Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Advanced Salesforce Synchronization Management

Following feedback from and discussions with customers, earlier this year we changed the way that users managed responses and synchronizations with their CRM solution.

Want to know exactly what these changes mean for Salesforce users? This article explains how the new Advanced CRM Synchronization works and then goes on to highlight the answers to some of our Salesforce users frequently asked questions.

So what's new?

1. Clear identification of Synchronization status.
Previously, Clicktools simply told you how many responses were available for synchronization. It was not possible to find out whether these responses had been completed or failed synchronization. The only way to see error messages was to manually synchronize but this could result in synchronization of empty responses, and matching errors to responses was difficult.

Clicktools now separates responses in to multiple columns, enabling you to clearly identify the exact status of your synchronization and easily correct any errors before synchronizing again manually. The columns displayed are:

  • Not Complete – the number of ‘incomplete’ survey responses, i.e. the Submit/Close button has not been pressed or are in the process of being completed.

  • Ready For Sync – the number of ‘completed’ responses, i.e. The Submit/Close button has been pressed but the response has not yet been synchronized. This will be zero if synchronization is set to ‘Automatic’.

  • Failures – the number of responses that have failed to synchronize because of an error that needs correcting.

  • Retries – the number of responses with temporary errors (see bullet 2. below for further detail). Will always be zero if synchronization is set to ‘Manual’.

  • Successful – the total number of responses for the survey instance that are currently stored in Clicktools and have been successfully synchronized.

  • Sync Type – no change; shows ‘Automatic’ or ‘Manual’ synchronization.

  • Last Sync – no change; shows the date and time of the last successful synchronization.

2. Re-try of Automatic synchronization.

Previously, if Automatic synchronization failed due to a failure to connect to Salesforce (e.g. during standard maintenance periods, temporary connection problems) Clicktools would simply place the failed response in the “Responses to Synch” column. Now, these responses will be visible in the new “Retries” column and Clicktools will re-attempt the synchronization once an hour for another 4 hours. If a response has failed after this period it will be placed in to the new “Failures” column.

3. Clearer separation of Surveys.
Rather than placing all surveys in one list, the CRM control panel now places surveys in to their respective tabs easing identification and management.

4. Visible error management and tracking.
Each column in bullet 1 will contain a number representing the relevant total of responses for each survey instance (rows) that meet that criterion. Each number greater than zero in the ‘Not Complete’, ‘Ready for Sync’ and ‘Failures’ column links to a page that will display the relevant individual responses. From there, you can View, Edit or Delete responses and select one or more responses to manually synchronize. In addition, when the ‘Failures’ screen is displayed you will see two additional columns; ‘Fail Message’ and ‘Fail Date’. Fail message will show the error message returned by Salesforce whilst an icon to the right of the message may be visible which will show more information when you hover over the icon. Fail Date will show the date and time of the last failed synchronization for that response.


Q. Why do I have a large number of 'Not Complete' responses, where previously they were marked as available for syncing?
A. Only newly created responses (post the application update) can be identified as being complete. All previously completed or part completed responses cannot be identified as complete and will therefore appear in the 'not complete' column.

Q. Why don't I see all my failed responses yet?
A. Only responses which have failed to synchronize after the application update will be listed against the 'failures' column. You will need to manually synchronize responses first.

Q. Can I just synchronize all the 'not complete' surveys?
A. Yes, but this requires qualification. The count of 'not complete' responses includes responses which have been abandoned (truly not complete), pre application update completed responses that have not yet been synchronized with Salesforce, as well as responses which are in the process of being completed at the time the page was accessed. This last set of responses should not be synchronized as this may cause incomplete information to be populated into Salesforce. To exclude these responses from synchronization, a date filter can be applied which excludes for example those created in the previous 24 hours, the remaining can then be selected for synchronization.

Q. When I manually synchronize responses for a survey marked as 'automatic', it doesn't use my current Salesforce credentials.
A. This is part of the new functionality in the latest release. If a survey is marked as 'automatic' for Salesforce synchronization, then the credentials specified for that survey instance will be used whenever responses are synchronized, either automatically due to a survey response being completed or a response being manually synchronized.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on: USA: 1-800-774-4065, UK: 0800 0432587 or click here to e-mail us

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Building a Global opt-out form

What better way of getting to know how to use Clicktools for AppExchange than building a very useful short form to enable individuals to ‘opt-out’ …

You can see an example opt-out form here:

We are going to walk through the steps required to build a Global opt-out form. This form will provide a link that you can use in all email communications to Leads and Contacts (and custom objects with ‘individual’ information in it).

