Get Help Faster by Submitting Better Requests

One of the most important things users need to know is how to ask for help when they encounter problems. For our PROserve customers, Prolocity installs an issue log in your Salesforce org that allows you to submit a request–either for a technical issue where something isn't working as intended, or to ask a question when you may need some additional training or clarity.

To access this tool, a System Administrator in your Salesforce org can click the App Launcher button at the top left of the screen, and type in Request Log. From there, you can click the New button to create a request. Doing that will immediately send it to us to begin work.

So that's how to submit a request. But... what makes a good request? What can you do to get the help you need as quickly as possible?

Save support hours with this one weird trick!

Provide as much context as you can in your requests. That's it!

The more you can tell us, in a single request, about what you tried, what happened, and what you did to try to fix it, the more information we have available to troubleshoot the problem. All of this helps us to reproduce the issue you've seen and dig into its root cause.

Help Me Help You

Here's a practical example. We had a client that had a custom object for tracking job postings to a web forum they ran; they created an Opportunity record for each package of job posts they sold, with a quantity of posts (like, 20 or 50) as a field on the record. They then fulfilled individual requests by creating a record in a custom object that was linked to that Opportunity. Every time they fulfilled a post, a calculation ran to determine how many posts remained. Pretty simple, and it worked fine for the initial users.

But one day we got a report that this wasn't working properly for a new user. To this day, it is maybe my favorite error report ever–a model I still use years later. Here's what it said:

I just tried to add a job to a purchased package and could not. I went to Sophia and she could do it at her computer. Here's what I got.
Error: Invalid Data.
Review all error messages below to correct your data.
Apex trigger dirs_Job_FulfillmentTrigger caused an unexpected exception, contact your administrator: dirs_Job_FulfillmentTrigger: execution of Afterinsert caused by: dirs.SObjectDomain.DomainException: Permission to access an dirs LookupRollupSummary_ c denied.: (dlrs)

So, what's specifically good about this report?

  • It supplies an exact copy of the error message (it mentions "permissions" which immediately identified the problem). Error messages are important! If you get one, telling us what it says is the most important thing you can do
  • Then, it lists the specific function that caused the error (i.e. it tells us it's about job posts, not just "a Salesforce problem")
  • Next, it tells us how to reproduce the error (attempt to fulfill a new job post)
  • And then, it lists the troubleshooting steps the user took (i.e. had another user try it on a different machine, which worked). As a bonus, it names the user who was able to perform, which helps us compare permissions between them
  • And finally, it does all of this in one report, which minimizes our need to ask questions and wait for replies

About the only thing this report left out that might've proved helpful was a link to the record and a screenshot of what the user saw. Providing either or both of those things can make it much easier for us to drill into a record and investigate an issue.

After looking at that report, we knew it was a permissions issue. The user who reported it didn't have the correct permission, but the other user she named did. A quick comparison of their user profiles showed the reporting person was missing permissions to calculate rollups in the Declarative Lookup Rollup Summaries package. We added it, and the problem was resolved. Total time? About five minutes.

But in another world...

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Let Prolocity's Jay Mehta talk you through what makes a good support request.

What if the user had instead written this:

Hi there: posts don't ever work for us. We need to figure out why.

You'd be surprised how many requests like this we receive. In each case, it requires back and forth questioning, or maybe even a quick meeting, for us to get to the bottom of the issue. That translates to more time and cost (and waiting longer to get your work done).