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Salesforce Summer 18 Features – Service Cloud, Einstein Bots & Field Service Lightning

Happy Memorial Day everyone and I hope you’re enjoying the weekend. The Summer 18 release is just a couple of weeks from going live and this is part 2 of our release write-up. In Part 1 we focused on the Sales Cloud, Einstein Sales Cloud and some of the general platform changes like Search and Reports & Dashboards. In this post we’re going to focus on Service Cloud and Field Service Lightning features. This is a huge release for Service Cloud in particular, so let’s jump right in. As with everything now, unless I specifically call it out, it’s assumed the feature is for Lightning only. There’s no particular order to the list except what I was most excited to talk about first. This is our first post with the snazzy new look and feel for the website, so hope you enjoy!

  • Einstein Bots – Einstein Bots are here! (Update: We wrote an entire blog post and a webinar all about Einstein Bots!) In the Summer 18 Sales post I mentioned that Einstein feels like it’s hitting a tipping point. The Einstein features that had been coming out were certainly cool and added to a user’s productivity, but I think it was tough to call them must-have features or game-changers. Einstein Bots is definitely a game-changer for customer service and considering this is the first release of it, it’s packed with functionality. There’s enough functionality in fact that this really deserves its own blog post (we did!), which will be coming once we have really been able to dig deeper into it. However, in the meantime, let’s start with the basics: What is a bot? Good question. A bot is essentially a tool that allows you to have a conversation with your customers or leads without having a person (whether an service agent or a sales rep) involved. We’re going to focus on the customer service use case, but keep in mind this can be used for sales as well. For customer service this is obviously a potentially huge deal on multiple fronts. Customer service is constantly in a balancing act trying to balance the cost of the service channels with customer satisfaction. Some channels – like the phone – are simply more expensive then others – like email. Previously it was a pretty simple equation. You could roll out cheaper service channels like email, but the customer satisfaction scores were lower for those channels. That’s all changed recently. More and more large segments of customers simply would prefer not to speak to someone to get the answers they want. They expect you to provide tools to them where they can find their own answers – such as a knowledge base – or provide channels where they can get help but in the environment they prefer – like chat, SMS, Social or even Facebook Messenger. Customer satisfaction in customer service is now about providing an array of options to your customers so they can select the channel they prefer. This is extremely important to remember with Einstein Bots. Don’t think of Einstein Bots as a pure deflection play where you’re throwing up a bot as a way to prevent customers from getting to your agents. That’ll be a terrific way to really annoy a segment of your customers. Think of it more as a new channel that will seriously augment the experience of a subset of your customers. It gives them a way to get support or information the way they prefer – without speaking to anyone and available 24/7. You can have the best bot in the planet – a bot ready to go HAL and that knows everything – but to some of your customers it won’t matter. They’ll want to call instead. Don’t bother trying to make the bots for them. Instead, make them for the customers that prefer to interact with you that way and with those customers this will be the reason you get amazing customer satisfaction scores – without ever even speaking to them.

    Alright, so what can you do with Einstein Bots out of the gate and how does it work? First, for Summer 18, Einstein Bots only work in Live Agent. They will be coming in the other messaging channels in future releases, but for now it’s Live Agent only. You can basically run Einstein Bots in two modes – Menu / Button driven or you can train the Einstein Bot to interpret the intent of the message being sent. The menu / button driven approach is definitely the easier of the two and is pretty powerful even though it doesn’t have all of the flash of the intent model. The menu driven approach gives you a way to provide paths for repetitive questions your customers might be asking. As soon as they launch chat, they’ll be introduced to your Einstein Bot (etiquette says don’t try to trick your customer by pretending this isn’t a bot – tell them right out of the gate they are speaking to a bot) and then presented a menu of options. Once of those could be speak to an agent and you can map that to immediately route to an agent. The others though could be common questions customers ask where you can provide information without an agent. Think things like Order Status, Returns, Order Changes, Warranty Claim Statuses, Store Locators, Tracking Information, Movie Times (name your bot Kramer if you do this), and even hooks into your Knowledge Base for commonly asked technical questions. Behind each button is essentially all of the power of process builder driven by the dialog of the Einstein Bot. You can program your bot to ask additional questions and gather all of the information needed and then once you it has what it wants it can go fetch the answers and present them. It’s very slick and has the added beauty of reducing this burden from your call center. The intent mode works the same way, except you can build an “intent” model that looks for certain keywords to attempt to determine what the customer is looking for. If you have 75 different ways to ask for “Order Status” you can build the model to look for those and then when someone asks a question you can determine what their intent is. This is definitely the more sophisticated mode and is something you’ll want to build over time as you train it.

