5Working with Contacts

About Contacts

Customer data is the foundation of Oracle Service Cloud. It includes basic information such as a customer’s name, email address, and phone number as well as information about customer service issues, opportunities, and marketing mailings opt-in status.

The contact information you add and edit becomes part of your organization’s knowledge base and is shared with all staff members. If you are a sales representative, for example, you should know if a customer is having support issues before you try to close a sale. If you are a service agent, you can better help customers if you understand their past support questions.

When customer information is kept up-to-date, the knowledge base provides complete information to your entire organization. The results make your job easier and provide a superior customer experience.

Contacts overview

Every customer has a contact record in the knowledge base that contains information about the customer. But before you can understand contacts, you must first understand how contacts and organizations are associated and also how contacts are associated with incidents and opportunities.

Familiarize yourself with the following points before adding or editing contacts.

  • An organization is any business entity that has an organization record in the knowledge base. For example, organizations can refer to companies, divisions of companies, government agencies, educational institutions, or nonprofit associations.

  • Contacts may or may not belong to an organization. If your customers are other organizations, you might have several contacts associated with an organization record. If, on the other hand, your customers are individuals rather than organizations, every contact record represents a unique customer. It is also possible that you have both organizations and contacts as customers.

  • Each contact is associated with only one organization, but an organization can have many contacts. Each contact record displays all incidents, opportunities, tasks, surveys, marketing activity, attachments, and notes for the contact, as well as the audit log, which displays all activity for the contact record.

  • Every incident must have a primary contact. If your profile gives you the appropriate permissions, you can change contact associations and delete contact records. Because these actions can have far-reaching consequences on incidents as well as opportunities, it is important to understand what happens when you make such changes.

Deleting contacts

There are usually consequences when a contact is deleted. If the contact is associated with multiple incidents or multiple opportunities or both, different results may occur with each record, depending on the type of associations and the association of other contacts with the record.

In cases where the contact has multiple incidents and opportunities, follow the flowchart for each record the contact is associated with to discover what will happen to the record if you delete the contact.

For example, assume a contact is associated with two opportunities. Also assume that the first opportunity does not have an organization association while the second one does, and that neither opportunity has a secondary contact. Deleting the contact removes the contact from the knowledge base and deletes the first opportunity. The second opportunity remains in the knowledge base, although the contact no longer appears on the Contacts tab.

Note: When you delete secondary contacts for incidents and opportunities, the incidents and opportunities are not deleted.

Standard contact workspace

Oracle Service Cloud provides a standard workspace for working with contacts.

The standard contact workspace defines which fields are available, what icons are displayed on the toolbar, and how the information is organized on the content pane.

Your organization may use the standard workspace, or your administrator may have created one or more customized workspaces. Your profile defines the workspace you see when you work with contacts, whether it is the standard workspace or a customized workspace.

Contact workspace toolbar

The following table describes the icons on the toolbar of the standard contact workspace.

Some icons are not enabled until after you have saved a contact you are adding.

Table Standard Contact Workspace Toolbar Description

Icon Description
Refresh Click to refresh the current contact record.
Save Click to save the changes you have made to the contact and continue working. The contact record remains open.

When you save a contact, the rules engine evaluates it. If contact rules exist and the contact matches one or more rules, the record may be modified when you save it. For example, a rule can change a contact’s state or set a custom field value.

Save & Close Click to save the contact and close the record.
New Click to add a contact.
Print Click to print the contact record.
Bookmark Click to create a URL bookmark of the record that can be copied and shared.
These additional icons are available from the Actions drop-down menu.

Click to delete the contact record.

Caution: Be sure you understand the consequences of this action before you delete a contact.
Reset Password Click to invalidate the contact’s current password.

This action sends an email to the contact’s primary email address. Included in the email is a link to a page where a new password can be set.

Copy Click to copy the contact record.

Contact record tabs

From an open contact record, you can view all notes, tasks, incidents and attachments associated with the contact. You can also view the audit log, which lists all actions taken on the contact record by the customer, staff members, and through automatic system updates.

  • Summary tab—Contains all key fields for the contact.

  • Notes tab—Contains all notes associated with the contact. Notes can be viewed and selected by contact or organization and sorted by date. Remember that customers never see the notes added by staff members.

  • Tasks tab—Lists all tasks associated with the contact. For each task, the tab displays the task name, due date, completion date, the staff member assigned to the task, and priority. You can open, copy, delete, print, and forward any task and mark tasks complete.

  • Incidents tab—Lists all incidents associated with the contact. For each incident, the tab displays status, time beyond the response threshold, time beyond the resolution threshold, source, reference number, and subject. You can open, copy, delete, print, and forward an incident..

  • Attachments tab—Lists all attachments associated with the contact. The tab displays the file name, size, date created, date updated, and a description for each attachment.

  • Audit Log tab—Lists all actions taken on the contact record by you, other staff members, and the customer. It also displays any automatic changes initiated by Oracle Service Cloud that resulted from the application of business rules or through configuration settings. When an action is generated by the system, the Who field contains Administrator. You can also see who worked on the contact, when it was added or updated, the actions taken, and descriptions of the actions.

Note: Your workspace tabs may be different if your administrator assigned a custom contact workspace to your profile.

Add a contact

Contacts can be added to the knowledge base by customers and staff members.

A customer can add a contact record when creating an account on the customer portal. Staff members can add contacts using a contact workspace or when working on incidents, organizations, tasks, and contact lists. Follow this procedure to add a new contact with the Add a Record option.

Note: Because many staff members can have permission to add contacts, the contact you plan to add may already be in the knowledge base. To avoid duplicating contact records, search the knowledge base before adding a contact to be sure it does not already exist.


