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Set Up Search Customizations

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
  • Describe how to set up a synonym group.
  • Explain how Federated Search works.

Set Up Synonym Groups

Somewhere in Capricorn Coffee’s customer community, a heated debate is under way, prompted by a simple and innocent question: “Is it espresso or expresso?”

It’s possible that the community members never reach a satisfying conclusion. But we can: It’s good to keep in mind that different people use different words to describe the same thing. This is especially good to keep in mind when you’re setting up your community’s search features.

As you can imagine, Capricorn Coffee’s community has more than a few articles about espresso. ( Ahem!) But Capricorn knows that at least a few people do look for those articles by using the search term expresso. Rather than wade into the terminology debate, Capricorn solves the problem by setting up a synonym group.

Synonym groups have words or phrases that are treated equally in searches. A search for one term in a synonym group returns results for all terms in the group.

Capricorn’s new synonym group contains two words: espresso and expresso. Now it doesn’t matter which term members use to search—they find the same articles either way.

Salesforce admins can create and edit synonym groups in the Salesforce org.

  1. Go to Setup, then enter Synonyms in the Quick Find box. Select Synonyms under Feature Settings > Search.
  2. Under Custom Synonym Groups, click New to start a synonym group, or Edit to change an existing group. The Synonyms page in Setup, with the New button and Edit link highlighted Note Standard synonym groups, which are provided by Salesforce, are enabled by default.
  3. Add two to six synonyms per group. A synonym can be any word or phrase. No special characters. The dialog box for creating a synonym group, showing six separate fields for terms; you can also select the language for the synonym group
  4. Choose a language for the synonym group by clicking on a language name, then clicking the right arrow.
  5. Click Save.

And, voila! Now customers won’t wind up empty-handed, even when they use variations of a term. In Capricorn’s community, for example, a search for expresso now turns up discussions, articles, and other results that use the term espresso.

The search results page, showing the search term “expresso” and results for “espresso

Later in this module, we discuss how to use data about users’ search terms to create synonym groups that serve your community.

There’s a lot of information out there. Why not use it? It’s great to create content for your community that’s specific to your customers and their needs. Sometimes, though, a Wikipedia article can do just fine. With Federated Search, you can serve up all kinds of outside content, right inside your community.

Here’s a quick rundown of how it works. Salesforce has partnered with external search providers Coveo, Docurated, and Swiftype, so your users can search any of the sites that they search—Google, YouTube, Wikipedia, Confluence, SharePoint, and many others. After the Salesforce admin connects the external search provider as an external data source, the community moderator can add the external data source like any other object.

When everything is set up, search results from external sources appear on the same page as your other community search results.

We don’t go into the details of setting it up here, since that’s a project for another time. But if you’re raring to go, you can find step-by-step instructions in this article.