    There are lots of other details here, like the analytics of how the bot is performing, how the intent models work, how this plugs into Live Agent and routes, etc. We’re going to save the meaty details for our Einstein Bots blog post, but a few things to remember with these. First is, it only works with the Snap-Ins version of Live Agent (which also has a ton of enhancements in Summer 18 below). If you’re using the old button mode, you’ll need to switch over if you want to leverage the bots (one quick benefit of the Snap-Ins is that they are mobile responsive out of the box, which means your Einstein Bots work from any device). Second, it’s English only for now. Third, this works in both Lightning and in Classic, so you don’t have to be in Lightning to take advantage of this (the setup is only in Lightning though). Finally, there is an add-on cost for these. You get a set amount of free bot interactions with each Live Agent license you have and then above that you need to pay based on usage. Overall, if you are already using Live Agent, this is without a doubt, something you want to dig into. Right out of the gate, this could be a major change for your service team.

    Dialog Map for Einstein Bots
    Einstein Bot Button Menu Introduction
    Einstein Bot Providing an Automated Answer
  • Service Cloud Mobile – You can now manage your Cases with your mobile device! But Harry, we’ve had Salesforce Mobile for years, why do you need a mobile app just for Service? Well, you’re partially right. We’ve always had the ability to look up a Case and edit it, but you didn’t really have the ability to work that Case. With Service Cloud mobile, agents can respond directly to the customers submitting those Cases by either Email, Facebook, or Twitter. You’ll also be able to update and edit the Case itself, but in addition to that, you will be able to view all of the Cases in your Queues so you can see what is assigned to you. Finally, you can also execute bulk actions from the mobile app. By far, the biggest part of this is the ability to respond to these Cases via mobile and this will continue to get stronger. Overall a great app for service agents on the go.
    Service Cloud Mobile
  • Guided Engagement – In Spring 18 we spoke about how you could now have Lightning Flows popped automatically as part of a record opening within the Lightning Service Console. With Summer 18 this is now GA but with some great improvements. Basically, using a combination of Flow and Process Builder, you can build out a guided flow for your agents that will pop open as a sub-tab of the record you open up. Say you have a verification process that you need to walk through for every call to make sure the person you are speaking to is authorized. Build out that flow and then have it launch automatically when the Case record pops. With flow you’ll be able to ensure the right questions are asked and the data you need is verified. A cool new feature of this is the Action List that can be added as a side component. Especially if you have multi-steps flows, this is essentially a guide to show the agent where they are within the flow. Finally, this is now also available for Live Agent. Now even with Chat sessions, you can pop your agents into a flow. Awesome feature and incredibly powerful.
    Guided Engagement in Lightning
  • Drag & Drop Email Attachments – Simple but great time saver here and huge for your Email agents. Now when sending emails from Salesforce you don’t need to click on the upload attachment and go find it. Now, you can simply drag and drop the attachment into the email. Boom.
  • Live Agent Changes – There are a ton of Live Agent changes in Summer 18. First, from the Agent side, the visual indicators in Lightning are improved. In Classic, the tab would change color when an agent was in another tab but the customer replied to you in chat. With Lightning that color change was replaced with a little red dot (unfortunately, I do mean little). This was definitely a bit tougher for agents to see and with Summer 18 this is now back to the full tab changing color and also blinking. Now your agents can see where they need to go much easier (it doesn’t mention whether this now works with Critical Alerts though). Next, when a customer sends over an attachment within the Chat, this will go to Files instead of the old Attachments. Due to this your agents can now see that attachment as a preview within the related list. Definitely a nice time saver. Finally we can now add the Visitor page to Lightning and customize it as well.
    Chat tab indicators in Lightning

