please, check you trash/spam folder (or similar) in your e-mail client. Do not hesitate to send reply again, if you suspect that your reply can be lost.

Please note, that we use GMail for delivering e-mails, so be sure that your messages do not contain illegal attachments (you can pack exe files into 7z-archive).

If you use our support system (note, that often your e-mails are redirected to our support system too) - then it is the best case, as you can check status of your request in any time. First, note, that every time your request is registered, you should get automatic response like this:
Thank you for contacting us. This is an automated response sent to you in order to confirm the receipt of your message. We will attend to your ticket as soon as possible. We've listed the details of the ticket you created below for your records. When replying, please keep the ticket's ID in the subject to ensure that your replies are tracked correctly.

Ticket ID: your-ticket-ID-here
Subject: your-subject-here
Department: Delphi-Support
Priority: Low
Status: Open

You can check the status of or reply to this ticket online at: http://support.eurekalog.com/
Please use the following credentials when accessing your account with us:

Email: your-e-mail-here
Password: your-password-here

If you don't receive this reply (and it is not in your "spam" folder) in few hours - resend your request immediately! You may also try to use different contact method.

So, if you didn't receive any reply for long period of time - you can check the entire history at http://support.eurekalog.com/. Just enter your e-mail and password, which were provided in automatic reply. You'll see all your and stuff replies, so you can check if all replies were delivered correctly. Please, always check your ticket status before re-sending reply or making complaints.

If you think there is a problem with delivering on our side - do not hesitate to make complaints :)

What's next?

Well, I have just one favour to ask of you. If your request was answered and you're satisfied with answer - then PLEASE make some response. Simple "It works" would be more that enough! I ask that because it is not a rare case, when staff solutions were left unanswered. I'm stunned when this happens: was my solution acceptable? Was it actually received at all? May be I don't get request properly and angered customer thinks that I'm just stupid, so it's not use.

Another tiny request: if you have another question after your first issue was resolved - please, create a new support ticket by posting new request. Don't reply to old conversation, saying "I have another problem" ;)

Those are usual good rules for forums. I'm just reminding them :)

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