Jane the Salesforce admin opens up her inbox and reads an email. Subject line says “Problem“, and the message body reads “I was running my monthly report and the data does not look right. Help ASAP!”
As a consultant, I’ve seen similar things as well. People have an issue, and find a way to notify me in the least helpful way possible. It only takes a few minutes to describe a problem in sufficient detail. Many administrators and consultants practice the “Two minute rule”, meaning if we can fix a problem in two minutes, we do it immediately as it’ll take longer than managing the task later on. This means, if you write a good description of your issue, your admin may just fix it on the spot if a solution is apparent from your description.
Here’s a few things that you can do to make this happen.
#1 – Take any feelings out of it
You are logging a technical bug and it’s not a personal problem. Stick to the facts and don’t turn a Salesforce issue into a personal tragedy.
#2 – Include the following pieces of information:
- What you were trying to do.
- What specifically went wrong.
- A link to the record in question. (.hen you are on the record or report, copy the URL of the website and paste it into the message).
- A screen shot of the error.
- What the admin can do to replicate the issue. (What you clicked on specifically to create the issue)
- When you reasonably need it fixed. If everything is an emergency, nothing is an emergency. Give them a timeframe when it really needs to be working again.
- Include any technical details that may be helpful (browser, operating system) as it may be part of the cause.
- Don’t write an encyclopedia, but make sure you’re including all details that seem important.
The goal here is to reduce the number of “round trips” of email or conversation that have to occur for the admin to know enough to start solving the problem. Doing your homework up front makes for a faster resoultion of the issue. If you include enough information, your admin can replicate the issue on their own, and quite possibly fix it on their first try.
#3 – Follow the proper channels
Most administrators have setup a preferred way to be communicated with. Some have setup a case management system for internal issues. Some prefer email, and some may prefer Chatter conversations. If you don’t know the best way, ask your admin. I can tell you that they will be impressed by your desire to help them help you, and you have increased your chances of quick, painless problem resolutions.
#4 – Follow up
Don’t let your requests go into the black hole of forgetfulness. If the admin fixed it, assure that it’s truly fixed and thank them. If it’s not fixed, send a gentle reminder that your deadline is approaching.
My bet is that if you can continue to communicate effectively with your administrator, your problems will be fixed faster and with less frustration (from both of you) than ever before. It makes everyone look good, and helps pave your path to future fame and glory.