    In addition to the agent experience, we get some great improvements in Snap-ins to make the customer experience better. The coolest one is that you can now get Cases even when agents are offline. When offline, you can now present a Case form when the chat button is pushed. This way that Case is there when your agents come in the next morning. Einstein Bots also impacts this quite a bit as the bot can act as your off-hours agent. Next, when using Snap-Ins you can easily show a customer what spot they are in within the queue. This was pretty custom to do before, so nice to see it now standard as it was a pretty popular request. Finally, with Summer 18, you have much more control of the look and feel of the Snap-in both when it’s minimized and when it has been engaged, including the ability to drop in Lightning components. For those of you already using Live Agent in the old button mode, between the enhancements in Summer 18 and Einstein Bots, it’s time to look at whether you should make the switch over to Snap-Ins. This is clearly the direction for Salesforce and the old method isn’t getting the new features like Snap-Ins are. If you are already using Snap-Ins, please note that you’ll need to upgrade to this latest version to get all these new features.

  • Skill Based Routing in Omni – Omni Channel now supports Skill Based routing. Super powerful change. Previously, Omni could route work to Omni-Queues and then people assigned to those Queues would get work popped to them. Now, you can also do this by Skills. You can assign the Skills needed to work on the record and then Omni will only push that work to agents that have those Skills. If that work requires a skill that no one has that is available, it doesn’t get routed until someone with that skill gets online (important to make sure you don’t have skills on work where you have no agents with that skill). As part of this, the Omni Supervisor page now can view work by Skill as well. Finally, agents also have the ability to transfer work into Omni to then route that Case to someone with the right Skills. Very handy there. A couple of limitations to be aware of though. This only works on Leads, Cases, Orders and Custom Objects for now. It also doesn’t support External Routing yet. And finally, one really important thing to know – especially if you’re already using Omni – is that as of now this looks like a one or the other setting. You either assign work through Omni by Skill or by Queue. You can’t mix and match.
  • Omni-Channel Utility Update – A small but handy update to the Omni utility pop-up. Now, the pop-up has two sub-tabs where it breaks out the current work you’ve already accepted and all of the incoming work items that you could grab. Nice way to organize the work for the agents.
    Omni Widget in Lightning
  • Field Service Lightning Changes – Just like the past 4 releases, Summer 18 is another big one for Field Service Lightning.
    • Path for Field Service – In Spring 18 Path was added to a ton of additional objects, but they didn’t include the Field Service objects. With Summer 18 you can now add Path interfaces to Work Orders, Work Order Line Items and Service Appointments. Just like with the Paths on other objects, this can guide a user through the statuses of the object in a nice visual manner and also provide guidance for each status while highlighting key fields that are required for that state. This is visible from the mobile app as well and is a great way to help your field team move through the various statuses of their work.
      Path on Field Service Lightning
    • Knowledge Articles to Work Type – Streamline the presentation of Articles to your Field Technicians by associating relevant Articles directly to the Work Type. When a Technician opens a Work Order that is associated to the Work Type they will automatically see the Articles you mapped to it.
    • Security Updates – Two really big new features when it comes to security and the object model. First, you can now use Criteria Based sharing on a bunch of additional Field Service objects. This is a much needed feature and will make it a lot easier to setup FSL. You can now leverage Criteria Based sharing on the following objects: Location, Product Item, Return Order, Service Appointments, Service Resource, Service Territory and Work Types. In addition to Criteria Based sharing, now all FSL objects are available to be exposed through the Community. Previously, only the old Visualforce Communities could see all of the objects, but now Lightning ones can as well. Big update.
    • Larger Service Territory Hierarchies – Previously you could only have 500 Service Territories within the Hierarchy. With Summer 18 this bumps up to a whopping 10,000 Service Territories that it supports. Very nice.
    • Dispatcher Console Custom List Views – Very happy to see this one as it was a bit of a pain point. The List Views on the Dispatch Board were always fixed and you couldn’t create custom List Views or edit the filters in the existing ones. With Summer 18 you can and now you can slice and dice the views on the Dispatch Board as needed.
