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GCode is Complicated
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Introducing Custom Tailored Help for CNC’ers Like You

Dec 11, 2016   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business, Products, Software  //  No Comments

Custom Tailored

Custom tailoring: it’s above my pay grade, but those who can afford it say it is absolutely the best. Far better than buying off-the-rack clothing.

Private lessons are a little more within reach, and I’ve had the pleasure of private tutors from time to time.  They beat being part of a classroom with lots of students hands down.  You learn so much more and so much faster when the teaching program is focused on your needs and not some abstract ideal for everyone.

I have tried to make our software as custom tailored as I can, and I constantly find new things to try along those lines.  Our G-Wizard Calculator has unprecedented capabilities to tailor itself to exactly the machine, tooling, workpiece materials, and cutting conditions you’re facing.  That’s how you gain an advantage over simple rules of thumb, and it works.

I do all of our Customer Service here.  I answer every email that is the least bit technical, though I do have help processing orders.  I read all of my emails as well.  It’s a Big Job, to say the least.  But, it is an important job from several perspectives.

First, I feel like I can provide better help than a hired gun Customer Service representative.  Nothing wrong with the latter, and at the rate we’re growing, eventually I will have to let go of some of it.  But for the hardest questions, the ones that haven’t been answered a thousand times before, I feel I can provide better help than that Customer Service Rep can.  Those answers need to be personally tailored to the question for best results, and it takes a lot of background knowledge about CNC and about our special software to do it well.

The other reason I do it is because it lets me hear your voices.  The Voice of the Customer is hugely valuable for any business.  Hearsay from others talking to your customers is helpful, but it isn’t as valuable as hearing directly.

When you hear directly, a picture builds up one voice at a time of what your audience thinks about your products and the articles you’re writing.  Many of the best ideas in G-Wizard came about because your voices made me aware of problems I hadn’t ever considered.  Our special Mini-Calc for Vacuum Fixtures (limits cutting forces so your parts don’t pop off the vacuum table) is a great example.  It came about because someone trying out G-Wizard told me they didn’t think they could use it.  They were afraid it would produce such aggressive feeds and speeds that the small parts they were making could never stay glued down to their vacuum table.

We now have so many more customers than any competitor, and we hear so many more Customer Voices, that I feel the Customer Voices give us a tremendous advantage.  We see and hear things a long time before competitors can.

One of the things I’ve been working on hard for the last few months is to personalize our email help.  When you sign up for one of our free trials, you get a series of emails that are designed to help you learn the software and get it solving your problems quickly.  This is an ideal task to want to personalize.  Consider that the needs of a beginning CNC’er with a little Shapeoko CNC Router are far different than an experienced professional running a big horizontal machining center with all the good options.  The two are almost night and day different!

Having dealt with all kinds of customers, I know I have to tailor my answers to your questions for your background if they are to be helpful.

G-Wizard handles the differences just fine–I’ve worked on creating that flexibility in it for years, and I feel comfortable saying no other product comes close to having that degree of flexibility.  But, until now, we haven’t had the ability to tailor the email training.  Instead, I have simply offered up a very wide range of articles to let you self-select.

buffet

CNCCookbook offers a rich smorgasbord of information for CNC’ers.  (That’s me in the white hat–just kidding!)

Now that’s not necessarily bad, and one of the huge advantages of choosing our products is that we do have thousands of helpful articles about nearly every imaginable CNC topic.  Competing software will largely give you the software, it’s documentation, and that’s about it. You’re on your own–sink or swim.  The beginners mostly sink, and while the professionals don’t find it so hard to swim, it’s hard to really become expert with a piece of software under those conditions.  Here, there is a rich smorgasbord of information to help you learn and become a better CNC’er, and wherever it makes sense, that information is tailored to teach you about our software too.

All that said, I believe the next level is to add personalized help.

Introducing Custom Tailored Help for CNC’ers Like You

This week I have rolled out the first example of custom tailored help for G-Wizard.  Not long after you signup, you’ll get an email that has a passage like this:

Now, to ensure the best possible G-Wizard Calculator experience, I need your help.

Help me understand which category you fall into, so I can tailor the information I send to get you the results you want.

Just click the link below that best describes your situation:

– or –
– or –

Feel free to click several if you’d like to receive more kinds of information.  If you don’t want the extra help click this link:

No thanks, I don’t want anything extra right now.

By clicking on those links, you’re telling the email system what your preferences are so it can custom tailor the mails it sends to you.  I have a track for Beginners and a track for Experienced CNC’ers.  Shortly, I will introduce a third track that’s designed for CNC Router users who primarily cut wood and soft materials.

The links above work, and if you click them, you will start to receive those emails.  But, I will also cut to the chase with what’s at the other end–it’s another idea inspired by one of you!

Worked Examples

We have a large educational audience that involves several hundred schools.  G-Wizard helps students to learn quickly and saves wear and tear on the school’s machines and tooling too!

I had a query from one of these customers who wondered whether I could point them to any worked examples.   You know, like the exercises in a textbook where you work through them and then go look up the answers to see if you did it right.  At the time I didn’t, but he sure made the light bulb go off.  Rather than presenting individual features in the abstract, embedding them into worked examples tailored to specific audiences with specific knowledge and experience levels seemed like it had a lot of potential.

showyourwork

We learn a lot from explicit examples that show how others solve problems…

We learn a lot from explicit examples that show how others solve problems.  So, I put together the email series so you can tailor the information you receive and I also put together some examples that really go in-depth on specific problems:

Examples for Beginning CNC’ers

– and –

Examples for Experienced CNC’ers

I will also be adding a set of examples for CNC Router users, and eventually for CNC Lathe users.  If you haven’t already, go ahead and thumb through the examples.  They’re in-depth real world problems that CNC’ers have to solve every day with a spin that shows how G-Wizard can make the problems so much easier to deal with.

I hope you like them, and I will continue to add new examples over time.  I’ll also keep an eye to see whether further personalization can help too.

 

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Introducing Custom Tailored Help for CNC’ers Like You
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