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