With a little more work, this form could easily be adopted to provide an opt-in confirmation form or be expanded to provide opt-in/outs for multiple communications (more on these at the end of the document).

Download a step-by-step guide here:

Creating a Closed Case Survey

This document discusses how a Closed Case Survey can be integrated with Salesforce. Whilst the document focuses on a Closed Case Survey and a custom Feedback object, the aim of this document is to provide experienced Salesforce users with everything they need to implement their own survey and integration.

Download the step-by-step guide here:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Creating Ideas with Clicktools..

This blog entry looks at how you can use Clicktools to create Ideas. If you don't know about Ideas, it's a great tool to capture and organize any suggestions from anyone whether they be internal users, customers, partners etc. One of our customers recently asked us to look at ways of capturing Ideas from a survey and this outlines what we came up with.

The use case is fairly simple. The customer loved using Ideas internally but didn't want to expose the Ideas interface to their customers. They wanted a way of enabling customer to capture ideas, suggestions or even praise following a survey and in support emails. They would then manage the Ideas, to share praise (and criticism!?) as well as vote within their product management team on features. Once, the product management team had voted they wanted to issue a survey with the top ten Ideas, collecting comments from customers (again added to Ideas) and then voting.

Sure, it's not a pure use of Ideas but some organizations are just not quite ready to put the whole of their product roadmap in the hands of customers!

This blog entry looks at the first element in the use case - capturing ideas.

1. The survey in Clicktools
You can see an example of a survey to capture Ideas here and is shown in the mini-screen shot:

click image to magnify

The area we are focusing on is an area at the bottom of the survey. A light bulb indicates that start of the 'Ideas' area and, in Clicktools, there are three questions used to create the Idea.

1) A text question asks for a summary of the idea. This will be used to capture the Idea 'Title'
2) A radio question alongside the text asks the user to categorize the idea (these should match the categories you want people to create)
3) An essay question collects the detail to create the 'Idea Body'.

2. The mapping
is quite simple. You simply create an Idea using the questions in the survey. Additionally you may want to consider adding a custom field to your Ideas object to capture a link to a Contact or Account. That way, you can easily see which ideas your customers are creating...

This is a very simple but exceptionally powerful application for Clicktools. Please let us know if you think of any ways to expand on this...

Clickthru agreements..

It's been a while but it's back - the blog that is. We have been including more and more hints and tips in the help but we decided it was time to bring the blog back. This is simply because there are so many good ideas and uses of Clicktools with Salesforce - we just have to tell everyone about them.

Ok, for the first new entry we are going to talk about using Clicktools for clickthrough (click-sign) agreements.

The use case is quite simple. You need to get a customer or partner (or someone) to agree to your terms and conditions before proceeding with the relationship. Usually, this involves sending a word document or pdf to the customer/partner. them printing, signing and returning. It's a simple but potentially lengthy process that can, using Clicktools and Salesforce be completely automated...

1. Decide how to record agreements in Salesforce.
There are several options here. The most obvious would be to use the standard Contract object in Salesforce. However, there are some alternatives that other Clicktools customers use. Some record the fact the agreement was signed, the date is was signed and by whom - all against the Account. Others record agreements against the Contact or Opportunity. Or perhaps you have a custom object called "Agreements" and link to both the Account and Contact. You may of course consider a combination of the above. For the purposes of this example, we are going to create a new Contract and link it to an Account and a Contact.

2. Build form in Clicktools.
The form in Clicktools is quite simple and consists of three main elements. a) Hidden text questions to connect the form back to Salesforce. b) The agreement text and c) a checkbox question so the individual can confirm the agreement. Here is some more detail:

a) You will require hidden text questions for each of the elements you wish to link back to in Salesforce. As we are creating a Contract and linking to an Account and Contact, we need two hidden text questions. One for Account and one for the Contact.

b) Entering the agreement text can be done in many ways. You can display the whole text as a standard text element. However, this could take up a lot of screen real estate. The standard approach appears to be to use a 'window' with a scroll bar with only a small amount of the agreement visible at any one time. There are two approaches to this. One, use an iFrame. An iFrame enables you to reference text on another web page which eases potential maintenance however the downside is that iFrames are not particularly well supported in all browser environments (e.g. Safari). The other option (and the one used in the example) is to use a 'textarea'. You will need to enter this html directly in to the 'Source' of a Clicktools text block. To do this, create a text element, show the formatting bar and click the 'Source' button. Then, enter the code below, replacing the text with your own:

-- sample code begins --
<textarea cols="80" rows="10" readonly="readonly">Your agreement text in here.</textarea>"
-- sample code ends --

You can change the number of rows and columns to show more (or less) of the agreement whilst the readonly setting ensure the text cannot be changed. Please see for more help on this html.

c) The final element is perhaps some thank you text but, importantly, a single checkbox which the user has to check to complete the form. Make this question 'Required' which forces this.

