Trying to cover all of the new Winter 22 features in the Service Cloud umbrella with one post has become impossible – or rather, it’d be possible, but it would take me four weekends to write and the blog would scroll down forever. Basically, you have the core Service Cloud which is a lot on its own. But then Service Cloud Voice has so much going on it’s pretty much its own product, Workforce Engagement will be in its 3rd release with Winter 22 and a ton of features are being added there – so basically its own product now. Field Service is completely on its own and as always has a lot of new features. And that’s not even counting the IT Service Center which is more the IT Helpdesk side which is also expanding rapidly. In addition, there’s a lot of Einstein stuff to cover with Service Cloud. We’re going to try and write up a few different blogs around these products. For this blog, we’re going to focus on the core Service Cloud, Service Cloud Einstein, Salesforce Surveys, and Service Cloud Voice. We’ll have a separate blog for Field Service and I’d really like to write up one about the exciting new Workforce Engagement which is loaded in Winter 22. We’ll see if time allows.
Let’s dive right in. As usual, the below assumes you’re already on Lightning. I’ll call out any features where you don’t need to be. The order is mostly based on what I think is most interesting. Music-wise, the Sneaker Pimps just released a new album on Friday (Sneaker Pimps? I know, right? I was stunned to see them with new material), so I’ve got that playing and it’s really good. Different lead singer, but very fun album so far. From there, I’ll probably keep it a little mellow and switch over to Dntel’s latest album as well. Here we go.
Service Cloud & Salesforce Surveys
Incident Management – Unfortunately, there really isn’t a lot of details on this one in the release notes but this is a pretty exciting concept. All Service Cloud customers now have the functionality to manage incidents that occur – like service interruptions or maybe a weather disruption. With this functionality, you can track the incident – and I’m assuming track customers that are impacted by the incident. From there it looks like you can leverage this to track down the root cause of the issue and then create & assign the remediation steps required to correct it. There is a lot of need and potential with a feature like this – a lot of our customers just leverage Cases with a record type for this. It looks like with Winter 22 we get a lot of the tracking functionality, but a big part of this is the communication and alerting that needs to happen with the customers both during and after the incident. With this now a feature, I imagine that type of functionality is on the horizon. If not – definitely something that can be built on top of this – like a Community component that immediately displays any incident to relevant customers when they go into the Community, or alerts to customers that were impacted that the issue has been resolved. Very exciting new feature and can’t wait to see what’s here once this rolls out.
Customized Screen Pop – Not only do I love this feature, but this is something we’ve been building custom for customers since the Service Console originally debuted. As we all know, the Primary / Subtab approach in the Service Console is awesome and a terrific UI for agents to have “clusters” of work within the tabs. Prior to Winter 22, you could set a record to pop under a primary tab – so for example, if someone opens a Case, automatically make that a sub-tab of the Account record so the agent can see all of the account details immediately. Well, what if you want multiple tabs popping at once? Maybe you want the Contact or an Asset record popping at the same time? Or maybe an open Work Order or the latest Order record since that’s probably what the customer is calling about? With this feature you can now have it so up to three new tabs will pop when your call, message, or chat is routed to an agent. You do this with Screen pop actions within the new Omni-Channel flows (which we cover below). I think you can get pretty specific on what record to open, but we will test that out once it’s live. One thing to note is that since this is driven by Omni-Channel flows I’m assuming this will only work when a record is routed to an agent. In other words, it won’t happen if they just navigate to it and open it up on their own (which the primary / sub-tab logic does do). Just something to keep in mind with the agent experience. Also, surprisingly this does work with the Classic Service Console as well.
