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Salesforce Spring 22 Features – Field Service

Spring 22
1. Salesforce Spring 22 Features – Lightning Sales Cloud, Einstein Sales Cloud, and General Enhancements
2. Salesforce Spring 22 Features – Service Cloud, Service Cloud Voice and Service Cloud Einstein
3. Salesforce Spring 22 Features – Experience Cloud
4. Salesforce Spring 22 Features – Field Service
5. Salesforce Spring 22 Features – Salesforce Flow
6. Salesforce Spring 22 Features – Manufacturing Cloud & Rebates Management
Salesforce Spring 22 Release
Salesforce Spring 22 Release

It’s a full-on blizzard over here in New England so I find myself yet again hunkered down in a snowstorm blogging about the Spring 22 release. At least this time I’m in the comfort of my home and didn’t need to do a last-minute shopping spree to stock up with food for my hotel room. I also find it oddly appropriate that this post is all about Field Service as the blizzard is a great reminder that the life of scheduling and fieldwork is one of perpetual obstacle management.

You could have had a perfectly optimized day set up today – the perfect balance of travel time, skills, and response time to your customers – and boom – a blizzard obliterates your schedule. It’s the life of field management sometimes it’s a blizzard, other times it’s a broken-down truck or a sick technician – but it’s always something. This is why you need to be flexible and in constant communication with your customers and technicians, or these ‘somethings’ can quickly snowball into customer sat issues. No one (well, almost no one) is going to complain when you re-schedule today because of the blizzard, but if you take 3 days to tell them when their new appointment is, then they will complain about that. There’s a great LinkedIn group called Field Service United (full disclosure, I’m one of the group Managers) that focuses on all of the different challenges facing field management and has some great content and events. If you’ve been nodding your head along with me this whole last paragraph it’s worth signing up!

Alright onto Spring 22. As always the order is based on my interest. I’m mixing it up music-wise as I have a little jazz playing from Sons of Kemet (Sunday morning update – The Smile from Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, and Tom Skinner had a live broadcast last night. Extremely well-done production and was nice to see “live” music again”). Here we go.

