Keys to Becoming Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant Certified

out certifiedEn route to becoming a Salesforce guru, one of the true tests comes with passing the Service Cloud Exam. Having recently taken the exam, I have some suggestions for preparing.

First of all, nothing beats experience! The best way to prepare is to work in the system and practice things such as turning on Email-to-Case or configuring a new Portal. The Service Cloud is something that is learned over time. If you do not have much “real world” experience, Salesforce offers a great workbook that will walk you through some use cases. I highly recommend FULLY walking through each Tutorial, setting up a Developer Org to recreate the exercises, and following along.

It can also be very helpful to find others who are studying for the exam to talk through scenarios and review material together. There is a wealth of knowledge out there on the Internet, so reading through blogs and forums can be another great way of finding help and information. Unfortunately, if you are looking for exam questions, Salesforce does not offer test prep questions.

The Service Cloud exam questions revolves a lot around business situations and real life circumstances in which you, as a consultant, need to determine the best course of actions given a scenario. The Service Cloud offers a toolbox of many different components. That being said, it’s helpful to think about why it might be beneficial to use one tool versus another, such as when to use certain Call Center features. The exam will test your knowledge in understanding Salesforce, not necessarily what the correct answer is, but rather what the best answer is.


The vast majority of the exam will test your industry knowledge of the Service Cloud. The Salesforce Service Cloud Study Guide offers good advice on areas to study, but I have found that the weight of each Objective does not accurately reflect the weight of the questions in the test.

Personally, I find the videos the Study Guide recommends to be monotonous and a bit outdated; however, they can be a good visual way to learn the material. The Cheat Sheets/Tips is more helpful to read and take notes on. In addition, the Implementation Sheets were helpful (although tedious) to read through in order to better understand each Objective within the Service Cloud.

Here are some additional recommendations for areas of focus:

Know in detail:

  • The difference between the Customer Portal, Partner Portal, and Self-Service Portal – there are situational questions that will require you to answer when to implement one over the other
    • Furthermore, know how to implement Sites and when to use Sites vs. the Portals
  • Call center terminology
    • CTI, Softphone, PBX, IVR, etc.
  • Social CRM – I was surprised to find multiple questions regarding this topic. Know the functionality with using Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. with Salesforce
  • Flow – know the components involved with Flow and practice creating some test Flows to understand how the components interact with each other
    • Understand the difference between the palatte components and know what each resource does
  • Understand when you might want to use Salesforce Chat Client vs. Chatter
  • CSAT – if you don’t know what this is, review it!

Summer ’13 – Service Cloud


Summer ’13 offers some great new features for Salesforce. As with any new Release, it is important to study these areas, as they tend to appear in exam questions! Starting with page 95, Summer ’13 offers some new, exciting features for Service Cloud. With the new Release, I have found the following areas of particular interest. Note: this is not a complete list of Summer ’13 Service Cloud Release features.

Salesforce has ramped up Entitlements, which has been an idea on the IdeaExchange for some time. You can now have multiple versions of Entitlements even when existing entitlement processes are active. This is currently a pilot.

A big shock in this Release, is the fact that now the Customer Portal seems to be transitioning into the Customer Community where Customers can see Partner collaboration. The Customer Portal is no longer available for new organizations (this is not to say there wont be test questions regarding the Customer Portal!)

Chatter Answers now supersedes Answers, as Answers is no longer available for enablement. Yet another enhancement to Knowledge! Additionally, there is also a redesign to the Knowledge Article Tab (beta). External data sources are now available for use.

There are added capabilities for Live Agent that include session Reporting where we can now Report on activity. You can also now customize fields on a session page. Additionally, there are some minor changes to the Service Cloud Console including keyboard shortcuts and an updated user interface.

Recent exams have asked many questions surrounding Social Media in Salesforce. Summer ’13 includes a pilot for Social Persona, which allows users to collect publically available information about a person or company from Twitter.

Finally, Salesforce now offers Sticky Dashboard Filters that will remember your last filter choices so that you no longer have to clone dashboards for each subset of data!

As with any test, remember to study beforehand and take your time reading and answering the questions. You can typically eliminate a few of the answers so be sure to relax and you will do great.