Gillian Bruce and Karmel James in a new Salesforce+ episode of "How I Solved It."

How I Solved It: Problem Solving with Karmel James


#AwesomeAdmins, in case you haven’t heard, we’ve taken our existing “How I Solved It” series from YouTube, sprinkled some extra magic onto it, and are bringing a five-episode version of it to Salesforce+, our free streaming service.

In the third episode (available now on Salesforce+), we see how Karmel James uses her problem-solving skills to create a solution for managing marketing newsletter subscriptions. Karmel explains why problem solving is key to being an effective Salesforce Admin and highlights how she uses skills from the Salesforce Admin Skills Kit—problem solving, communication, and data management.

We recommend you watch the episode on Salesforce+ and then read about her solution below.

The challenge

Karmel’s company sends a lot of newsletters from different departments, and customers can self-select which ones they want to receive. She needed a way to make sure that when a customer unsubscribes from an important newsletter, someone reaches out to that customer to verify that they actually no longer want that information.

The solution

Karmel used custom fields, Flow, formulas, and groups to make sure that when a customer unsubscribes, a series of steps happen to make sure her team stays both engaged with them and up to date with any changes.

When a customer unchecks the box for a specific newsletter, a series of things happen. First, a new Task is created on the related Contact record assigned to a team member using a formula to specify that it’s due in 3 business days. This also creates a new Case to track the number of unsubscribes taking place and how long it takes the team to resolve them.

Contacts with Priority Newsletters list view showing checkboxes for different newsletters.

Case record page for Newsletter changes displaying related Task on the right side under All Updates.

When Karmel’s team follows up with the customer and resubscribes them to the newsletter, they can add the details of the conversation, mark that the contact’s newsletter subscription needs to be updated, and change the status of the Task to Completed.

‘Schedule call to discuss newsletter changes’ Task open showing Subscription Updates Needed checkbox checked and Status changed to Completed.

Because the Subscription Updates Needed field was checked as true, Karmel set up automation to create a new Task reminding the team member to take that action. Once this Task is marked as Issue Resolved, the case automatically updates to Closed.

Newsletter changes Case record page showing Status as Closed.

She also set up an automation to update the Marketing Channel with the updates that happened so that the whole team knows what’s happening.

Marketing Group feed showing Karmel’s automatic update about the customer resubscribing to the newsletter with a link to the related Case.

Karmel also shares her flow for these automations, showing us how she built a record-triggered flow on Task records with the Subscription Updates Needed and Issue Resolved decision outcomes

Flow canvas showing Task record-triggered flow with Subscription Update Needed and Issue Resolved decision outcomes. Subscription Update Needed decision has Create a task reminder assignment and Create Task record actions. Issue Resolved decision has Find Case get records, Post to Marketing, and Update Case record actions..

Admin skills

Karmel shows us a lot of skills from the Salesforce Admin Skills Kit in this episode, but we want to focus on problem solving, data management, and communication.

Here’s how she uses these admin skills (and how you can, too!):

Problem solving

  • Take time to plan out your automations before you build.
  • Use your sandbox early and often.
  • Ask questions to proactively identify new problems to solve.

Data management

  • Maintain Salesforce as the single source of truth for all customer and sales data.
  • Set up validation rules to create processes to proactively prevent data duplication.
  • Periodically check and recheck that integrations, packages, and other tools are configured correctly.


  • Build strong relationships with your internal stakeholders.
  • Organize regular Salesforce stakeholder meetings to review business needs, processes, and technical requirements.
  • Deliver regular training sessions for new Salesforce users.

We hope you enjoy this episode! Stay tuned to Salesforce+ for more How I Solved It episodes coming soon!

Want more?

Check out these great resources:

Gillian Bruce and Madeleine Coutanceau in an episode of "How I Solved It."

How I Solved It: Automating Processes with Madeleine Coutanceau

#AwesomeAdmins, in case you haven’t heard, we’ve taken our existing “How I Solved It” series from YouTube, sprinkled some extra magic onto it, and are bringing a five-episode version of it to Salesforce+, our free streaming service. In the second episode (available now on Salesforce+), we see how Madeleine Coutanceau built a solution to manage […]


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