Omni Channel Flows – This is a really interesting one that we discussed in the Summer 21 write-up when it came out in beta. In Winter 22 this goes GA and also gets some enhancements from the Summer 21 beta. Basically, if you have complex assignment rules you’re going to be interested in this. We can now build out Flows that are specifically built for Omni-Channel to really build out specific and complex assignment rules. Previously you could do this with apex and to some extent get pretty complex with the standard Omni routing. With this, you definitely have more flexibility and you can leverage attributes of your customers that aren’t on the work record itself (which is a limit of the normal Omni-routing) like data on the Account, Contact, or even Asset records. In particular, if you’re using omni-channel for routing of non-Case work and you’re pushing custom objects that have complex object models, this gives you a ton more flexibility. In general, we still see a lot of customers not using omni-channel and instead just using assignment rules to drop Cases into queues. There are a ton of benefits to “pushing” work via Omni-Channel rather than more passively letting your agents “pull” work from queues. With Omni – especially with features like this – you can ensure the work is getting to the right person at the right time. It lets you prioritize work, weight work, route only to agents that are available immediately to receive it, and add complex skill criteria to your routing while queue-based routing simply drops work in queues (granted you can build multiple queues for different types of work) but once it’s in there, you’re at the mercy of your agents and brute force to ensure those records are actually worked on time. On top of that, omni-channel eliminates the cherry-picking issues where agents can see a work record from a certain customer and simply say “I’m not touching that one” and let someone else get stuck with it – or worse, you have the whole department playing a game of chicken with that case. Finally, you just gain more efficiency pushing the right work to agents by saving the time it takes your agents to figure out which work record to grab next. This feature makes omni that much more flexible and powerful – but in general, this is one of the best Service Cloud features out there and it’s way underutilized. If you’re an admin or a supervisor leveraging queues for work – do yourself a favor and dig into this. You won’t go back. Back to this feature – with Winter 22, this now supports Messaging and Voice channels as well. Messaging & Voice support is beta though – so even though all of this is GA, make sure to really test out the Messaging and Voice side of this if you’re jumping right into it. In addition, as I mentioned above, we now get the Add Screen Pop functionality as an option within these flows. This is super cool – definitely take a look. This is another one that also works in Classic – so no excuses!
Disable Ref ID and Transition to New Email Threading Behavior – If you’re using Email to Case this is a must-read. We mentioned this back in Spring 21 when it first was announced, but Salesforce is changing how they match incoming emails to existing cases with Email to Case. No more Ref ID and instead they use a much-improved approach leveraging the email headers instead. Without a doubt, this is a better approach, but it’s one that you need to cut over to by Summer 22. For the most part, if you’re using standard email to case this is pretty simple and won’t have much of an impact (you still need to do it though). However, if you’ve written any custom apex email services or you’re doing anything custom with email-to-case, you’re going to have to re-write those to leverage this new approach. We wrote a dedicated blog all about this so I won’t repeat it here, but definitely take a look and get your plan together for this. Summer 22 gives you plenty of time, but as always this stuff comes fast, so you’ll want to make this move sooner than later.
Salesforce Surveys Enhancements – We get three new enhancements to Salesforce Surveys with Winter 22. First up is the ability to collaborate on designing surveys. We can now share surveys with internal team members and let them review and provide feedback on the survey design. As part of this, these users also get access to potentially publish the surveys as well as view survey results and analytics. Especially if you’re doing a lot of surveys across different teams this is super helpful. Next is the ability to send surveys via messaging channels like SMS, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp. This is particularly big as typically response rates of digital messaging channels are higher than over email. In particular, this is the case if the customer initiated the support via those messaging channels. Now you can automatically send survey requests when the messaging session ends. Finally, the post feedback follow-up actions can now be personalized even further with some added flexibility here. You can now add more types of merge fields and also leverage your custom or org variables in the data maps. You can also now leverage record creation / last modified timestamps and associate them with the target fields. All of these – but in particular the messaging surveys – are examples of where Salesforce Survey is now surpassing AppExchange survey products that tend to focus more on email invitations but also are not embedded into the Salesforce survey channels. If you are still sending surveys with an older AppExchange product, it’s definitely worth looking at Salesforce Surveys. Keep in mind, this is an additional cost and not included with your standard Service Cloud.
End Session Mass Action – We now have a mass action in the All Sessions area that can end up to 200 messaging sessions at a time. Definitely handy if you are a heavy messaging org and you have lots of sessions without replies in a while.
Knowledge Versions History – A quick change here. A Knowledge Articles version history is now in a related list layout which can now be adjusted. This is better for anyone needing assistive technologies like screen readers, but also gives it more of a standard approach than previously.
Retiring the Related Record from Case Classification – Another small update here – we can no longer display Predictions with the Related Record component. You need to use the Field Recommendation component going forward.
Service Cloud Voice
Huge release for Service Cloud Voice. Especially combined with the ability to connect Service Cloud Voice with partner telephony products (which came in Summer 21), this product has taken a massive leap forward. Keep in mind, this is an additional cost and not included with your standard Service Cloud.