You can see an example here or, click on the mini-screenshot:

click to magnify screenshot

3. Define mapping from Clicktools to Salesforce.
Obviously, the mapping will depend entirely upon what you want to do with the information in Salesforce. In our example, we are creating a Contract, then using the answers to the two hidden questions to populate the links to the Account and Contact. We can then use some additional items like the date completed to record and use some fixed text to record the status of Draft, the length of the contract term and place a link to the completed form in the Description.

4. The email to send.
The final element is to create an email in Salesforce to send to the contact to sign. Obviously, each person will use their own text but the important element will be the link to the survey. It is important because the link must pass across information to Clicktools. We do this by appending two merge fields on to the end of the survey link like this:{!Account.Id}&q2={!Contact.Id}

The bold element at the end of the link is what you would need to add. So, when you send the email the values {!Account.Id} and {!Contact.Id} will be replaced by the real values in Salesforce which allows Clicktools to link the newly created contract to the correct people. You could hide this URL behind some other text or an image using Salesforce's html email editor to produce a very smooth email.

That completes the example - it's a fairly simple process and can vastly reduce the amount of effort involved in getting click-thru's implemented!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Net Promoter webinar...

More and more Salesforce customers are using Clicktools as part of their Net Promoter initiative. To explain more about the way that Clicktools supports Net Promoter, we now have a webinar available at:

The Net Promoter extension is available to all Clicktools for AppExchange customers at no charge.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Required information

When creating information in Salesforce, there are 'required' pieces of information that must be included in the form. The table below gives you a list of required fields for some common objects in a standard Salesforce implementation:

Account: Name

Contact: Last Name

Lead: Last Name, Company

Campaign: Name

CampaignMember: (i.e. Adding a Contact to a Campaign): Contact ID, Event ID, Status

Event: Subject, Date, Time, Duration (usually defaults)

Task: Subject, Priority, Status

Opportunity: Name, Close Date, Stage

Case: Status (usually defaults to New), Origin

Solution: Solution Title

Product: Product Name

In terms of some common AppExchange applications, here is the required information for a few popular installed Salesforce Lab Apps:

Class Enrollment:
Class: Class Name
Enrollment: Class ID, Contact ID

Project/Issue Management:
Project: Project Number
Issue: Project ID

Recruiting Manager:
Candidate: Candidate Name:
Applicants: Applicant Name

I hope you find this useful. Don't forget, this includes the information you MUST include, you are likely to want to include much more than this...

Monday, April 09, 2007

When responses don't auto-synch...

Sometimes, it's possible that form/survey responses don't auto-synch. Unfortunately, it's really not possible to guarantee 100% auto-synchronization 100% of the time. The main reasons for this, in order from most to least likely, are:

1. The mapping is incorrect or some information is missing. Try the manual synch to see what is causing the error.
2. The person does not complete the survey and does not press the submit button. When this happens the response will sit in the manual queue waiting for completion or you to manually synchronize.
3. None of the information that is required for synchronization is completed. Note - If this happens then the survey is 'tagged' as being synched and will not be placed in the manual queue.
4. The credentials (username and password) against the survey instance are incorrect (or have changed - this is common when, for example, a password is changed).
5. You have exceeded the maximum number of API calls your organisation is allowed to make during one day.
6. The Salesforce API is not available and we cannot 'activate' a session (i.e. login) to automatically synch.
7. You have exceeded your Clicktools licensed responses and so responses are not available for auto-synching.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Using Vertical Response to send Clicktools surveys...

Many of our customers use Vertical Response to send emails from Salesforce. And, finally, I have got round to documenting how to use the two tools together!