  • Bundling Service Appointments – Huge new feature here. The concept of “bundling” has always been a challenge for field teams. Basically, you have 3 appointments for the same location out there – it could be literally the same customer or maybe it’s 3 different customers in the same apartment building – but either way you want to make sure you don’t have multiple trips to go handle these. If you’re at the location, let’s knock them all out at once (assuming the jobs are small enough to be done all at once of course). The problem was this wasn’t always obvious to see – one of these appointments could be a maintenance visit that’s a week out and as a dispatcher, you’re focused on this week and don’t even realize that on Monday you’re about to send someone right back to the same location. Or in the case of an apartment building or a shopping center – these are literally different customers that just happen to be at the same address – that’s not always obvious. On top of all of that, at the end of the day, these are still separate appointments and there was no way to associate them. Well, now there is! Now we can create bundles of Service Appointments, easily joining them together and then assigning the bundle to a single worker instead of having to assign each individually. The beauty is you can do this manually – a sharp field dispatcher noticing this can quickly create the bundle or it can be done automatically with Flow or code. The automatic side gives a lot of potential to set up rules and conditions where your appointments are automatically bundled. Very powerful. Of course, you want to be mindful of skills and project length here. You have to be careful when bundling appointments that require very different skills – a smart dispatcher will know what resources can handle both, but managing via automation would start to get complex quickly. Also as I mentioned above, don’t bundle 14 appointments in the same apartment complex when a resource can only finish 3 a day. These are just a few things to look out for, but this is absolutely a feature Field Service customers need to attack-  especially if your workers typically handle multiple jobs per day. On the worker side, when viewing the bundle they can view and report on the entire bundle at once. They can also update the status of multiple service appointments within the bundle at once. Even your mobile workers will appreciate this as it cuts down their work as well. Huge.
Bundled Service Appointments on the Mobile app
  • Suggested Status Changes – This is a cool new one where the mobile app actually suggests appointment status changes to your technicians. For example, if your worker is on the way to an appointment, the app will automatically suggest a change in status. Once they’ve arrived, it’ll prompt them to change as well by asking if they’ve arrived. The worker can reject the suggestions, but these will automatically change over a period of time if no action is taken – which probably will give you much more accurate status progressions than the worker catching up on them when the job is done. This is an optional feature that you can turn on, so if you don’t like this it doesn’t need to be activated. For Spring 22 this is a beta feature though, so might be worth testing this out in the field a bit on low volume days to see how it performs.
    Automated Appointment Status Change Recommendations
  • Visual Remote Assistant for Experience Cloud – Visual Remote Assistant is part of the Field Service family, but it’s really built to try and prevent the use of Field Service by allowing an agent to resolve the issue remotely instead of needing to dispatch someone onsite. With Spring 22, VRA gets some nice enhancements, including the ability to add VRA to Communities Sites (grrr) and allow customers to request or schedule a session. Previously, this was typically done by an agent already on a phone call and they would send a URL to a customer to engage in a virtual camera sharing session. With this update, customers can request them directly. Now, I do think there is a little bit of a risk here in that a lot of customers probably don’t understand what the camera sharing is and you might have customers requesting these sessions for issues where they should just be in a normal chat setting. Ideally, you’re positioning this in the community and explaining what the experience is prior to the customer requesting this. Just as a reminder, the VRA licenses for your agents is an additional cost. That said, I’m a big fan of leveraging camera-sharing technology like VRA to deflect truck-rolls so it’s worth the cost. It increases customer sat by reducing your customer’s effort – our Effortless Field Service blog goes into how Field is a big effort for customers.
    Let Customers Request Virtual Camera Sharing Sessions from Experience Sites
  • Shift Management Updates – There are a bunch of big updates around Shift Management & Scheduling in Spring 22. Salesforce has done a great job of beefing up Shifts over the last few releases and this one might be the biggest update yet. First up, you can now find candidates for Shifts. Up until this point, getting candidates was really driven from the Service Appointments and scheduled through them. Some companies schedule by Shift – not by appointment. Now those companies can optimize their scheduling at the Shift level and take into account factors like total hours per day/week/month for employees, your objectives for optimization, and constraints like weekend/holiday shifts, etc (more on this in a second). This is a big deal for companies that manage by Shift and finally lets them optimize their schedule as well. In addition to being able to use get candidates at a Shift level, you can now update your Shifts in bulk (just like you can with Service Appointments). With the bulk updates, you can now do mass assignments, mass updates to Shift statuses, or both at the same time. Just like with Service Appointments, when you’re scheduling in bulk it takes into account all of your scheduling rules, objectives, and resource preferences. Just like with bulk updates on Service Appointments, when you run these updates it schedules a job that runs the processing – so it’s not a real-time bulk update. This combined with the get candidates update really opens up the capabilities for companies to manage their scheduling at the Shift level. Another new feature is the ability to flag a Shift as “nonstandard.” Nonstandard is a nice way of saying a Shift that no one wants – like weekends, nights, or holidays. By flagging these Shifts as nonstandard, the scheduling methods we described above allows you to limit how many nonstandard Shifts a worker can be given. Just because someone is perfect to work all of these less-desirable Shifts, that doesn’t mean you want to schedule them for a lopsided amount of them. This lets you ensure you have these non-preferred Shifts spread smoothly across your team. Finally, for the Shift schedule view, you now have the ability to color-code your Shifts (see the screenshot below). Colors can be assigned to Shift types or to Shift templates so that you can easily tell what type of Shift they are. These background colors are visible on the Shift calendar as well as the dispatcher console Gantt. Love seeing all of these Shift improvements!