Route Calls with Omni-Channel Flows – We mentioned above that the new GA Omni-Channel Flows now supports Voice routing as well. With Voice now able to route through Omni-Channel, the Omni Supervisor page can now also display real-time Voice metrics. This is a huge addition as you now have true Omni-channel real-time metrics across all of your channels in the Omni Supervisor page. One thing I want to make sure is that this works for all Voice calls and not just for when you route them through Omni-Channel Flows. It’s possible to get this visibility you need to use Omni-Channel flows to route the Voice calls. The release notes are unclear here. Either way, just remember this is still in beta, so test heavily before rolling this out to production.
Control Agent Omni-Channel Statuses for Missed and Declined Calls – This is a nice update that gives you control over what happens to an agent’s status when they miss or decline a call. Previously, Service Cloud Voice would automatically set those agents to an Offline status if they missed or declined a call. Especially if you’re in a call center that has a lot of wrap-up/post-call work that needs to be done, it’s possible the agent just hadn’t finished that work yet versus them not being available to take calls. By dropping them offline, they might not realize it for a period of time which would prevent that next call from going to them. Now you have the flexibility to determine what exactly should happen to an agent’s status when they miss or decline a call – and that answer might be do nothing (which for the first time is an option!). More flexibility is always better.
Desk Phone Support – This is a big update if you’re using Service Cloud Voice with Amazon Connect. Previously, desk phones / hardphones were not supported previously. Now your agents don’t need to use softphones if they prefer to use desk phones. This had been a deal-breaker for a lot of folks looking at Service Cloud Voice, so great to see this now supported.
Search within Call Transfer – A nice UI improvement for agents where they can now search within the call transfer UI for agents or queues. Especially in those larger call centers – or even multi-call center environments – the agents can’t remember everyone, so this lets them search for an agent directly within the transfer mechanism to find the right agent or queue.
Voice Record Search – Now you can search for those very valuable call records by searching for phone numbers, caller names, and voice call ID. Filters and hovers within Einstein search work as usual here.
Call Status Adjustments – For all call types, Salesforce has standardized their call statuses/dispositions mostly by eliminating inconsistent ones. In particular, it looks like the status of “transferred” will no longer be used and when an agent does transfer, the call status will be set to Completed instead of Transferred. If you have any workflows or reports looking for the transferred status, you’ll need to update these as part of Winter 22.
Einstein Conversation Dashboard – The Einstein Conversation Insights dashboard gets some nice improvements with Winter 22 as well. This dashboard allows you to review call stats gleaned from the recordings such as specific keyword mentions. Previously this dashboard combined Sales & Service calls into one dashboard, but now you can break them out. Now we have the ability to apply filters to focus on specific teams or users as well as call date and the related record type. Really slick dashboard with some terrific insights. In addition, you can now see these insights for calls made from Amazon Connect or from Partner Telephony systems – which is huge. This is actually in Pilot – so you’ll need to contact your Account Executive to turn it on – but no harm in viewing a dashboard in pilot and seeing how it works.
Monitoring Service Cloud Voice Call Quality & Availability – Two new monitoring enhancements to allow Service Cloud Voice administrators to keep an eye on telephony performance. First, Service Cloud Voice is not part of the trust site and the call & transcription services can be viewed there to see if there are any issues. A more subtle view is the call quality itself. Service Cloud Voice might be up, but your call quality might be suffering. Now you can also measure your Call Quality with mean opinion scores. These scores will notify you if there are any potential issues in the network that would lead to call quality degradations. Definitely critical to stay ahead of these issues.
Voice Users Must Agree to Being Recorded – After Winter 22 rolls out, all Service Cloud Voice users will be prompted to consent to being recorded the first time they try to make a call, receive a call, or listen to a recording. The same would apply to new users going forward. If the user does not consent, they are effectively rendered useless in Service Cloud Voice as they won’t be able to make or receive calls. At that point, I’m sure there will be a discussion with their supervisor and the next time they log in they will be prompted to consent again. Obviously, if they consent, they will be all set and it will be logged when they did provide consent. Clearly, this is to protect you as well as Salesforce from an agent claiming they didn’t realize they were being recorded and while a bit of an odd cycle if they do decline, it’s necessary.
Alright, that’s it for the Winter 22 Service Cloud and Service Cloud Voice features. Yet again another huge release. Next up we will tackle the Experience Cloud and other Collaboration updates and as I mention above Field Service will be done separately (and hopefully a separate Workforce Engagement one, too). As always, if you want any help or have any questions about any of these features, feel free to reach out and one of our Solution Architects will get right back to you. 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.