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Salesforce Winter 19 Features – Service Cloud, Einstein Bots & Field Service Lightning

Winter 19 is Coming

Winter 19 is out to the last of the instances with this weekend’s releases, so everyone can now get at all of the features. Normally by now we’ve already finished our release write-ups but I had a ton of travel with Dreamforce (which unfortunately wipes out most of two different weekends when you’re coming from the east coast and maybe adding a trip to a certain brewery in front of Dreamforce) and then our own annual company meeting last week. Even though I wasn’t busy writing up blog posts, what a jammed packed three weeks of Salesforce immersion. Dreamforce was incredible and exhausting as always. It was great seeing all of our Salesforce friends, clients, and partners across the event. Our company meeting was the best one we’ve ever had. It really is unreal to see so much passion about Salesforce and what we’re building in one room and then having so much fun after the meetings. We definitely have a work hard / play hard team (speaking of which, if you want to potentially join our exciting team, we are hiring, so check out our jobs page to learn about us and the positions we’re looking for). Already thinking of how we can possibly do next year’s even better. As you can imagine, with all of this going on, there wasn’t a lot of time to dedicate to writing. That doesn’t make Winter 19 any less exciting though. Especially for Service Cloud, this is a really big release. With Service Cloud being such a big release, and with Service Cloud Lightning now at the same point as Sales where everyone needs to be looking at their migration plans to it, we’re going to do another webinar on Service Cloud Lightning. We did one last year and it was really well received. This one will focus on all of the new features and show a live demonstration of them as well as discuss what the process is to convert to Lightning. It’s free and hope you can make it. Here are the details:

Date/Time: December 5th 1:00 EST / 10:00 PST
Register here: http://bit.ly/2zsVge2

I’m going to break up this post into the three big buckets: Service Cloud, Einstein Bots and Field Service Lightning. Outside of that, the order is pretty much based on what seems the coolest. Let’s get at it.

Service Cloud

    • LiveMessage on Lightning – Huge release for LiveMessage. Nearly two years ago now (I honestly can’t believe this was two years ago. Where has the time gone?) we wrote a blog post dedicated to LiveMessage and right after that had a great webinar about it co-hosted with Meredith Flynn-Ripley who is the former CEO of Heywire (what became LiveMessage) and is now the Vice President, Digital Engagement at Salesforce. Back then we talked about some of the crazy stats around how customers prefer messaging over many of the other channels and this has only increased over the last two years. Not only have the stats become more favorable for messaging, but now there are more messaging channels then ever and they have become the de-facto method of communication from mobile phones. If you are using Service Cloud, and you haven’t looked at adding messaging as a channel yet, Winter 19 is a great time to do so as it’s now fully supported by Lightning. We now get a pretty simple guided flow to setup LiveMessage in Lightning for both SMS Texting or Facebook Messenger (at Dreamforce they discussed that more messaging platforms are on the way). Very excited to see the hottest service channel now available in Lightning!

 

    • Other LiveMessage Enhancements – In addition to being available in Lightning, LiveMessage also received a bunch of enhancements. These enhancements will only work on the new Lightning version of LiveMessage. First we get Automatic Text Notifications leveraging Messaging Templates. You can create events or use process builder to now fire off text messages when certain actions happen. You can see an example below of one for a Case that has just been resolved. I mentioned our blog post above, but one of the incredible stats on texting is that an insane 98% of all SMS messages a read by the recipient. Email messages are lucky if they crack 30%. This is an awesome opportunity to start giving your customer an alert option of email or text. If you have important notices and reminders you are trying to send, you are going to get your message across more effectively if you have more customers receiving SMS messages. Just make sure you offer the option though, before spamming your customer’s cell phones. Speaking of spamming, we also get an automated SMS Opt-In / Opt-Out process built into LiveMessage to ensure customers are not spammed. When a customer sends you a text, you can now send them an automated message asking them to consent to communicating via SMS. At anytime a customer can opt-out by using keywords that you setup, like “STOP”, and then they won’t receive SMS messages until they opt back in. In addition to automatic opt-in messaging, LiveMessage can now send automated response messages that an administrator can setup for other events such as Chat Acknowledgements, Starting the Chat and Ending the Chat. Finally, images and files can be sent directly from SMS and Facebook Messenger to your agent or from your agent to the customer. These will be stored with the message object and will be visible to the agent within the Service Console. Awesome updates to a channel everyone needs to look into.