    • Optimize a Day for One Resource – Now from the Dispatch Board you can optimize a day for a single resource versus having to optimize the entire day. Simply highlight the resource and optimize. Very handy.
      Optimize One Resource at a Time
    • Live Gantt Updates – The Gantt chart for the Dispatch Board now updates in real time as changes are made to Resource Absences, Service Appointments, Capacity of Resources and Optimization Requests. Before this could take up to 10 seconds to see the update. Rule of thumb is real time is better – so I approve of this update!
    • Maintenance Plans – Maintenance Plans can now be seen from related lists on Accounts, Contact and Locations.
  • Case Feed Changes – Some quick Case Feed changes. First, now you can send a URL to a specific feed record to other users. Simply click on the Date / Time of the record in the feed and it will pop into a new tab where you can grab the link. Great way to share a specific event to a manager or someone you are escalating to. Second, the drop-down for emails now let’s you respond a bit quicker as it has Reply, Reply All and Forward right in the dropdown. Nice little time saver there. Finally, when using the standard Feed action for Close Case, you now have the ability to add an Internal Comment to the Case. The dialog box is right under the Status field.
  • Search Improvements – There are some nice improvements to search with Summer 18. First, next to the global search bar you now can quickly narrow the search to a specific object. There’s a drop down list that lets you type in and select an object and then when you search it’ll only return results for that object. I love it. Second is one I’m surprised I never thought of before. Search now supports Synonym Groups. We’ve had this a while for Knowledge Articles but now the global support will leverage them too. This will allow you to group up common phrases so that if someone searches for “picture” you can return the record titled “photo”. Super useful. In addition, global search now indexes Case Comments (about time) and the List Email objects. Finally, Articles now get a Hover when they are returned in search results. Users can hover over the subject of the Article and get a hover with all of the Articles details. All good stuff.
    Limit Search by Object
    Article Hovers in Search
  • Mass Actions on more Objects – Mass Actions is a really powerful feature that lets you apply an action to up to 100 records from a List View. This is probably a really under-used feature and it has a ton of usefulness. With Summer 18 it gets even better as it can now be used on Cases, Leads, Accounts, Campaigns, Contacts, Opportunities, Work Orders and any custom object. Previously this only worked on Leads, Cases and custom objects, so this is a big expansion. Great to see.
    Mass Actions in Lightning
  • Translations in Lightning Knowledge – Lightning Knowledge now supports all of the Translations management and workflow of Articles. Similar to Classic, you can now manage multiple translations on a master Article and setup who is responsible for each translation to workflow is sent to them when new translations are needed. Included in this is a pretty nice new feature where you can view the translated Article side by side with the original master Article.
    Side by Side Article Translation with Master Article
  • Insert Text for Marcos – Previously when you ran a Macro you could only have it replace existing text or add information before or after the text. Now, you can insert new text wherever your cursor is when you launch the macro.
  • Case Teams in Lightning – Case Teams was one of the major features that was still missing in Lightning for Service Cloud. With Summer 18 this is now available and seems to work pretty much the same way.
  • Email Drafts – First, Email Drafts are now available for Lightning. As with Classic, this requires you to use the Case Feed email, but now you can keep a draft of that email you are writing. With Lightning, these emails are auto-saved every couple of seconds (which is awesome) and they are now a private record that only the author of the email can see. This can be changed, but the default is private (in Classic, the default was anyone with access to the Case could see it).

Man, that is a huge release. Just the Einstein Bots, Service Cloud Mobile and the Guided Engagement would be a big release, but Summer 18 is packed with others. There were a bunch of other smaller features too and also, don’t forget to check out the Platform changes we did in our first post because there are a lot of changes that benefit Service Cloud users there too. This is an incredibly exciting release and I can’t wait to dive big-time into the Einstein Bots. As always, if you need any help with these features – especially if you want some help turn on the Einstein Bots – feel free to contact us and we would be happy to help. Next up will be Communities, Chatter and the other Collaboration features. Thanks for reading.

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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