It's actually quite simple and involves two changes in your email template:

There are two important rules to be aware of:

  1. Use 'nr_' in front of the 'http' in any Clicktools survey link.
    Any link to a Clicktools survey should begin "nr_http://...". This simply switches off the redirect from within VR and enables the merge field values to work correctly. This only stops tracking on the Clicktools link not the rest of your tracking (e.g. opens, bounces, etc.).
  2. Use VR merge field values.
    Most importanty, to pass any value you must use the corresponding VR merge field value. Importantly, to pass across the ID of a Contact or Lead you must use the special VR value of '{salesforce_id}'. So, for example, a standard Salesforce template would have &q1={Contact.ID} at the end to pass across the Contact ID. In Vertical Response this would read &q1={salesforce_id}.

Remember: These merge fields will not work in any 'test' messages that are sent!

Note: If you are using Clicktools surveys to update campaign records then you would use the special merge value for the campaign member status record which is {sf_campaign_member_id}. Unfortunately, I don't think any other IDs (e.g. Account) can be included.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Analysts review of Clicktools for AppExchange

Please find below a review of Clicktools for AppExchange by Infiniti Research.

Infiniti Review

We score a strong 4.5 out of 5 with the only highlighted weakness being the omission of 'standard' surveys. Interestingly, this is something we used to include but we removed them as 90% of our customers had their own.

We do have sample surveys coming out of our ears so, as a result of this feedback, we will be including some standard surveys that map to Salesforce objects in our starter kit.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Clicktools get wizzy!

We have today launched our latest addition to Clicktools for AppExchange - the Form Wizard.

The Form Wizard uses a simple concept to simplify the process of building, deploying forms, surveys and landing pages that are fully integrated with Salesforce.

You basically select the fields you want and, hey presto, the form is built for you. You can build forms to create/update multiple objects (e.g. Accounts AND a Contact AND an Opportunity) and a form can be presented according to ANY brand guidelines.

The Form Wizard provides several benefits:

  • No html skills required
  • No need to wait for Web/IT teams to host your form

You can build and deploy a form in minutes. We think it's a leap forwards in the functionality available to Salesforce users.

Here are a couple of webinars to get you excited:

Introduction to Form Wizard

Advanced Form Wizard webinar

Friday, January 19, 2007

More webinars live...

3 more webinars are now on-line. Whilst the first three focused on functionality, these three focus on real world applications:

The first focuses on implementing case/support satisfaction surveys, the second on how to use Clicktools to manage event invites and other campaigns to automatically update campaign member status records and thirdly, we look at how you can use Clicktools to manage the email opt-out field in Salesforce.

Each webinar includes details of any Salesforce customizations, the forms/surveys required and how they can be deployed.

Have fun.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Clicktools gets incubated!

I am very pleased to announce that Clicktools will be taking one of the "cubes" within the Incubator in San Mateo. This will become the base for our US operations.

More details to follow on the web site and here but you can read the Salesforce press release here:,44900.shtml

Thursday, January 11, 2007

More webinars on-line...

I am pleased to say that we now have another couple of webinars available.

The first covers passing information from Salesforce in to forms and surveys, the second how you set up mappings to transfer information from completed forms and surveys back in to Salesforce.

Both take about five minutes so go grab that coffee...

More will be on-line very soon to cover both learning how to use Clicktools for AppExchange as well as real-worl examples.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Auto-sync is live!

You've been asking for it and it's here - All Clicktools for AppExchange customers now have the ability to define automatic synchronization to Salesforce.

Uniquely, this contains the ability to:

  1. Select either manual and automatic synchronization
    - Different types of forms will require different settings, stay-in-touch for example may be best left as Manual so you can review findings before synching back in to Salesforce)
  2. Use different users for different survey synchronizations
    - This was specifically asked for by you and means that you can more closely track updates in Salesforce to individuals not just one id. Of course, you can use the same credentials for all synchronization if required.
  3. Fix forms/surveys with errors and re-synch
    - Any forms that do not successfully synchronize are placed in the manual queue so you can examine exact errors and fix or delete as required.

This is something we only used to offer as a custom service but it's now part of the standard subscription. Forgive me for blowing our own trumpet but again, I think ths raises the bar on form/survey integration with Salesforce.

You can see more by looking at the following webinar

There will be more exciting functionality coming soon so keep an eye on the blog.



Friday, November 17, 2006

Question Guide

Are you struggling to understand which Clicktools question types to use when?

Then why not use the Question guide to help you understand when to use which question type.

Surveys in emails

I am often asked about including surveys in emails. There are several ways of doing this and we could (and people do) argue for a long long time about the rights and wrong of each approach. Obviously, some people's email readers block any form of html so the ony guaranteed way to esnure your link gets through is to send it as a pure link. If, however, you do want to use html or place a survey in email, These are my preferred three options.

