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Identify the Problem

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand the importance of establishing an official channel to report user issues.
  • Gather information from stakeholders concerning user issues.

Houston, We Have a Problem!

So you have a problem in your Salesforce org. Unfortunately, it’s not an easy problem to solve. It’s a problem that requires some troubleshooting. The good news: Salesforce has a process for troubleshooting, and this module walks you through it from start to finish, from gathering information about the issue to properly implementing the solution. Whether you’re an admin who is managing users, a consultant who is customizing a Salesforce solution, a developer who is integrating Salesforce with another system, or an architect who is implementing Salesforce, this process can help you solve problems quickly and efficiently (which makes for happier users).

Establish an Official Channel

First things first: It’s a best practice that your team creates an official channel for logging and tracking issues within Salesforce. This channel can be for reporting user-logged customer submissions, or even a place for you to log issues you found yourself. You may currently have multiple channels for issue logging. However, a centralized channel creates a source of truth. 

This channel can be a dedicated Chatter page, Slack channel... you get the idea. Stakeholders and all Salesforce users need access to this channel as it’s a place for users to log issues, but it’s also where you provide updates and solutions. There are numerous advantages to establishing one official channel for logging problems. A dedicated channel: 

  • Promotes transparency and trust.
  • Prompts for key details users forget to include.
  • Reveals trends that can justify resources to improve processes.
  • Acts as the source of truth for all stakeholders.
  • Expedites approvals (if access/resources are needed).
  • Discourages rogue/duplicate requests via email or water cooler conversations. (Yes, Karen, I know Tomas is having trouble logging into his account.)

While a simple submission form is useful for logging problems, it doesn’t provide the necessary transparency for users and stakeholders to follow progress. A dedicated channel not only saves your stakeholders from logging multiple submissions about the same problem, it gives you a way to give status updates and share the resulting solution. (We get into communicating the solution later in this module.)  

Gather Info

Let’s start the process. A problem has been reported via your newly created channel. (Hey, it worked!) Whether the user logged a sentence-long problem or typed several paragraphs, it’s best to follow up with the user. Be prepared for a professional version of the 20-questions game. 

Here are some questions to get you started.

  • What was the expected result?
  • What was the actual result?
  • What action were you taking when the problem revealed itself?
  • What steps need to be followed to replicate the issue?
  • What Internet browser were you using?
  • What device were you using?
  • Where were you logging in from when the problem happened (office, home, on-the-road)?
  • Approximately what time did the problem reveal itself?
  • Was there an error message? If so, what did it say?

This is a small sample of the questions you can ask, and as time goes on you’ll develop your own questions that work specifically for your situation. When following up with the user, take notes. Having reference material is extremely helpful when you move to the replicating-the-problem part of the troubleshooting process.

Why ask all these questions? Great question! An all-too-common problem-solving mistake is solving the wrong problem because you didn’t fully understand the issue or the user’s expectations. This causes you and the user much frustration, and it wastes time. That’s why gathering information about the problem up front is one of the most important steps in the whole troubleshooting process. 

What’s Next?

You’ve been alerted to an issue (via your official channel) and gathered all the relevant information regarding the problem from the user. The next step is to do a little bit of independent research. Time to get your hands dirty. 

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