      LiveMessage for Automatic Text Notifications

 

    • Live Agent – LiveMessage wasn’t the only messaging channel to get updates in Winter 19. Live Agent gets a few of their own as well. First, Lightning now can show the Session records and pages for Chats. This was the last real missing piece in Lightning from Classic. Next up, Skill Based routing in Omni is now available for Live Agent as well. It’s in beta, but it is available for anyone. Now you can route chats by a combination of queues from the buttons or skills to really maximize which agents should get the chat. Keep in mind you can use values you capture from the pre-chat form (or Einstein Bot) to really enhance this. One thing to note, if an agent received a chat due to a skill based routing, at this point, they can’t transfer that chat to a different queue, agent or skill. We also get an improved interface for agents to add Quick Text. There is now a button right on the dialogue box to launch quick text which will make it easier for agents to jump to it. On the supervisor side, Lightning now supports the sneak-peek from the Omni-Channel Supervisor view. Supervisors can now peek into up to five different chat messages at a time to see how everything is going. Finally, if you use snap-ins for Live Agent (and if you don’t, it’s something you’ll want to start looking at, as it’s where all of the enhancements are), we get a terrific enhancement. Live Agent within the snap-ins were built to keep the chat going even as your customer navigated around your site. However, if they tried to open a new tab from your site, that chat wouldn’t follow that new tab. With Winter 19, that’s now a thing of the past, and your customers can navigate by clicking or opening a new tab and not lose their chat. In addition to all of this, the Live Agent setup is now within the Lightning setup so no more flipping to Classic to administer Live Agent.

      Quick Text with Live Agent

 

    • Omni-Channel – In addition to being able to route Live Agent chats with Skilled based logic, Omni-Channel gets a few other handy additions. First, I sort of mentioned it above, but for the first time you can route work using a combination of Queues and Skills simultaneously. Previously, if you switched to Skill-Based, the Queue-Based routing would stop. Now you can keep them both going at the same time. This is huge if you’re really trying to optimize your routing to the best agent. To help with this, the Omni-Channel Supervisor page now lets you monitor workloads for agents across both Queues and Skills. To do this, they re-did the views a bit and now have a Queues Backlog and a Skills Backlog view. Finally, I mentioned it above, but the Omni-Supervisor page also now supports the sneak-peek functionality for chats.

 

    • Quick Text – Big improvements to Quick Text and the ease of getting to it. First, Quick Text is now available to be used in Tasks & Events as well as Knowledge Articles. Big time saver to have this pushed into these objects – and in particular Knowledge adds a lot of potential to make writing those Articles easier. Quick Text is also easier to launch. I mentioned above how it’s now a single click away in the Chat dialogue box to launch. That same single click button concept is also on Emails, Knowledge, Events and Tasks. Everywhere Quick Text is available, it’s a single click away. Finally, Quick Text also gets Folder Organization which I describe below to make it even easier to find the right Quick Text. Terrific updates all around.

      Quick Text in Task & Events

 

    • Display Density – We posted this in the Sales post, but this applies to Service and the Service Console as well. A really nice UI feature for Lightning gives users the option to view page layouts in either a Compact mode or a Comfy mode. This is a user level setting but the admin can default it to what they’d like. At this point there’s no way to override what a user selects though. So what’s the difference with these? The side by side below really shows it nicely, but it’s all about collapsing the white space. Essentially Compact mode is displaying a much tighter layout than Comfy (which is what Lightning has been up until now) and can fit up to 30% more fields on the page before you need to scroll. The Created By field below is a good measure point of just how much more Compact fits in. A common complaint has been that Lightning had too much white space, so this corrects that and I think even improves where Classic left off. I like that it’s also a user option though as some users are simply not comfortable with a very small / tight display.

      Comfy vs. Compact Page View

 

    • Service Console – The Lightning Service Console gets some quick updates, mostly around personalization. Agents can now update what appears in their Navigation dropdown and also re-arrange the order of them. In addition to this, agents can rename their tab titles and icons. Especially if your agents are going to the same records over and over, this can be pretty handy. Both of these will help your agents be just that much faster as they can control how to find the objects and records they frequently access. In addition to these, we also get a slick new keyboard shortcut that will close everything that you have open. Using Shift+w will close anything that isn’t pinned. Super useful when you’ve wound up with too many tabs after a few hours of helping your customers.