Option 1: Hide complex links within a "Click Here" (or similar) link - EASY, LOW RISK.

This option doesn't duplicate any of the survey in an email BUT usefully hides long and unwieldy links under something that a) takes up less space and b) won't be broken. To do this you need to use a HREF statement. The following example html code will place a link in an email displaying click here and, when clicked on, will take the user to the survey. This should work in most emails but some text only email readers may not display the link.

-- example code begins --

<a href="SURVEY LINK HERE">Click Here</a>

-- example code ends --

There is a great site (W3 Schools) that enables you to learn and play with html. To try the HREF example click the following link:

Option 2: Include one or two questions in the email and then take them to the complete survey - DIFFICULT, MEDIUM RISK

Now for something a little more tricky. This option involves coding some html to duplicate question(s) in a survey. Clicking on a button (or link) then takes the user to the survey and auto-populates the answers.

This involves building a html form that presents the question(s) and you can only generate four question types: Text, Radio, Pulldown and Checkbox. In the example code below we present one question (the Net Promoter question) in the html. Note the use of a 'hidden' field that records the SURVEY CODE. This is the 15 digit code that is at the end of a Clicktools survey link. Each of the input options presents a value and passes a corresponding value across to Q1 in a Clicktools survey. Finally, the Input type at the bottom of the code presents a button that actually transfers the answers and presents the rest of the survey to the user. This should work in most emails but obviously will not work if people accept text only.

Please Note: The Code below only works with Anonymous URLs.

-- example code begins --

<form action="">
<input type="hidden" name="iv" value="SURVEY CODE HERE">
<strong>Where 0 is 'Not at all' and 10 is 'Extremely'. how likely is it that you would recommend us to a friend or colleague?</strong>
<table border=0>
<td><input type="radio" name="q1" value="1"></td>
<td><input type="radio" name="q1" value="2"></td>
<td><input type="radio" name="q1" value="3"></td>
<td><input type="radio" name="q1" value="4"></td>
<td><input type="radio" name="q1" value="5"></td>
<td><input type="radio" name="q1" value="6"></td>
<td><input type="radio" name="q1" value="7"></td>
<td><input type="radio" name="q1" value="8"></td>
<td><input type="radio" name="q1" value="9"></td>
<td><input type="radio" name="q1" value="10"></td>
<td><input type="radio" name="q1" value="11"></td>
<input type="submit" name="OK" value="Submit">

-- example code ends

Again, look at the W3 site for more instructions:
Paste the above code in to one of the example windows to see how this looks.

Option 3: Include the whole survey completely in the email - EASY, HIGH RISK

If you want to actually include the survey in the body of the email itself you can use what is called an IFRAME. This quite simple to do as the code below shows.

Paste the following html in to an email template, replacing the SURVEYLINK with your own survey link and, obviously, test!... Note: Active content in email is increasingly becoming blocked by email readers so this approach will NOT work in some email readers (e.g. where IE security settings are set to HIGH.). If you use this option I would recommend including a link as well at the top of the page giving people an alternative should they not be able to see the survey.

-- example code begins --
Introductory text here </p>
<iframe src ="SURVEY LINK HERE" width="100%" height="400" frameborder="no" scrolling="yes"> </iframe>

-- example code ends --

You can change the settings (width, height etc.) to find the right setting for your survey. Again, there is a W3Schools page where you can test the html to see how your survey would look in an email:

Monday, November 13, 2006

Clicktools questions to Salesforce fields? What goes where...

Below is a list of all the field types in Salesforce with a recommendation of what question types to use to populate these types:

Salesforce Field Type Recommendation Alternative/Notes
Auto Number Not possible  
Formula Not possible  
Master-Detail Relationship Text NOTE: A Salesforce ID MUST BE USED to
create/update any reference field.
Lookup Relationship Text NOTE: A Salesforce ID MUST BE USED to
create/update any reference field.
Checkbox Checkbox
NOTE: Please see earlier blog posting here.
Currency Number  
Date Date Date completed option.
NOTE: You cannot create/update the Date
created or modified fields in Salesforce.
Date/Time  Date Date/Time completed.
NOTE: You cannot create/update the Date
created or modified fields in Salesforce.
Email Text, Multi-text  
Number Number, Radio/Drop with Numeric
choices in the question. NOTE: Clicktools passes numbers
across with TWO decimal places so formatting in salesforce
must be set to this to work correctly.
Percent  Percent, Multi-percent Number 
Phone Number Text, Multi-text
Picklist Radio, Dropdown, Multi-radio, Multi-dropdown  
Picklist (Multi-Select) Checkbox, Multi-checkbox  
Text Text, Multi-text Any other question type except Essay
Text Area  Text, Multi-text Any other question type except Essay
Text Area (Long) Essay Any other question type
URL  Text, Multi-text

 If you have any questions about specific mappings, drop us an email...

