At Autodesk, Customer Engagement Comes First (The Awards Come Second)

By Brenda Discher, VP, Customer Service and Support at Autodesk

Well, after making some conscious decisions to get better connected with our customers, we thought we were doing a pretty bang-up job engaging online with our customers and cultivating our community, but it’s nice to see that someone else thinks so too…

This past week at Forrester’s Forum for Marketing Leaders, Autodesk received a Forrester Groundswell Award, which is given each year to companies that demonstrate excellence in social marketing to advance an organizational or business goal.

Perhaps you’d like to know what we consider to be the secret to winning one of these rare awards?  Okay, here it is…

The trick is to be truly invested in your customers and their experience—and to deliver on customers’ needs before they ask.

At Autodesk, we accomplish these goals by approaching social engagement from several different angles.

One of the pillars of our social strategy is our branded community, which is the main hub for directly connecting with customers. It has played an active role in fostering peer-to-peer support and solidifying customer relationships since its establishment in 1986 (on CompuServe! Ah, the memories…).

We take help seriously. Our recently-launched Autodesk Knowledge Network provides a place for users to find product solutions, learn more about products, and link in to the community. Meanwhile, Autodesk Help Webinars proactively offer customers another way to learn about and experience Autodesk products.


Then there’s the Autodesk Expert Elite program, which was created to recognize those rock star members of the community who have contributed significant time, knowledge, and assistance to fellow customers. We salute you!


Autodesk also looks at the contributions people are making on personal blogs and other social channels, as well as at offline events such as training seminars, to get a 360-degree view of the conversations. That’s part of our Total Community strategy—and it’s really delivering results.

Our social media efforts will continue to evolve and change, but they will always be in service to stronger customer engagement and a first-class customer experience. After all, we have an award to defend!

Note: Interested in the details behind Autodesk’s Total Community strategy? Learn more here.