At last I managed to find the time to pass this long overdue exam! Having worked with the Service Cloud quite a bit in previous jobs, this certification has always been lingering in the back of my mind to pass for a number of years. But as always, it’s finding the time to properly sit down, focus and revise. Overall I found the Service Cloud Consultant challenging, but actually one of the easier exams to revise for. The study guide is split into 8 very logical areas, and although they are classically very broad in content, I actually found they made a lot of sense in terms of which areas to revise. As with the Sales Cloud Consultant exam, there is a heavy focus on the actual Service Cloud product, but also industry knowledge and metrics. The latter was probably an area I struggled with the most as I have never been involved in a larger scale implementation of the Service Cloud. Below I’m going to expand on some of the areas that you should heavily focus on revising, including relevant material and tips.
Before I start going into some of the details of each section below, I would just like to give a shout out to a brilliant Trailhead module by the name of Service Cloud Basics. If you are coming into this exam with less than average implementation experience, then this module will give you a great idea about some of the core themes within this certification. These include, the Service Cloud Console, Channels & Automation. If you are experienced or not I would highly recommend starting out with this module before moving on.
Service Cloud Solution Design
One of the first large sections of the Service Cloud Consultant exam is Service Cloud Solution Design. This 15% section is where you really need to know the cases object inside out. Although you might think that the whole exam is focussed on cases as it’s the centre of the Service Cloud, it actually dives heavily into other related products. For this section you will need to know the capabilities of Cases, its relationships, its limitations and how Service Cloud/Cases can be extended with other 3rd party applications and custom development. The Trailhead module mentioned above will give you a fantastic hands on introduction to Cases & Service Cloud, to support this you also have the Salesforce Console Implementation Guide.
Knowledge is one area you will have to know inside out. From this section alone you are going to get 7 questions (11%) and it also creeps into other sections to do with industry knowledge and channels. From what I can remember I probably got at least 10-15 questions around Knowledge. You can either think of this as a big barrier to getting certified, or a section to grab some easy marks!
Although Salesforce Knowledge is a bit of a beast and a whole new product, it is very logical, it also makes a lot of sense why people choose to implement it. I luckily had a bit of experience on a previous implementation, but I chose to act like I had never heard of it before to make sure I covered all of it. I approached learning Knowledge in 3 ways, I read over the implementation guide, watched the Knowledge HOT from Salesforce, and got it activated in my dev org and set up a mini implementation.
Interaction Channels covers a broad range of topics and unfortunately is going to require a lot of revision! When referring to channels, Salesforce is making references to the different ways support reps can interact with customers. This includes, phone calls, emails, community access, live chat, Twitter, Facebook, knowledge bases and more. For each of these options you are going to have to understand, given a scenario, which channel best suits a particular business with a certain goal. Unfortunately this does mean covering a lot, but also it is semi logical. Here are some implementation guides to get you started off, Social Customer Service & Communities. For Salesforce’s Live Chat feature, I found the best way to learn about this was to get it activated and set it up yourself. I found a great post on Panya’s blog about setting up a basic configuration. One other important area includes Open CTI. I got a bit intimidated by this section as I’ve had limited implementation experience with telephony systems, but actually it’s pretty straight forward. You will need to know what Open CTI is, how it works, its advantages and why you should consider using it. I found two great resources for this, a Dreamforce video which includes an overview and demo, as well as an in depth blog post. You should also cover Web-to-Case & Email-to-Case.
We arrive at the monster, the 25% section which has more Service Cloud features than you can shake a stick at! From this section you are guaranteed 15 questions with of course some overlap as always into other sections. Some of the overlap in this section already mentioned include Communities, Live Agent, Web-to-Case, Email-to-Case and Social Media Cases. Some of the best advice I can give you for the next features I am going to mention is to set them all up with a mini implementation. None of these features take a great deal of time to set up, and along with some theory should always be some practical. You should know all about Entitlement Management, what it’s for and what business problems it solves (Hint, taking care of customers SLA’s!). You also need to know what Visual Workflow is and how it helps to solve business issues (The main feature is that you can build wizards for your support reps to follow). The best way to get up to speed on this is to take this awesome Trailhead module on process automation. On top of all this, you will also need to know about Email Templates, Auto-response rules, Case Team and more, luckily the aptly named Case Management Implementation guide can help you out there.
Above I’ve included some of the major feature sections from within the study guide that you will need to focus on to pass. As well as these feature areas you will also need to get to grips with industry knowledge, implementation strategies and contact center analytics (support reports). Luckily a lot of the implementation guides and videos listed above will give you insights into these areas. If you have access to Salesforce premier training you have a few very good modules on analytics and implementations to help you out further. If you don’t however, make sure you scrub up on your Reports & Dashboards with Trailhead!
- The Service Cloud Consultant exam is designed for people who have implementation experience. I would strongly recommend to get as much experience implementing each feature listed in a dev org, it does not take a huge amount of time but will be extremely valuable.
- As well as using my personal guide and others to get some more context on the exam, use the study guide as your bible and pay attention to the weightings of each section.
- Process of elimination is your friend! If you can’t work out which answer is right, try and work out which answers are absurd!