Integration with IVR.

A great example of three-way on-demand integration is Clicktools integration with Angel provides an on-demand IVR tool and we have built an integration that transfers results directly from IVR phone based surveys in to Clicktools which can then, obviously, go in to Salesforce (any object!).

The basic use case is:

  1. Customer calls Support Desk
  2. Call center agent uses Salesforce to respond to call
  3. At end of call, Agent re-directs caller to to take survey
  4. collects survey response and passes to Clicktools
  5. Clicktools can be used for real-time analysis and transfer back in to Salesforce.

At the same time, an email survey could be sent to cases closed through that channel. Responses to both the email and IVR survey can be collected in the same survey in Clicktools - hey presto, a seamless, real-time multi-channel feedback environment enabling you to compare and contrast support levels across different channels.

To have a look at the demo:

  1. Click and login to the demo Clicktools account with the email and the password 'angelivr'
  2. Call 866-248-8135 and answer the short four question survey by saying the numbers or pressing digits on your phone. Leave a comment too.
  3. In Clicktools, Click the + then 'Results' link in Clicktools to see your result appear before your eyes. This includes storing a link to the comment which you can cut and paste in to another browser window to hear.

This is all seamless and all in real-time, integrating three enterprise strength software tools in minutes. You gotta LOVE on demand software!

Friday, November 10, 2006

It's official - Clicktools is cool!

Wendy Close, ex Gartner Analyst and Salesforce CRM guru (aka 'Ask Wendy'), has included Clicktools in her cool tools list...

Cool Tools Heat-Up The AppExchange

Dreamforce session on line

As your local Blockbuster is unlikely to have it in stock for a while, the Top Ten AppExchange Apps for Professional Edition Dreamforce session is now up on the Dreamforce blog.

You can download a PDF/PPT of the slides as well as watch a video.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Checkboxes in Salesforce - aaarrrgghhh!

Quite a few of our customer often want to update checkboxes in Salesforce. To the un-initiated a checkbox in salesforce is a boolean (basically a True or False and using it means you get a nice looking box on your form that is either ticked (for true) or not ticked (for false)).

As nice as these are, from an integration perspective they are a pain in the ****. Why? Well, Salesforce treats checkboxes as booleans - That means that when you export the information from Salesforce it comes out as a one or zero. And, when you pass information back in to Salesforce you can only set 0,1 or True/False. This gives two problems, firstly displaying pre-selected information in Clicktools and second, pushing information back in to Salesforce

So what options do you have?

  1. If you are passing information in to a clicktools form you can only show information that is selected (i.e. true). That is until we can find a useable way of recognizing '0'.

  2. If you are creating information have a radio question in Clicktools with the options True or False. This is ok, but not in all circumstances. Please note: These will not be successfully pre-populated from Salesforce in to Clicktools.
  3. If you are creating or updating information have a one-option checkbox question, set the option to '1' and hide the question text.
  4. If you want to use Clicktools to present Checkbox information in a form and then use the same form to update it please speak to us - we can do it, it just involves a little manual effort.

Option 3 is quite clever as it presents a checkbox that people can select. This involves putting the following html '<p style=color: white>1</p>' in against the Option value in Clicktools which ends up looking in the survey like this:

The option is set to be 1 but, it is displayed as white so it can't be seen by the person completing the form. It's an acceptable solution and looks ok. We will come up with something better though - soon.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Case/Support surveys

If you are capturing case/support feedback and want to integrate with Salesforce, I think the best way to do this is by storing the feedback response in to two objects.

First, pass the feedback about the operational aspects of the case (e.g. speed of response, professionalism etc.) in to the case itself and pass any overall Key Feedback Indicators (KFIs. E.g. Loyalty, advocacy and overall satisfaction) in to a generic custom object. This way you can store KFIs from many different surveys in one place and use reports and dashboards as required.

The screen below shows an example of how this operational feedback can be stored against a case: 

Case object screenshot

You can see we have also used a graphic formula field to show an amazon style rating for the case. In this instance, the rating is made up from the scores given to three questions.

