When was the last time a company’s customer service department made you want to throw your phone at a wall?

I’m still seething over my most recent interaction with my auto insurance company, which kept me on hold for more than 45 minutes before connecting me with a live human representative. Every few minutes, the Muzak was briefly interrupted with false hope: Would this pause be the moment that a human would pick up the phone? Nope. It was just a soulless recording stating that there was a “high call volume” and I could get more information on their website.

During that 45 minutes, I tried to do other work, but I carried the phone with me everywhere, even to the bathroom. Far from getting a “customer-first” vibe, this company bluntly communicated that I should feel lucky and grateful to be their customer.

We all experience frustrations like this in our personal lives, but what about when poor customer service impacts your product development process?

As explored in this “Preventing Product Design Bottlenecks” infographic, many CAD vendors have abysmal response times when customers seek help with a technical problem. Let’s explore the reasons why.

The Problem: Radio Silence From CAD Vendors

Historically, the CAD industry has a horrific reputation for ignoring customers when they file bug reports or enhancement requests. Radio silence is the norm. As for talking directly with your CAD vendor? Good luck. In many cases, you need to go through a middleman, your Value-Added Reseller (VAR).

Why is filing software enhancement requests typically such a painful process? Why do so many CAD users feel like nobody is listening – as if their requests are just sucked into a black hole? 

Although every CAD vendor wants to be responsive to their customer needs, it is often difficult for users to accurately describe their problem in an email, through a feedback form, or over the phone. And sometimes the support team simply cannot reproduce what’s happening on their end.

In addition, it usually takes a year or so for the next version of traditional file-based CAD to be released. Improvements are usually included with the latest release versus being part of the more frequent service packs. Waiting “forever” for results has been inevitable.

The Solution: Onshape’s Built-In Feedback Tool & Responsive Tech Support

Onshape has a built-in Feedback tool that puts you in direct contact with Onshape Support. When you send in a request, you get emailed an immediate acknowledgment of receipt and can track the status of your ticket anytime. 

Many Onshape customers report having their issues resolved within days or even hours. Furthermore, the same cloud-native CAD collaboration tools that help Onshape users better communicate with their external partners can also be used by engineers communicating with Onshape Support. Customers who choose to share their models with tech support usually achieve even faster results.

The advantages of a cloud-native platform allowed us to rethink the way you report problems or request help.

A picture is worth a thousand words. At any point while using Onshape, you can initiate the Feedback tool, which is either a menu command or a hot key. This will let you take a snapshot of the screen – at the moment when you are experiencing difficulty – and you’ll be provided with a whole bunch of markup tools. You can write, draw, circle and type comments all over the screen to vividly illustrate what’s happening.

If you come across a bug, you can visually highlight everything that’s going on instead of trying to explain it in an email. 

Because Onshape releases new updates every three weeks, customers do not have to wait a year or “forever” to see their most pressing requests answered. Many of us here at Onshape have also been CAD customers, and our goal is to eliminate that frustrating black-hole feeling that’s been so commonly experienced throughout the industry.

How One Industrial Equipment Company Resolved its Tech Support Problem 

Based in Colorado, FHE designs and manufactures pressure control equipment that makes hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) operations more efficient and safer for oil and gas workers. FHE’s latest innovation is the FracLock, an improved hydraulic wellhead connector that is locked in position by a remotely controlled articulated crane. The system eliminates 85% of the iron pipes required in the traditional fracking setup and further removes personnel from harm’s way – versus the risks of having to make the wellhead connections by hand.

Matthew Kibler at FHE Matthew Kibler, Senior Mechanical Designer for FHE, says he generally hears back from the Onshape Support team within 15 minutes of filing a request.

Before switching to cloud-native Onshape in 2018, Kibler had nearly 20 years of experience using SOLIDWORKS at FHE and his previous mechanical design jobs. Here’s how he recalls his former interactions with tech support.

“My previous experience with the SOLIDWORKS VARs (Value-Added Resellers) is that they were pretty good about getting back to you, but many times they couldn’t answer your question,” he says. “And when you submitted a bug fix, months would go by before you got any response. Some of the things we needed to get resolved very quickly never got resolved at all.”

“With Onshape, generally within 10 to 15 minutes, I will get an actual response from the team saying, ‘Hey, we’re investigating your issue. This has been logged as a ticket and somebody is taking care of it.’” 

“I’m logged into Onshape all day just about every day, and so having somebody contact me within a half hour is huge,” he adds. “One of the other nice features is I can check my account and look at my service request history and read all the logs. You can see all the screenshots and images you gave the tech support team that further enhance the conversation.”

Learn How to Overcome Other Product Development Bottlenecks

Bottlenecks eBooks

Tired of having your product development process interrupted due to poor technical support and other delays inherent to outdated file-based tools?

The “Preventing Product Design Bottlenecks” eBook covers how to address the following problems that happen frequently with file-based CAD:


Get your free copy today and explore why moving to cloud-native CAD will help foster more product innovation and accelerate your time to market.

Preventing Product Design Bottlenecks

In this eBook, explore the six ways file-based CAD slows you down and what you can do about it.