I try to spend a decent amount of time on the Microsoft CRM newsgroups, ensuring questions customers have about the feature areas I work on are answered well. While reviewing the posts, I definitely see ones that are better than others. I thought I would present some tips on how to create a quality post, which helps you get an answer to your problem.
Always search the newsgroups for the answer to your problem before posting your problem. In most cases, someone else has run into the same problem you have and there’s already a problem/solution post for your issue. This seems obvious, but taking some time on your part will help ensure the new and tough problems will get attention from the MVPs and MS employees. If you find a post about your problem, but without a solution, reply to that thread instead of creating a new one. Your information may help solve another person’s problem.
Always use the right newsgroup to categorize your issue. There’s a reason 3 different newsgroups were created (general, developer, deployment) so posts could be categorized and those folks with expertise in those areas could focus on them.
Always provide the necessary information to understand the problem. Be specific about the issue you are running into, provide the version you are using, give clear steps in a numbered fashion to reproduce the problem, provide log files or screenshots of the problem. When we file bugs on new product development efforts, these are the key things needed to troubleshoot and fix an issue, and it’s the same thing we need to understand yours as well.
Always reply if a suggestion solves your problem. There’s nothing more rewarding for me than to know I helped solve a customer’s problem by getting a quick acknowledgement from them.
Always log suggestions you see for key features missing from the product. Believe it or not, we do review these on a monthly basis.
Always be polite. It doesn’t help to bash the product or its creators no matter how frustrated you are. J
Be a contributor, not just a consumer. As you gain experience over time you can help others as well. Pay back to the community what you received from it.
Hope this helps you get the answers you need.