    Color Coded Shifts
  • Proactive Preventative Maintenance – This is one we discussed when it was in beta for Winter 22, but it’s now GA in Spring 22. I love the feature, so I’m going to re-cap it. We’ve always been able to create preventative maintenance plans on a recurring schedule, but now we can create a preventative maintenance plan based on events like asset use and conditions with the asset. The example below is a good one – if you have an asset that really shouldn’t be running in temperatures over 100 degrees, you can create a filter criteria rule that says if this asset is exposed to temperatures exceeding 100 degrees then automatically create a preventative maintenance record so that you can make sure the asset is ok. Obviously, this implies that you have a way to get the data needed for these conditions – like temperature or number of cycles in a day, etc (connected devices / IoT at work here). This is really powerful if used correctly as you can ensure equipment is being inspected during harsh conditions that typically would lead to downtime later. Any downtime prevented is huge ROI and this lets you get very intelligent about setting up rules to protect your equipment. Love it.
  • Expanded Resource Preference Capabilities – This is a cool one and one I hadn’t really thought of before, but it makes a ton of sense. Sometimes scheduling is as simple as “this customer loves Mary and wants Mary coming every time.” You could use account preferences to set up Mary as the preferred resource for that customer and leverage that in your assignment processes. Well, now with Spring 22 you can set those preferences at an asset or location level as well as the account level. The asset level makes a ton of sense. It might not be a customer preference here, but it might be “this asset is a pain, and Joe knows the entire history here” so make sure Joe always takes care of this asset. Might not be a feature everyone uses, but especially those customers doing asset maintenance appointments this makes a ton of sense.
  • Account Specific Work Plans – Another expansion of an existing feature that makes a ton of sense. With this feature, you can take the existing Work Plans functionality and build out these plans for a specific customer. Lots of times your bigger or more complex clients will have their own procedures for safety or security that you need to follow. Now instead of having this just being tribal knowledge, or in a comments field in the Work Order, you can setup Work Plans to follow those procedures and have any mobile worker walk through them each time. Clearly this isn’t something you’re going to want to build out for every customer or you’re going to have a management nightmare on your hand with all of them, but for your top customers or customers that make this mandatory, you now have the flexibility to build this out.
  • Hide Service Resources Location – Field Service is literally built to keep track of a Service Resource’s location via the mobile app, but up until Spring 22 you couldn’t control who could see this information. Now you can give your service resources more privacy by controlling who has access to the live position data and actual route maps from them. This also controls the last-seen time indicators on the Gantt charts. Basically, you’re always going to want to have your dispatch team having this info, but do you want your entire call center being able to track down your service resources and track them? Probably not. Definitely something to fine-tune once this is live.
  • Stop Deep Link Security Dialogs from Popping – We spoke about this in Winter 22 when it went beta and in Spring 22 it’s now GA. Deep linking adds a lot of power to your field service mobile experience, but it was causing a security warning each time a user tried to click on one. Clearly not a great worker experience if they have to click on a security warning every single time they do a task leveraging deep links. As an admin, you can now add a security key when you’re setting up these deep links and that will prevent the security warning from popping for your users. If you’re using deep links, this is a must to set up.
  • Briefcase Builder can now Prime Related Objects – With the Briefcase Builder, you now have the flexibility to add related objects to your logic and you can filter these related objects down to specific record data. This will let you build very granular rules of which related objects will be primed and available when offline. This is in beta for Spring 22 – so definitely something you want to test out thoroughly before releasing it to all your technicians, but I love the flexibility this gives you in building your briefcase for the critical offline time your workers are in.
  • Launch Salesforce App from Actions – Simple new feature, but one that field workers will appreciate. Now you can open up a record in the Salesforce app right from the Actions Launcher in the field service app. Nice and easy with one click.
  • Field Service Mobile Settings now in Lightning – No more needing to hop over to Classic admin to adjust your field service mobile settings.
    Tighter integration with the Field Service & Salesforce mobile apps
  • Service Appointment Status Updated now Limited – Sounds like a customer must have done something to cause this! Previously you could bulk update as many ServiceApointmentShare records as you wanted at once, but this is now limited to 50,000 in a single batch. Let’s be clear, that’s still a lot of records, so this is a perfectly reasonable limit that anyone should be able to work around. I’m sure there’s one customer out there going “argh” at this – and you’re probably the reason this limit was put in place (I guess that might be a badge of honor?).

Wow, that’s a big release for Field Service. It didn’t feel that big when I first started digging into it, but this is a huge one. Lots of great stuff. As always if you have any questions or want some help implementing these new features (like Bundling!) feel free to reach out and we’ll have one of our Solution Architects get right back to you. Thanks for reading!

Harry Radenberg

Harry is the CEO and founder of GearsCRM, with more than 18 years of experience working with the Salesforce platform. Outside of Gears, Harry enjoys debating Star Wars and Marvel with his son and sharing music and videos with his daughter. He is an avid racquetball player, bleeds Dodger blue, cries Jets green and always tries to find spare time to read a good fiction novel.

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