      Customizable Navigation Items

 

    • Embedded Images in Email – This is a huge feature for a lot of agents! The release note for this is literally three sentences so I assumed it couldn’t be right, but I’ve tested it out and it is. Now, agents can simply copy and paste images from their clipboard right into an Email message and have it embedded in the email. Previously, agents needed to do a multi-step process to copy the image, save it to their desktop, and then upload into the Email. If you’re trying to give guidance on lots of steps, that process was very painful. Now, agents can create answers in emails with images to support them and get them in easily. Huge time saver!

 

    • Email to Case Attachments as Files – Speaking of Email to Case, all attachments being sent in are now created as Files vs. Attachments. This lets agents preview them without having to download them and also Files are searchable with global search, unlike attachments. Now you’ll be able to find those email attachments without having to drill into every email. A nice update and also another sign that attachments are about to be extinct.

 

    • Social Service – We get a bunch of enhancements to Social Service as well. Instagram support was the last channel to be added to Social Service, but with Winter 19 we get YouTube support as well. Agents can now respond to comments added to your YouTube channel and provide support for customers visiting. Especially if you’re using YouTube videos as a mechanism for self-help, this is a must add channel. Another great change is now you can respond to social posts without creating a case. With social, a lot of the time you’re simply replying “Thanks!” or acknowledging a great compliment about you. Now you can do this without the added step of making a Case. Great update. Next up, is Social Service now has emoji support. You can now add those emojis to any of your responses (assuming the social network supports them of course). That’ll help add a personalized touch to your responses, but I suggest keeping some of the wackier ones to a minimum. Finally, with Facebook posts, you now have the option to make your comments private. Very handy in a lot of service situations. As part of all of these changes, there is a new Social Customer Service Package. Make sure you upgrade this to get these!

      YouTube Social Service

 

    • Folders – You can now create folders to help organize both macros and quick text. You can share the entire folder with agents, but mostly this will make it a ton easier for your agents to navigate to what they are looking for if they can’t remember the exact name especially if you have 100’s of these. The folders can have up to 3 subfolders in each folder. Nice update.

      Folders for Macros & Quick Text

 

    • Knowledge – We also get a slew of quick hitters for Lightning Knowledge, outside of the Quick Text availability. First, Lightning gets the ability to map Case fields to Data Categories to help improve search results. This works the same way it did in Classic, so really is just new to Lightning. Articles now also get Mass Actions functionality. You can update up to 100 Articles at a time from a list view. Perfect for batch publishing or mass re-assignments. On the editing side of Articles, you can now insert anchor tags within a rich text field. This is terrific for your long Articles where you have lots of sections (like a long FAQ). Now you can embed anchor links that when clicked will bring the user right down to another section of the Article. Finally, we also now have the ability to add Actions to Articles. You can add up to four actions which will let agents perform tasks directly from an Article, such as creating or updating a record, launching a flow or triggering a Lightning component. This is in beta, but could be useful way to include next steps in internal Articles. For example, I could see an internal Article about processing a Warranty request and then right from the Article, the agent can click on an action to launch a flow to process the request. Pretty cool.

 

Einstein Bots

We dedicated an entire blog post and did a webinar dedicated to Einstein Bots. It’s a super exciting new feature and Winter 19 beefs it up even more.

    • Launch Flows with Bots – Terrific feature. Now right from within the chat window you can launch a flow to guide a customer through a process. This is super powerful as you can now leverage the flow platform to build sophisticated guided process, but also the ability to re-use a flow across multiple channels is a huge time saver for admins. Bots will be coming to LiveMessage and Voice soon, so I’ll be curious if the flow can be used across all channels, but for now, this is a great new feature to use with chat and Einstein Bots.

 

    • Literal Matches – Terrific improvement to help the bot identify the correct dialog. When you have differing dialogs that are not really sharing terms or words, it’s easier for the bot to figure out what a customer is asking for. However, when you start getting more nuanced dialogs around the same topic, things get trickier. For example a customer asking for their Order Status or looking to do an Order Return. Some of the phrases those customers use could overlap but they are very different intents. With Literal Matching, you can have the bot look for exact matches of a phrase and when they find it, it’ll know exactly which dialog to bring your customer through. Super handy, but also an area you probably don’t want to go nuts with and get to a point where your bot is fully hard-coded versus analyzing.

 

    • Bot Sessions – The Bot Sessions object gets powered up in Winter 19 to allow you to analyze individual sessions easier and with more detail. Previously there wasn’t a ton you could do with the Session records the bots were creating but now you can use them to see the steps the bot took in the session and help to debug or analyze your bots. It comes with some filtering to make it easier to track different events. Super helpful.

