Customer Success: Moving from Zendesk to the Salesforce Cloud


Published On: January 26, 2018

Categories: SQL Sentry, Customer Success, Support 0

Curtrina Howell and Paul Margiotis are interns on the Customer Success team at SentryOne. Curtrina has a B.S. in Biology from Indiana University, an M.B.A. from Indiana Wesleyan University, and is working on a B.S. in Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Paul Margiotis has a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and is working on an M.S. in Cybersecurity, with a concentration in Network Security, at the same institution. Both Curtrina and Paul have been interns at SentryOne since May of 2017. Visit the SentryOne Careers page to learn more about current internship opportunities.

The Journey Begins

Our first project at SentryOne was to recreate their support system in Salesforce to provide a richer way of handling cases and better unify the team with other departments.
Although we had no Salesforce experience, we were determined to deliver. The first phase was devoted strictly to research: understanding how agents and managers used Zendesk, differentiating native from custom built features (which ones management wanted to preserve), and reading lots of documentation. We had a long road ahead of us.

The Rubber Meets the Road

After we felt comfortable with what was going on under the hood of Zendesk and had mapped out the existing customer relationship management (CRM) system, we focused our sights on the internals of Salesforce’s Service Cloud. How did it work? Could we build the features our managers wanted with the tools that Salesforce provided? If not, could we configure workarounds? Answering these questions required reading a novel’s worth of knowledge articles, seeking the wisdom of Salesforce enthusiasts in their community, and a lot of experimentation in a sandbox environment.

Thankfully, Salesforce’s community is a treasure trove of information, and we have been fortunate to have had a guiding light in Jonathan Philpot, a Salesforce Administrator and SentryOne CRM and Marketing Automation Specialist, on the team. We were ready to start building and testing. Workflows were made, reports were created, case assignment rules were assembled, meetings were had, and checklists completed. We devoted a couple of weeks before launch date to a testing phase. The essential criteria passed: cases were coming in and being assigned to the appropriate people, and agents and managers could easily interact with customers! Flipping the switch from Zendesk to Salesforce threw light on areas that required us to revisit the drawing board and troubleshoot, and we continue to chisel away to bring our customers a finer experience.

In the midst of all of this, we were also tasked with recreating their community, an arena where SentryOne professionals and enthusiasts could continue to share knowledge and suggest improvements for our products.

Let me take you on a tour of the place.

Touring the Community

1. Visit to access our community home page. Welcome!
2. Select Login on the top right of the banner, pictured below:

3. If you haven’t created an account in our new community, select Not a member? and follow the instructions to do so.

Non-community members can access our knowledge base and read forum content. However, we invite you to enjoy the benefits of joining our community where you can:

  • Ask and answer questions
  • Message other Community members
  • Earn reputation points by contributing
  • Access our Ideas section, a place for feature requests and improvements
  • Access your case records
  • Comment on your cases, offering another way to interact with support agents
  • Close cases

The new community homepage was designed, in part, to preserve our customers’ familiarity with Zendesk’s interface. Let’s start with the search bar and navigation menu:

  1. Search Bar: returns results for discussions, articles, and groups
  2. Notification Bell: alerts user if they’ve been mentioned, replied to, etc.
  3. Account: edit your profile, settings, send messages, and contact support
  4. Home: takes you to SentryOne Support’s home page
  5. Knowledge: topics, Knowledge articles, and discussions can be found here
  6. Ideas: suggestions for improvements (members only)
  7. Resources: various guides, white papers, our team blog, and SentryOne TV are here
  8. Customer Portal: view licenses, update keys, access resources, and edit account information here

The knowledge and community sections of the home page makes information readily available (see the image below). Visitors are presented with a survey of knowledge articles (left). The community section (right) provides an overview of posts, which can be filtered. Clicking the title of a post will take the user to that post, while clicking the Ask the Community button lets the user post to the community.

Posting to the Community

To post to the community, click any Ask the Community button, which will bring up this lightbox:

Post To asks the user to classify their question. General Questions is recommended if you’re unsure of where to post. Users can add topics for even greater specificity within that classification. When the question is posted by clicking Ask, it will appear under its topic (Post To) in the discussions section of the knowledge page. You can also get here by selecting Knowledge in the navigation menu, sending you to the screen that’s pictured below:

On the left are navigation topics, where knowledge articles and discussion posts are categorized. Each navigational topic houses two tabs:

  • Articles: displays our knowledge articles
  • Discussions: posts by members and agents relevant to that topic

And two buttons:

  • Ask the Community: allows users to post to our Community
  • Follow: if selected, the user will receive updates on new articles and posts from that topic

Formerly known as Feature Requests & Product Feedback, the Ideas section (pictured below) is where members can post their thoughts on how to improve our products. An Idea that receives enough upvotes will be tagged Under Consideration, and be reviewed by our Product Management team, so be sure to show your support if something catches your eye.

Don’t hesitate to let us know what’s on your mind! We encourage you to explore our new and improved knowledge base, and interact with other experts and aficionados.

Finally, if you are still puzzled about an issue after exploring the knowledge base and Ideas section, feel free to submit a case. To do this, click your name in the top right of the banner and select Contact Support. You can also find Contact Support buttons scattered throughout the site, like at the end of knowledge articles.

Your Profile

The image below, divided into color-coded sections, is where users can edit how they’re presented to others.

  • Red: basic profile information; profile picture, contact information, a mini description, and so on.
  • Blue: a feed displaying user posts and activity, and a cases tab dedicated to case activity.
  • Green: activity stats, a file repository, and reputation levels (members can earn points for asking and answering questions, and community engagement: posting, giving and receiving likes, sharing, etc. all earn user points.)

The Journey Continues...

We have created a comprehensive and efficient CRM program that provides a high level of technical support to customers through Salesforce’s service and community clouds. Knowledge articles, blog posts, the community, and other resources are readily available so customers can find solutions to problems that they may encounter. While this project is sunsetting, we will continue to implement improvements to make your SentryOne experience a better one.