Salesforce Service Cloud For Dummies Cheat Sheet - dummies
Cheat Sheet

Salesforce Service Cloud For Dummies Cheat Sheet

From Salesforce Service Cloud For Dummies

By Jon Paz, T. J. Kelley

As a software-as-a-service (SaaS) business platform and engine, Salesforce constantly innovates in order to improve upon existing features and create new enhancements to improve customer experiences worldwide. With so many native, flexible features to solve business challenges, it can be tough to know which one is right for your organization.

Solidifying Your Expertise with Key Salesforce Service Cloud Resources

If you already have a solid foundation of Service Cloud features and functionality, you can use the following guides to enhance your instance or just to learn more granular details about Service Cloud settings, “gotchas,” and less-used functionality:

  • The Salesforce AppExchange: Similar to an app store, the AppExchange is a great resource to learn about and install business applications for Service Cloud. Various users or organizations develop these apps and push the envelope of Service Cloud functionality to the next level. Make sure to browse the AppExchange for existing Service Cloud–specific applications before building out a similar solution in your instance and reinventing the wheel.

  • Salesforce Service Cloud Resources: Salesforce provides its own marketing material and resources in the form of datasheets, webinars, and e-books. Leverage these materials to deepen your understanding of their product.

  • Salesforce Help & Training: Salesforce provides a vast repository of documentation on essentially every feature and release in Service Cloud. To get there from your instance, at the top right of your screen, between your name and the blue app picker, click Help. A pop-up window appears with Salesforce online documentation, including tip sheets and implementation guides, as well as online training videos and the Salesforce knowledge base.

The Differences between Salesforce Portals and Communities

Salesforce portals and communities empower your customers and partners by providing a social forum directly related to your internal business processes so that they can connect with the right information and the right people at the right moments.

Depending on when your organization began using Salesforce, portals may no longer be relevant because they aren’t available for new organizations. Perhaps you’re still holding tight to your organization’s customer portal because it’s what you’ve always known. What you need to know moving forward is that communities are effectively upgraded portals, rebranded as communities.

With a number of features carrying over and a wealth of new enhancements, Salesforce communities allow your organization to pursue your business goals in the following ways:

  • Business integration: Integrate your business processes with your community to allow customers and employees to collaborate on the same records in the same space.

  • Social feed: Follow the records you care about most and work together with subject matter experts to resolve customer issues and close deals.

  • Branding and customization: Customize your communities to align with company branding and messaging. Create a community that will promote your brand and give your customers and employees a seamless experience.

  • Mobile: Access communities from any of your devices.

  • Social intelligence: Receive recommendations and content tailored for your interests and business needs within your communities.

  • Security and scalability: Know that your data and user information is safe with the Salesforce platform because the community is an extension of your internal organization.

  • Self-service: Empower your customers to help themselves to take the load off your support staff and allow them to focus on your most complex customer issues.

The Differences between Knowledge and Solutions in Salesforce Service Cloud

It’s important to understand the differences between certain Service Cloud features to make smarter decisions for your business, especially when money is involved. Here we take an inside look at Knowledge and Solutions features and terms:

  • Unlike Solutions, using the knowledge base requires Knowledge feature licenses, which come at an additional cost.

  • Unlike Solutions, Knowledge comes with a suite of reporting and analytics to give you insight into your knowledge base, article statistics, and ratings.

  • Although Solutions continues to be supported, Knowledge is at the forefront of Salesforce iteration and development. Expect to see continuous improvement and enhancements in Salesforce Knowledge.

  • Knowledge allows for article segmentation and categorization with data categories. With Solutions, you can’t expose different Knowledge articles to your internal team than you do to your customers.

  • Knowledge search and integration with cases is more advanced and leads to quicker case resolution.

  • Unlike Solutions, Knowledge leverages the Chatter feed and a publishing approval process for enhanced team collaboration.

  • Knowledge Articles support rich text format like a Word document, while Solutions don’t. That means no bolding or italicizing; just paragraph breaks between plain texts.

Answers vs. Chatter Answers in Salesforce Service Cloud

Both Answers and Chatter Answers bring Cases, Questions & Answers, and Salesforce Knowledge together to allow service organizations to provide self-service forums where customers can interact with each other and support agents to ask and answer questions.

Depending on when your organization started using Salesforce, Chatter Answers may be your only option. Salesforce Answers is not available to new organizations, but existing Answers communities can be converted to Chatter Answers communities with a license upgrade, which comes at an additional cost.

Chatter Answers represents the self-service, Q&A community of the present and future with Salesforce and empowers your service organization and customers with the following features:

  • Private conversations with agents: Customers have the option of interacting publicly or privately with support agents.

  • Email notifications: Customers receive email notifications when their questions are answered, or if their answers are chosen as best answers.

  • Multiple communities: Chatter Answers allows for multiple, dedicated communities to focus on particular topics and purposes.

  • Community governance: Chatter Answers communities allow users to flag abusive or inappropriate questions and replies.

  • Like posts or knowledge articles: Customers can also like posts and knowledge articles that they find helpful to drive the popularity of the most relevant posts.