  1. Click Add a Record and select Contact. A new contact workspace opens with the Summary tab active.

  2. Complete the fields on the Summary tab. See Contact workspace fields.

  3. To add notes to the contact record, click the Notes tab, click Add, and type your comments in the field. Click the Contact Note drop-down menu to select the channel through which you gained the information you are adding to the note. Add notes to the contact when you want to provide information for other staff members. Notes are not visible to customers.

  4. To associate tasks with the contact, click the Tasks tab where you can add, open, print, copy, assign, delete, and forward tasks associated with the contact.

  5. To associate the contact with a new incident, click the Incidents tab. Click Add New to open a new incident on a sub-tab, and then complete the fields.

  6. To attach files to the contact record, click the Attachments tab.

  7. To view the audit log for the contact record, click the Audit Log tab.

  8. Click Save.

Contact workspace fields

Summary tab fields of the default Contact workspace are described below.

Fields marked with an asterisk are required and must be completed before you can save the record.

Table Summary Tab Fields on the Contact Workspace

Field Description
*First Name Type the contact’s first name in this field.
*Last Name Type the contact’s last name in this field.
Email Address Type the contact’s email address in this field. To add alternate email addresses, click the arrow and select Email Alt 1 or Email Alt 2. Then type the alternate email address in the field.

If you enter an email address that is already in the knowledge base, you will receive an error message and not be able to save the contact. If email address sharing is enabled, meaning multiple contacts can share the same email address, a yellow icon with a black exclamation point displays when you type an email address that is associated with a different contact in the system. If this icon appears, you can save the contact without changing the contact’s email address. Email address sharing validation begins when the Email address field receives focus and ends when the field loses focus.

Click the email icon within this field to open your email client with an untitled message to the contact.

Office Phone Type the contact’s phone number in this field. To add other phone numbers, click the arrow, select one of the options, and type the phone number in the field. The options include Mobile, Fax, Assistant, and Home.
Address Click Edit in the lower right corner of the field to display a window for entering the contact’s address. Type information in the Street, City, and Postal Code fields, and make selections on the Country and State/Province fields drop-down menus. When you select the country, the associated states or provinces appear in the State/Province menu. Click OK when you are finished to close the window and display the address you entered.
Contact Type Click this drop-down menu and select a contact type. These options are unique to your organization and were added by your administrator.
*State Click in this field and select one or more of the following states: Service, Outreach, or Opportunities.

The State field classifies how the contact was added, whether through Oracle RightNow Cloud Service (Service) when working on an incident, Oracle RightNow Outreach Cloud Service (Outreach) when adding contacts, or Oracle RightNow Opportunity Tracking Cloud Service (Opportunity Tracking) when working on an opportunity, and what areas of Oracle Service Cloud the contact has since had activity in. The State field may be updated automatically, and you can also update it manually.

Organization Click the Filters icon to the right of the Organization field to open the Organization Search window and search for an organization to associate with the contact. Wildcards are supported. You can also type the first letter of the organization name and press enter for a list of organizations beginning with that letter to select from. This field defaults to No Value.

Click the Commands drop-down list to open this record, clear this association, or add a new organization.

Salesperson Click in this field to select a salesperson from a drop-down menu. This field defaults to No Value.
Title Type the contact’s title in this field.
Login Type a name in this field to designate a login for the customer to use when logging in to the customer portal. If the customer added the contact record on the customer portal, this field displays the login the customer entered. This field applies only to Service. A login must be unique for each contact if Email Address Sharing is enabled.

The login may not contain a space, single quote, double quote, less than, or greater than character. We recommend that you use ASCII characters when creating a customer login.

Global Opt-in Click this drop-down menu and select Yes if the customer has opted to receive marketing mailings and No if the customer does not want to receive them.

Adding contacts from other records

You can add or edit a contact from the Contacts tab when you work with incidents and organizations or by right-clicking a contact from any report.

If you are adding a contact on a sub-tab (because you are adding the contact to a contact list, incident, opportunity, or task), click Save & Close to close the sub-tab after making your changes. Closing the New Contact sub-tab saves the contact data in memory, but the contact record is not added to the knowledge base until you save the record you have added the contact to.

Remove a contact from a record

There might be times when you want to remove a contact from a record but do not want to delete the contact from the knowledge base. In those instances, you can remove the contact from the incident, organization, or contact list.

Note: To remove a contact from an open task, select the name in the Contact field and select Clear.


  1. On the Contacts tab of the record, select the contact you want to remove and click Remove. A message asks you to confirm that you want to remove the contact.

  2. Click Yes to confirm removal of the contact. The contact remains in the knowledge base but is no longer associated with the record.

  3. Click Save to save the change to the record.

Edit a contact

It is highly likely you will encounter situations where you need to update contact information for contacts that are already in the knowledge base.

Depending on the permissions set in your profile, you can edit a contact record whenever you need to add or change customer information. You can also copy, print, and delete contacts.

Tip: If you want to delete a contact but do not want to delete the incidents and opportunities associated with that contact, you can specify different contacts for the incidents and opportunities before you delete the original contact.


  1. Open the contact record you want to edit.

  2. Make the necessary changes to any field on any tab.

  3. Click Save to save the changes to the contact.

Delete a contact

The following procedure describes how to delete a contact.

Caution: Deleting contact records can affect other staff members within your organization. This action permanently removes not only the contacts from the knowledge base, but also all incidents for which the contact is the primary contact. Opportunities might also be deleted, so you must understand the consequences of deleting contacts before doing so.


  1. Right-click a contact and select Delete. A message asks you to confirm that you want to delete the contact.

  2. Click Yes to delete the selected contact.