We also use a generic 'KFI' object to capture the overall feedback. Link the KFI to the case but, in addition, classify what type of survey it was, maintain a link to the survey and again used a formula field to display an Amazon style rating. This KFI can be seen from the case as a related list but also, powerfully, enables us to report on the same KFIs across many different surveys.

KFI object screenshot

I think this is the best combination of capturing feedback for cases. It has the power for individual line managers and support teams to see and understand how they deal with individual cases but also enables senior management teams to see how different operational issues affect loyalty, advocacy and overall satisfaction.

There really is no point in collecting feedback unless you are going to do something with it -this approach really helps to turn insight in to action.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Link with Salesforce for Google Adwords

One interesting application one of our customers is just about to implement is using a Clicktools form as a Landing Page from a Google Adwords campaign.

You can see an example here. Now, whilst a standard web2lead form generated in salesforce does exactly what it says on the tin, one of the many benefits of Clicktools is that you can do much much more than that. So, this form does something a little more complicated...

It creates a contact, an account, an opportunity, links them all together, adds the individual to the campaign and sets the campaign member status. How cool is that?

Complex Stay-in-touch

Salesforce includes a stay-in-touch form but changing this can be time consuming. Several of our customers are now using Clicktools to manage complex stay-in-touch requests. Simply, this takes information in Salesforce about a Contact, sends it to the contact and enables them to update it. This new information is imported back in to Salesforce.

There are a couple of important factors to consider when designing this sort of form.

1) Use manual synchronization. If you use automatic synchronization you risk good information being overwritten with bad. Using a manual synch enables you to exploit the "triage" to quickly scan and correct and errors before they are imported.

2) Address lines must be in one text field. When transferring information out of Salesforce in to the form, you can choose between individual address lines (1-3) or the complete address. BUT, you can only put information back in to Salesforce in one address line, not 3. So, to correctly place information back in to the address field you MUST put the address line in to one text field or one option in a multi-text field (the recommended approach).

The example URL below populates the first 6 questions in a surveythat would be used in a Clicktools template to pass across individual details is:

"surveyURL&q1=${Contact ID}&q2=!urlencode{${First Name}}%20!urlencode{${Last Name}}%20!urlencode{${Preferred Name}}%20!urlencode{${Title}}%20!urlencode{${Organisation}}%20!urlencode{${Email}}%20!urlencode{${Phone}}%20!urlencode{${Fax}}&q3=!urlencode{${Mailing Address Line1}%20${Mailing Address Line2}%20${Mailing Address Line3}}%20!urlencode{${Mailing City}}%20!urlencode{${Mailing State/Province}}%20!urlencode{${Mailing Zip/Postal Code}}&q4=!urlencode{${Mailing Country}}&q6=${Primary Contact}"

If you prefer to use Mailing Address, you can do. In this case, the URL looks like this:

"surveyURL&q1=${Contact ID}&q2=!urlencode{${First Name}}%20!urlencode{${Last Name}}%20!urlencode{${Preferred Name}}%20!urlencode{${Title}}%20!urlencode{${Organisation}}%20!urlencode{${Email}}%20!urlencode{${Phone}}%20!urlencode{${Fax}}&q3=!urlencode{${Mailing Address}}%20!urlencode{${Mailing City}}%20!urlencode{${Mailing State/Province}}%20!urlencode{${Mailing Zip/Postal Code}}&q4=!urlencode{${Mailing Country}}&q6=${Primary Contact}"

Please note the use of:

  • 'urlencode' to cater for spaces and other characters that could cause trouble on a URL
  • '' to concatenate multiple salesforce fields in to a clicktools 'multi-' question
  • %20 to enter a space which stops field being placed in the wrong question(useful if you have blank address fields)

I hope you gives you some help in building stay in touch requests using clicktools. As ever, if you have any questions, please contact us.


One of the recent new mappings we have implemented is linking a form to the Applicant object in the "Recruitment Manager" app on the AppExchange.

Basically, this grabs information about an individual, including education, resume and professional details and then creates an applicant object. The created applicant can also be linked to a job opening.

For a real-life example of this please go to and click the 'Online Application Button'.

Storing feedback in Salesforce

We are often asked for help in defining, once feedback is captured in Clicktools, how and where it should be stored in Salesforce. Whilst each organization is different, the following guidelines may help.

