Cardiff Salesforce User Group – starts tonight

Cardiff Salesforce User Group – starts tonight

Sing! Sing! Sing!
Last night was the second rehearsal of my Welsh Male Voice Choir. Hurrah! It was so good to see friends back in real life and catch up.

Networking is back on the cards… and that, too is an opportunity to catch up with friends, meet new people and share.

Tonight is the inaugural meeting of the Cardiff Salesforce User Group. It is an opportunity for people administering Salesforce to meet and share good practice (and funny stories).
User Group Link

Really looking forward to it and just meeting people face-to-face.

For all the Zooms in the world, it will be nice to see people’s full length – how they stand, speak, how tall they are… instead of fake backgrounds of San Fran, a chance to go through the mists, rain, sun of a wonderful Welsh autumn. To hear the singing in the valleys.

#SalesforceUserGroup #Cardiff #SalesforceAdmins #WelshMaleVoiceChoir

By the way, if any of you know of a pianist in the Ammanford area who would like to accompany a choir… let me know 🙂 If there is one thing better than a Salesforce User Group, it is the singing of a choir 😉

Life in a Multi-channel, Multi-media world. How do you cope/thrive?

Life in a Multi-channel, Multi-media world. How do you cope/thrive?

Life used to be so easy in the old world (10 years ago). A client wanted you and they rang up. If you were not available, they went through to VoiceMail or got an engaged tone. If they emailed you, then you replied to them in a reasonable time. About the worst that happened was someone ringing on your mobile while you were on a landline call. All was good.

Now, you can be on a Zoom call and your phone rings… what do you do? Do you break the meeting to answer the call, or just let the call go through to VoiceMail? Answering while on the Zoom call just seems rude, unless it is super-important.

In a worse case scenario, you can have ‘live calls’ on telephone/FaceTime, WhatsApp, Zoom, Google Meetings, Video conference, Google Hangouts. At the same time, you can have messages coming in from SMS (text), WhatsApp, FaceTime messenger, Signal, Telegram, Slack, Chatter and email.

How do you keep track of all of those?

It is a challenge and I don’t think there is a simple solution.

For a start, so that our clients get their help requests dealt with in a reasonable time, we get people to email our special support email address. As our team expands, this allows other people to monitor this. An email sent to an individual can easily get lost.

Most of our ‘live calls’ are booked. In other words, if you want to speak with someone you have to book a timeslot. I don’t like the formality of this, as it detracts from the spontaneity of fixing a problem on the spot. However, it is frustrating for clients if we don’t answer the phone… but we cannot if we are simultaneously on a Zoom call.

Fortunately, we operate in a ‘distributed’ fashion… so you cannot hear other Zoom calls going on in our office. However, that is a big problem for many companies. While you are on a Zoom call, the person you are talking to can overhear other Zoom calls in your office. It is not just annoying, but could reveal sensitive information. Perhaps we will have to move away from open plan offices! (Hurray – biggest barrier to work that I know of.)

So our solution is: email in for help requests.
Book calls to avoid disappointment. We will still answer if we can!
By limiting things in this way, we hope to offer the best possible service. We are open to suggestions!
However, I am fed up with putting down one caller in order to answer another call and finding out it is another scammer!

But there is more…
To help improve our service, we will be rolling out a Salesforce Experience portal. This will enable our clients to log and track the progress of their support queries and projects.

Let us know about suggestions for improvements.

More free Salesforce Training!

More free Salesforce Training!

How do you learn best?

There used to be a trope that some people were visual learners, some people learned best by hearing, some people learned best by reading, while others were kinaesthetic – they learned best by doing. While that seemed like a sensible set of categories, modern psychology has entirely debunked the theory!

It turns out that we all learn best from a mixture of learning styles.

So here are some resources…

It has long been known that Salesforce has an amazing set of resources available. They are called ‘Trailhead’. Even better they are free of charge for anyone. If you want to learn how to write a report, or train yourself up as a Systems Admin, all the resources are there. There are even ‘soft skills’ such as change management and the like.

It really is great and you get (virtual) badges.

People are social – learn with others

Even with all these resources, the majority of people that I speak with do not get to use them. Why? Well, most people don’t like studying on their own. They like to do things together. They like to ask questions of an instructor.

It is for this reason that I started ‘Lunch and Learn’. It is a high-quality, 45 minute time for you to ‘sharpen the saw’. In other words get your skills up-to-date, so that you can get the things you need to do done more easily.

I have put a price on the training… £5. However, if you read this article you can get the September training for only £0. That’s right, for free!

Even better, the code to get the free tickets is easy to remember: salesforce

Just go to the Cloud Genius website: and on the booking form click ‘Enter promo code’ and use the code above.

See you then! Next course is on 16 Sept 2021.

Making your Transactional Emails less…errm… Transactional

Making your Transactional Emails less…errm… Transactional

Do you ever look at a friend, who you think has been the same for for many years, and suddenly think… they look older/fatter/thinner/different? For so long they look the same. You see them every day. They always look the same. Then you notice that there has been a huge shift. It has happened over many years, but you notice it as a single jump?

Well, I noticed that with my emails. For many years we have been sending out our Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) questionnaires through Salesforce Classic templates. They do the job, but they are ‘transactional’. Meaning that they are just barely good-looking enough to be sent to clients. It is possible to create anything with them, as they are HTML, but at some effort and expense.

On the other hand, we send out our ‘marketing’ emails through Campaign Monitor. This has a lovely editor that makes producing beautiful emails a joy. However, they are marketing emails, so if people have not given us permission they do not receive them. For many years, Campaign Monitor has had ‘Transactional Emails’, but the coding to get them to work seemed to be a lot of effort.

Then, like noticing the change in a friend, I noticed that the integration we use has a feature called ‘Smart Emails’. This gives the ability to use Campaign Monitor for our transactional emails EASILY.

In a few minutes, I created a Campaign Monitor template and replaced our outdated CSAT email. A thing of beauty! Even better, it registered a task against the client every time one of the questionnaires was sent out. Instead of a horrible link to click, the client is presented with a beautiful button.

Our CSAT response rate has improved since switching to the new transactional emails

As everyone knows, with emails response rate is one of the most important metrics.

Techy bit: even mapping fields from Salesforce to the emails is a cinch!

Our transactional emails now look as beautiful as our marketing emails!

If you would like to find out more (and use Salesforce and Campaign monitor, or would like to), let me know on this form

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