 

    • Intents – Two nice administrator improvements to Einstein Bots Intents. First, you can now use Data Loader to load up Intents in bulk. No more having to input these one at a time. Huge time saver. In addition to this, you no longer need to maintain Intents across different bot versions. Now, you have a unified Intent set that can be leveraged across all bot versions. A definite improvement for maintaining the bots.

 

Field Service Lightning

    • Guided Actions with Lightning Flow – A lot of the time, your technicians are doing the same tasks over and over for different kinds of work. Whether it’s a checklist they need to run through each time, or just simply the steps they need to take to perform the work, a lot of these jobs are very repetitive. Now you can use the Guided Actions with Lightning Flow to walk your technician through these repeatable steps. These can be used on Work Orders or Work Order Lines and your users will see the actions right on the record layout. For now, this is just on the desktop and not in the mobile app (although that is coming). Really handy new feature.

      Guided Actions in Field Service

 

    • Service Reports – Service Reports gets a few improvements as well. First, you can now generate Service reports in different languages. Previously, the language of the Service Report was driven by the language preference of the user creating the report. That wasn’t always helpful though as your customers could be asking for these in different languages. Now, a user can select what language to use regardless of their own preference. Next, it’s now easier to find which Service reports have been signed. We now have a “signed” field that can be added to the related list or reports that shows if the Service Report has been signed yet. Previously, this was a bit manual so nice to see this. Finally, we now have the ability to write apex triggers against Service Reports. Super handy to be able to extend out functionality once a report has been signed.

      Service Reports in FSL

 

    • Color Code your Gantt – Huge improvement to allow you to really personalize your Gantt and also ensure specific Service Appointments pop out to your dispatchers. You can now create a color coded palette based on values within the Service Appointment. The Service Appointment will appear as those certain colors based on your rules. The coolest thing is you can toggle between different palettes to give you different color coded views. Any Service Appointment field of the following types can be used within the palette rules: checkbox, picklist, date, date-time, number, percent, or currency. This is a powerful feature that everyone should be using – whether to highlight Appointments that are approaching soon or at VIP customers or are super high value due to the size – there are a ton of use cases to map out and color code.

      Color Coded Gantt

 

    • Custom Actions on the Dispatch Console – Another big improvement for dispatches. Now you can add Actions directly to the Console to allow Dispatchers to call a trigger against one of more Service Appointments within the console. This gives your Dispatchers the ability to do more from the console versus having to leave the console to go perform updates, etc. Nice to see.

 

    • Sharing Improvements – A handy improvement that automatically shares associated records to a Service Resource that has been assigned to an Appointment. This is an admin level setting to turn this on, but when you do, once a Resource is assigned to an Appointment, the parent records of that Service Appointment are automatically shared with the resource. This would include the Work Order and Work Order Lines.

 

    • Partner Dispatching – This feature is pretty cool. Now, your Partners can also use the Dispatch console but from within the Partner Community. This would allow your partners to dispatch their own resources giving you full visibility of their technicians and how they have been dispatched. This is actually a pretty common use case where a partner is sub-contracted to handle work and they are managing multiple technicians. Previously, you could dispatch a Work Order to the partner, but you wouldn’t have real visibility into who the partner was sending because they couldn’t use the dispatch console. You would either get stuck tracking that for them – which was efficient – or the partner needed to manually tell you. This is a great feature to really extend your visibility to your sub-contracting partners.

 

    • View Absences on the Console Map – A quick, but useful improvement for the Console Map. If you have a resource who has a scheduled absence during the day, that absence will now appear within the map for their day’s schedule. Previously you couldn’t see these on the map so it would look like they were going to one appointment to the next when in reality there was an absence in between. Definitely useful for your dispatchers.

      Absences on the Console Map

 

    • Transfer for Serialized Products – You can now create Product Transfer for serialized products. Previously this could only be done for products that weren’t serialized. Now, when transferred, the serialized product’s location will automatically update to where it was transferred to. Especially if you are tracking a lot of high value products, this is a must have feature. It’s in beta right now, but it’s available to use.

 

That’s it for the Service Cloud features. As I mentioned, this was a big one. Great to see all the improvements across all the different functionality and products within Service Cloud. The best just keeps getting better. Next up will be the Collaboration write-up covering Communities, Chatter and Files. As always, feel free to reach out with any questions or if you’re looking for help implementing any of these exciting new features.

Harry Radenberg

Harry is the President and founder of GearsCRM, with more than 15 years of experience working with the Salesforce platform. Outside of Gears, Harry enjoys building 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, and always tries to find spare time to read a good fiction novel.

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