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Salesforce Summer 17 Features – Service Cloud and Field Service Lightning

Summer 17 is just around the corner with a whopping 550 page release notes and we’re digging into all of the great new features that are coming. In Part 1, we covered all of the new Sales Cloud features including the Lightning and Einstein updates that are for Sales. In this part we will be covering Service Cloud and Field Service Lightning. Service Cloud started its migration to Lightning in Spring 17 and Summer 17 is the continuation of that path. Most of the new features in Summer 17 require Lightning and we will call those out below. That said, Service Cloud is still only part of the way through migrating to Lightning so definitely pay close attention to what features you need before cutting over. With this release anyone relying purely on Email and Phone as service channels can probably start making the move. If you are a user of Live Agent for Chat or if you have complicated Entitlements and Milestones requirements, you’re going to need to remain for at least one more release.

One quick Service Cloud related plug before we dive in. We have done a bunch of Service Cloud topics for webinars including How to Add Messaging to your Channel Mix with LiveMessage and an Introduction to Salesforce Omni-Channel and how it can Help Automate your Work Distribution. We’re excited to announce we have just completed another one. Our latest webinar is Service in Manufacturing where we highlighted how Service Cloud and its related products can be used within different types of manufacturers to provide world-class service. To view the recording, please go here.

Alright, let’s get into the features.

