Salesforce has a reputation for offering its users many options when it comes to technical support–but sometimes these many options are staggering. When trying to solve a problem or answer a question, you may not be utilizing the service best suited for the job. To help you know which Salesforce support service to use, we at Eustace have written this handy guide–Next time you’re in a bind, read on!
What: A knowledge hub for Salesforce users–anyone can publish or search for uploaded articles pertaining to a SFDC-related topic.
Available in: Enterprise, Unlimited, and Developer editions
When to use it: SFDC Knowledge is great for company-specific issues, as an article can be created directly from a case–and when a case is solved, users can attach relevant articles to it. Additionally, this service can be a valuable tool for customer support within your company–if Knowledge is enabled in the Customer Portal and/or Partner Portal, clients will be able to search this database too!
What: A knowledge base is a collection of articles/content within Salesforce Knowledge.
Available in: Enterprise, Developer, and Unlimited editions
When to use it: A knowledge base is used by you whenever you find an article on SFDC Knowledge–a more appropriate question is when a knowledge base should be created by you. Anytime you would like to form a collection of knowledge around a certain topic, case, etc–create a knowledge base! It’s a great way to help future coworkers solve case problems quickly, as well as help customers/partners find the answers they’re looking for. To show your prowess to potential clients, create a public knowledge base on your website–which will allow anyone visiting it to access the articles you select (even without a login).
What: A Salesforce Community is a customized online social community of users, partners, and customers.
Available in: Available in all editions, for an extra fee
When to use it: Communities are best for companies that are willing to donate their time to customer support–whereas SFDC Knowledge requires answers to be found by customers, Communities allows customers to ask questions of the company users. If your team doesn’t have the time or regular availability to answer these questions, you’ll look neglectful. If the Community is only internal, it’s useful to find answers here when you’re asking them of more experienced SFDC users, or those that have dealt with a specific case previously. Remember to keep them brief, so you don’t slow coworkers down!
What: SFDC Answers is an online forum of all Salesforce.com users. It is a feature of the Community application. Similar to other “answers” services, given answers are ranked according to usefulness, with one winning the title “Best Answer.”
Available in: All editions
When to use it: Answers is the best of both worlds–quick, peer help with access to the knowledge of worldwide SFDC users–even Salesforce employees are ready to help! It’s often easy to get quick answers here, but be specific about your problem–including screen shots and relevant error codes, etc, when you can.
What: SFDC Ideas is very similar to Answers, but Ideas is segmented into certain topics. For example, an idea community may be called “Ideas for company picnic,” and a suggestion given may be “play games.” Users can post, vote for, and comment on ideas. It is available in the partner portal, just internally, or the SFDC community at large.
Available in: Professional, Enterprise, Unlimited, and Developer editions
When to use it: This is not a place to seek a quick answer, or even an answer to a technical question. Ideas is great for crowd-sourcing suggestions about company matters, but it’s more about opinions than facts.
Do you need more help navigating Salesforce support services, including activating your customer portals? Give us a call; we’re ready to listen!