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Salesforce Summer 13 Features – Part II

Summer 13In Part I, we discussed how the Salesforce Summer ’13 release notes are out and that this was a big enough release (258 pages in all!) that we needed two posts to cover it. In Part 1, we covered the overall platform and Sales Cloud enhancements. For this part, we’re going to cover the enhancements around Service Cloud.

  • Live Agent Improvements – This is a huge release for Live Agent and really shows salesforce’s commitment to the platform. For those of you not using or familiar with Live Agent, it is Salesforce’s chat solution for service. Last year it was integrated into the service console and now we’re seeing some real upgrades in functionality.
    • Session Reporting – Workforce Management is a key issue for Service departments as they need to not only track how productive an agent has been, but also to determine how many agents need to be available – by channel – through-out supported hours. Previously, you could report on chat sessions themselves, but now you can report on an agent session. This includes key metrics like Chat Requests Assigned or Declined, Login & Logout time for the session, how many chats were taken during the session, time analysis of the session such as time at capacity, idle time, time set to Online or Away and finally how much time within the session was actually spent on chats. Combined, these metrics will allow a support organization to measure their agent effectiveness and productivity. Can’t underestimate how important these are to a service organization running a chat option.
    • “Over the Shoulder” for Managers – A few releases ago, the Supervisor Page was released as a way to see – in real time – the activity of all of the chats and agents going on. This has now been expanded to allow these supervisors to view an ongoing chat but clicking into it. Not only can the manager view the chat itself, but they can send a “whisper” message to the agent in the chat to coach them along. Terrific tool for training new agents, but also extremely valuable for instances where an agent needs help with a chat and for simple monitoring of chat agents.
    • Real Time View to Assigned Chats – Another addition to the Supervisor page is the ability to see the number of chats assigned to an agent but haven’t been accepted by the agent yet. This will be in real time, so managers will be able to see if an agent is consistently taking too long to accept assigned chats.
    • Multi-line Input Box – Previously, the entry space for chatting was a single line that stretched as the agent typed. This made it tough for agents to read if they were putting in a longer answer. Now, it’s a 5 line box that word-wraps, which will make it much easier to read for agents.
    • Transcript Events – A whole new slew of events can now be tracked at the transcript. Previously you could only track when a Transfer occurred. Now, you can track events like when the chat was put in queue, when it was routed, accepted, transferred, declined and even cancelled. You can also track how and when the chat was ended – either by the visitor or the agent and if they used the End Chat to do it. This will all help with reviewing individual chat sessions to see what occurred.

  • Smart Article Links in KB – This is a much needed feature and KB Editors all over will rejoice over this one. Cross-linking of KB articles is a very common practice, so whenever an article URL changed, editors would need to manually try to find any other article that linked to them and change that URL too. Without doing this, you would have broken links. Now, with Smart Article Links these will be changed dynamically anywhere the Smart Link was added.
  • Article Fields can be required – A small feature, but a good sign that the Article object is starting to behave like other objects on the platform. Now you can make fields required by Article Type when creating Articles.
  • Service Console Updates – Service Console gets a small facelift and some new features.
    • Updated UI – Nothing earth-shattering here, but definitely a crisper look as well as better overall use of real estate for the Service Console. Tabs will be presented a little tighter and the drop down menu for objects now doesn’t take up as much space. Even things like the collapsible sections use space more effectively. Real estate is critical for support agents, so every little bit helps here. Note, this change will take effect as soon as Summer is rolled out. This isn’t an optional change.
    • Updated Service Console UI
      Updated Service Console UI
    • Refresh Specific Tabs – A bit of an annoying issue has been fixed here. Now agents can refresh a specific tab, vs. having to refresh the entire workspace.
    • Tab Changes – The tabs of the Service Console are now available to developers to modify. You can change the tab look and feel such as the color, title and shape based on any criteria you can access with the API. Seems like a small feature, but it’s a great way to make a certain tab more visible to the agent. For example, if a Case the Agent had open as a workspace was suddenly escalated, you could change the tab of that case to red so even if the agent is working on a different case, they’ll see the visual indicator that something has happened to that case. Used strategically, this is a great tool to surface and highlight critical information for the agents.
    • New Keyboard Shortcuts – Two new standard Keyboard Shortcuts. One is for the refresh specific tabs feature above. The second is a handle one though, which allows you to get the link for the tab or for the entire workspace with a single click. Today it’s a multi-step process to get those URLs. Nice time-saver for the agents.
    • Push Notifications for Tasks – Now you can utilize push notifications on the task object as well

  • Case Feed Updates – A couple of smaller updates to the Case Feed UI. First, the Publishers are now more consistent with how Chatter looks. You no longer have the option to place them on the left hand side, but instead will always be on the top. In all honesty, the left took up too much real estate anyway. The “Answer” publisher is now broken out to Email or Portal, which also makes sense.
  • Updated Case Feed
    Updated Case Feed
  • Ideas – Ideas gets a bunch of new features as well.
    • Idea Reputation – Reputation is a strong part of the Community focus for salesforce and Ideas now has a Reputation engine of its own. Users get points as they view and post Ideas, as well as voting, commenting, or having their own ideas voted or commented on. Out of the box, there are 4 reputation levels the user can get, but this can be adjusted to up to 25. Community members love to be recognized for participation, and Ideas is a critical part of that. Great addition to Ideas.
    • Attachments – Users can now post attachments to an Ideas record.
    • Number of Ideas by Theme – You can now easily see how many Ideas have been posted by Theme.
    • Idea Comments Triggers – Developers now can get at the Ideas Comments with Apex Triggers

  • Entitlement Versions – Entitlements now gets version control. Makes it a lot easier to change an entitlement type even while you have open cases assigned to it.

In addition to the above features, two pretty exciting pilots are also available to a lucky few. First is the Social Customer Service Pilot. Currently, to use the social support with Twitter or Facebook you need to use the Salesforce for Twitter & Facebook appexchange app. Salesforce appears to be moving to having Radian6 be the backbone for Social Support. This makes sense considering how powerful Radian6 is in monitoring the social space and it opens up a lot of potential opportunity for Social Support. The second beta is called Knowledge One, and is a re-do of the existing Article Management page. Not only does it make this page more intuitive and easier to manage the articles, but also adds the framework to begin pulling in external knowledge resources, like SharePoint. I was able to see a demo of this, and it is a strong improvement over the existing KB Management tab.

That’s it for the Summer 13 features, but this is a terrific release. If you missed it, be sure to read Part I on the Sales Cloud and platform features. Can’t wait to get hold of some of these features!

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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