There are three main approaches and each approach has its own advantages and disadvantages:

1. Add custom fields to standard object.


  • Easily incorporated in to standard page layout 
  • Doesn’t impact custom object limits (doesn't apply to Unlimited)
  • Powerful reporting options.


  • Difficult to track multiple responses
  • Difficult to track responses over time (if multiple responses)
  • Information (even blank) is stored for every object.

Recommended use: When only one piece of feedback is collected for an object, e.g. case/support surveys. In this example, we would recommend extending the case object to include the feedback. Another examples could be a win/loss survey. General satisfaction surveys should not be generally stored using this approach as you would be naturally limited to storing the 'latest' response. If you are not implementing this survey for a large number of instances of an object (e.g. only 1 in 50 cases are being sent a survey) then you should consider option 3.

2. Shared custom object for all feedback.


  • Easily trend information over time
  • Minimises the number of custom objects required
  • Enables multiple surveys per object and ‘cascading’ feedback.


  • Potential for lots of empty spaces in an object
  • Object can become complicated very quickly if multiple questions/surveys are used to populate the object
  • Less powerful reporting (as with any custom object)
  • Difficult to display usefully as related lists.

Recommended use: When collecting answers to the same questions from multiple surveys (e.g. Recommendation, advocacy and loyalty questions may be asked in many operational surveys and these can go in to one common object). We would not recommend using this approach to combine different questions from different surveys and we would also recommend avoiding using "Question X" type labels for different answers to different questions.

3. Dedicated custom object for each type of feedback


  • Easily trend information over time
  • Minimises the number of custom objects required
  • Enables multiple surveys per object and ‘cascading’ feedback.
  • Only uses space when required
  • Can be displayed usefully as related lists.


  • Custom object limitations in some editions
  • Less powerful reporting (as with any custom object)

Recommended use: Collecting feedback on specific operational issues where multiple surveys will be sent to one or more individual (E.g. Market research, on-going customer satisfaction surveys, customer insight surveys, product design). The decision between using option 1 and option 3 will come down to the frequenct and volume of feedback collected. The decision between using option 2 and 3 will come down to the number of custom objects you want to use.

In reality there is no right or wrong and each organization must find the route that is right for them. I certainly wouldn't view these as mutually exclusive as it is possible that all three methods may be required in some way.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

What makes a good survey?

I hadn't originally intended to blog this, but a recent entry on Gareth Davies mktg blog prompted me to follow up on my comment against his blog entry.

And, as surveys are one of the most common uses of Clicktools for AppExchange I thought it would be a good place to start.

As a company Clicktools is method "agnostic" (We don't enforce an approach) as many organizations/requirements need a different approach. However, there are some common denominators that we (amongst our customer base) see:

  • Focus on Action. The aim of the exercise is not to collect data but to improve
  • Start at the end. Don’t start with building a questionnaire but with the results you want people across the organisation to see. Build surveys that deliver this information.
    Share the data widely. Getting everybody to drive improvements is more effective than a few centrally planned initiatives.
  • Keep surveys tightly focused. Lengthy surveys often results to low response rates and unreliable data.
  • Ask people only about what they experience. Ensure that data are
    collected from people who have first hand experience of the interaction and don't ask for feedback and then try and sell-on any thing.
  • Remember the emotional element. Ask how people feel about your
  • Seek competitive comparisons. Success is not about being perfect but
    about being better than the competition in the things that really count.
  • Gather timely feedback. Forget about the ‘annual do you love us survey’, collect feedback from people while the experience is fresh in their minds.
  • Use simple language. Jargon, three letter acronyms and convoluted sentences are to be avoided at all costs.
  • Ensure the data is representative. Ensure your responses are representative of the targeted customer base.
  • Follow up. Asking for feedback raises expectations of action. Failure to act effectively says to customers that their views don’t count.
  • Integrate feedback with operational and financial data. Remember that the reason for gathering feedback is to drive performance improvements that improve financial performance.

Knowing how a customer feels about doing business with you is essential to being able to do something to improve it. The former is data collection, the latter is performance improvement.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The basics

So, what is Clicktools for AppExchange all about and why are we winning more and more customers? Well, simply, our application enables customers to create custom forms, surveys and landing pages. Once completed, the information entered can be used to create or update ANY information in salesforce.

There are a couple of questions that I am often asked:

1. Can we create/update custom objects (called Cobjects by some people within sfdc:)?
2. Can we createupdate multiple objects in one landing page, form or survey?

The answer to both of these questions is YES!