Using the Service Cloud Sidebar and Custom Links - dummies

Using the Service Cloud Sidebar and Custom Links

By Jon Paz, T. J. Kelley

When you log in to Service Cloud, the Home page is the first page you see. The sidebar column on the left appears on almost all Salesforce pages.

The sidebar column.
The sidebar column.

If your sidebar looks different or contains certain components that we don’t cover here, your organization probably uses or develops third-party applications to enhance basic Salesforce functionality. For example, if your support agents use a softphone within Service Cloud, you may find that your organization supports computer telephony integration (CTI) and integrates a softphone third-party add-on.

Creating new records

Using the Create New drop-down on the Home page, you can quickly create new records and save yourself a bunch of clicks. Just click the drop-down and choose the type of record you want to create on the fly. On the individual tab Home page (the initial landing page you’re taken to after clicking a tab), you see a Quick Create section in the sidebar.

This section lets you create a new record pertaining to that tab, such as a new Account, with only having to enter a few fields. Yes, it’s that easy and it can save you loads of time in the long run.

The Quick Create section on a tab Home page.
The Quick Create section on a tab Home page.

Although Quick Create is great for creating lots of records quickly, beware of data integrity issues. You can find yourself with many records with missing information. For example, if you have required fields upon the creation of certain records, users can bypass this requirement using the Quick Create feature if the field doesn’t appear. If this is a problem for your organization, an administrator can disable the Quick Create feature.

Searching from the Home page

You can use the Search function on the Home page sidebar to perform quick search queries with one click. Just follow these steps:

  1. Enter the keywords you want to search for in the Search field.

  2. If you want to search only records you own, click the Limit to Items I Own check box.

  3. Click Go.

    Salesforce’s Search Results page appears, displaying different lists organized by object type, such as accounts, contacts, opportunities, and so on.

    The Search Results page.
    The Search Results page.
  4. To select a record from one of the lists, click the record from the Name column.

    The record’s detail page appears. The detail page is the actual layout of a record and displays the information of that particular record.

  5. If the type of record you’re looking for is not available, click the Advanced Search link.

    From here, you can expand the scope of your search by selecting additional objects to search.

    The Advanced Search screen allows you to broaden the scope of your search.
    The Advanced Search screen allows you to broaden the scope of your search.

If you don’t find a particular record you’re looking for, before sounding the alarms, remember that your administrator may have limited your privileges. Check with your company’s Salesforce administrator if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

Reviewing your Recent Items list

The Recent Items list shows you a list of the last ten records you’ve viewed. You can click any of these records to quickly revisit them. This is especially useful if you log out and then log in again and want to quickly get to where you were. Sometimes the Recent Items list is a good reminder of what you’ve been doing.

Saving time with custom links and components

You can add custom HTML elements or displays for other users, such as images and logos or special messages. If you use other websites for certain aspects of the job, shortcut links that appear on the sidebar can save you time.

An administrator can also choose to expose these links to specific user profiles in your organization or show it to everyone in the company. For example, if your company uses a content or inventory management tool outside of Salesforce, an administrator can easily add a link to it in the sidebar.

Using the Recycle Bin

The sidebar also contains a Recycle Bin, which gives you the ability to search for (and recover) recently deleted records for up to 15 days before they’re permanently purged.