  • Lightning Service Console – Very similar to the new Lightning Sales Console, the Lightning Service Console gets a few new features. The first is what they are calling the Split View. This is a very nice feature and particularly cool for a support team who is working through a list of Cases – like from Email or Web to Case. The Split view allows a user to very easily pull back in the a List View without losing context to the records you are working. As you can see in the screenshot below, it adds a pretty unobtrusive third column to the left and a user can pop records right from there to their tabs. To access this, you can click on a small arrow always hidden, or from a List View itself, you can select how to display it – either as a table or as a split view. Very nice productivity gain here. Along with the split view, the Console gets the Keyboard Shortcuts back. You still can’t customize and add your own, but a good number of the standard ones are now available. Finally, the Service Console now supports Person Accounts.
    Lightning Service Console
  • Case Feed Enhancements in Lightning – Case Feed gets a bunch of improvements in Lightning as well. Keep in mind, this only supports what Lightning supports so you can’t add Live Chat Transcripts or Community Messages yet. In addition it still doesn’t support Tasks & Events.
    • Compact Case Feed – First up is a snazzy new compact view for the Case Feed. A lot of the noise from the original Case Feed is now gone – it looks a lot less like Chatter now and more of a chronological view of what has occurred on the Case. By default the most recent action is expanded and the rest are compressed. You can expand one item at a time or expand them all in one shot to get the full history. In addition, you can quickly filter by the type of updates (just like in the Classic Case Feed).
      Lightning Compact Case Feed
    • Log a Call – Log a Call is now available in the Case Feed. In addition to just being able to log a call, you can now customize this action as well and allow for other objects to be related to the call.
    • Case Comments & Social Posts Support – The Lightning Case Feed now allows for managing Case Comments including Viewing, Creating, Editing or Deleting them right from the Feed. You can also set if those Comments are Public or Private Comments for the Community. In addition to Case Comments, you can now also reply to Social Posts from the Feed.
      Case Comments in Lightning Case Feed
  • Attachments Related Lists – The Case related list for Case Attachments gets a great new feature. Now, right from the related list, you can see if an attachment was associated with an email or not. When you expand all, you can see the specific email the attachment belongs to. This has always been a pain point especially for Cases received by email with lots of back and forth. The attachments directly associated to the Case get lost with all of the Attachments from emails and the email attachments can be tough to find. The Files component helped with this a bit, but this is a great update. In addition to this change, using the Lightning Service Console, you can now drag and drop attachments right onto the related list. Another nice time saver. Both of these features only works with Lightning though.
    See Attachments more Clearly in Lightning
  • Lightning Knowledge Updates – Knowledge also began a move to Lightning in Spring 17, but we see a ton more features added to it with Summer. Keep in mind that this can’t be turned off once it’s turned on. Be sure to test this in a sandbox before activating it in Production. In addition, for your internal users, you need the Lightning Service Console above to leverage this correctly. So, if you can’t move to Lightning Service Console, don’t move to Lightning Knowledge.
    • Article Record Layouts – Just like all of the other records on Lightning, you can now build out your own Lightning page layouts for Articles. The different aspects of the Article – Ratings, Files, Versions, Data Category Viewer & Chooser are now all components that can be removed or moved to where you like them. This was always a pain point with Articles in that the page layout was pretty static. Now you can finally build your own layouts.
    • Article Hovers – The Lightning Knowledge Sidebar now has hovers. Without having to click onto an Article and have it pop into a sub-tab, users can now just hover over the title and see the full Article details. Very nice.
      Lightning Knowledge Article Hovers
    • Publishing Actions in the Sidebar – Knowledge authors can now perform authoring actions right in the Knowledge Sidebar that comes within the Lightning Service Console. From the new Lightning Sidebar you can Archive, Edit, Delete and even Publish Articles. This also works in the hover pop-outs.
    • Lightning Knowledge in Communities & Salesforce1 – Lightning Knowledge now works with the Customer Service (Napili) template. The notes don’t specifically call it out, but I assume it also works in custom Lightning communities as well. Salesforce1 also now supports Lightning Knowledge.
    • Article Search Improvements – A few enhancements to finding Articles. For your agents using the contextual search on a Case to display Articles in the Article Component, this now looks at a full 250 characters instead of just the 100 characters it used to. In addition, you can now add up to five additional short text fields that would help narrow the results. The 250 character limit applies to all of these fields combined. The Description field is still leveraged as well, but does not count against the limit. Lightning Knowledge can now also search by the title and the content of any of the Files related to the Article. This is actually pretty key, especially if you have a large Knowledge Base with similar content spread across different brands or product lines. The extra narrowing will really help provide better search results.
    • Article Import Tool Improvements – A couple of improvements to the standard Article import tool. First, as part of Spring 17, Articles in Lightning Knowledge now have record types like all other objects as opposed to having the old Article Types. You can now specify different record types within the import tool. Second, you can now use the import tool to load Files against the Articles as well.
  • Omni-Channel in Lightning (Beta) – Omni-Channel starts its progression into Lightning but it still has some major limitations and is only in beta. Included is a refreshed looking Omni-Channel widget that allows agents to set their status. The widget also changes colors even when its minimized to show if a pending request is trying to come to an agent. In addition to the look and feel changes, now when an agent declines a request sent via Omni, they can provide a reason as to why they are declining. The biggest thing missing from Omni-Channel in Lightning is the Omni-Channel Supervisor page which is still not supported. In addition, you can’t route Live Agent, LiveMessage or SOS work through Omni-Channel Lightning. Finally, if the object is not supported by Lightning yet, it can’t be used to distribute work against. Please keep all of this in mind when making your decisions around cutting over to Lightning.
    Lightning Omni-Channel
  • Entitlements in Lightning – You can now sort of use Entitlements in Lightning. A bunch of major limitations that hinders this, but at least it’s not a blocker anymore. Although you can use and assign an Entitlement to a Case in Lightning, you still can’t see the Milestones related list on the Case or Work Order. The cool Milestone component that tracks the countdown to an Milestone violation is also still not available in the Lightning Service Console. Finally, you can’t use Entitlements with Contacts if you have it at that granular of a level.
  • Field Service Inventory Management – Field Service Lightning gets a terrific new features with Summer 17 – Inventory Management. This is a major need for field technicians and the team that supports them. Most of the time technicians have vans with inventory – parts, equipment, and sometimes even product – and you need to be able to track what they have and just as importantly what they consume at different jobs. Now you can track these inventory movements right from Field Service Lightning. In addition to tracking consumption and inventory, technicians can create part requests to order up more parts as needed. This extends the reach of your field without having to use another product’s app.
  • Field Service Mobile App Updates – The core to Field Service Lightning is the Mobile app with offline capabilities. With Summer 17 we get a few improvements to this. First, technicians can now view Work Orders based on their location. Subtle but cool feature that allows a technician to see if there are any other Work Orders at their current location and then can knock those out quickly instead of realizing it after the fact. In addition, technicians can now preview their Service Report before actually generating it. Even nicer this works offline as well. We also get some extended ability to more easily view the Schedule screen within the app. Now you can view up to four columns in the list view versus the previous maximum of two and you can now add multiple list views within the app. This allows technicians to see what’s happening much easier than previously. Finally, Android is coming. With Summer 17, the Field Service Mobile App for Android enters into Beta. It still doesn’t have all of the functionality as the iOS app, but good to see it catching up and nearly GA.
  • Field Service Object Access – Another interesting change for Field Service. Going forward with Summer 17 on, you no longer need a license to view the Field Service objects. In other words, non-Field Service users can still see, report and edit any of the Field Service data by adjusting their profile. This includes Community users as well. You still need the license to do the actual scheduling and dispatching and the access to the mobile app.
  • Social Service Updates – Social Service gets a feed new features over and above working in Lightning Case Feed. First, for the first time, it now works in Professional Edition. Next, the Facebook functionality gets some additional features including the ability to reply privately, see reviews, and also see the star ratings that accompany the review. Nice to see that extended. Finally, the Twitter Actions gets a bit of a facelift in the Lightning Case Feed. It’s now much easier to reply to these posts.
    Twitter Actions in Case Feed
  • Assignment Checkbox in Salesforce1 – Previously if you created a Case in Salesforce1, you didn’t have the option to see and check the Assignment checkbox so that the new Case went into the assignment rules. This pain point has been corrected and you can now see and select this field from Salesforce1.
  • Community 360 (Pilot) – I try not to mention pilots in the new features as they are not the easiest to get into, however, sometimes a pilot is just too cool not to mention. Community 360 is one of those. Community 360 basically allows an agent to see what a customer was doing prior to calling in. It will show what they viewed in the Community as well as if they have already logged a Case. Terrific insight for the agents so that they don’t recommend Articles a customer has already viewed or create a duplicate Case. I can see this being extended for some terrific use cases. Again, this is a Pilot and it only works with Lightning Experience (and I’m assuming only in Lightning Communities, but I could be wrong there). So much promise here and really excited to see where this goes.
  • Obfuscate PII with GearsDataMask – Technically it’s not part of Summer 17, but we just had GearsDataMask officially added to the AppExchange. Inadvertent PII is a real challenge for Service Clouds as customers send over credit cards and social security numbers through insecure support channels making you responsible for that data. GearsDataMask looks for credit card, social security or even custom patterns and obfuscates them across all of the Service Cloud objects. Read more about this and how GearsDataMask can help protect you on our blog post.

Well, that’s it for Service Cloud and Field Service. This release is really all about moving further with the migration to Lightning. Although it’s not there yet, you can already see some of the cool new updates being done in Lightning. I think by Winter 18, Service will be to the point where you’ll need to start considering your migration path to Lightning. In our next write-up, we’ll will be covering all of the Collaboration features in Summer 17: Communities, Chatter and Files.

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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