Let’s have at it. As always, no particular order:
- Email-to-Case – Really nice new feature in Email-to-Case. Now when someone sends an email to an email-to-case address, if people are cc:ed on that email, they can receive the auto-response email as well. This doesn’t sound like a big deal, but this was actually a pretty painful process. Essentially, Joe emails you at support and copied Mary. Joe would get the email auto-response with the reference number on it, so all of Joe’s replies automatically associate back to the Case. Terrific, all good there. However, Mary previously would not receive that auto-response. So, if Mary replies to Joe’s email, the support address will be copied, there will be no reference number, and salesforce would think this is a brand new Case. On that Case only Mary would get the auto-response, so inevitably when Joe replied to Mary….You get it. It was ugly and a pain in the neck to deal with. Didn’t happen much, but when it did, it was extremely annoying. Now, with Winter 15, both Joe and Mary would get an auto-response with the reference number on it so both their replies will associate to the one Case. Great update.
- Knowledge Base– Another strong release for Knowledge.
- Knowledge Search Reporting – There’s a new custom report type that allows KB managers to get much more detailed reporting on the Knowledge Search and how it’s performing. Previously you could get some basic reporting on keywords with no results, etc. but this expands the reporting out quite a bit. Now, you’ll be able to get reports on the number of searches per day, and then based on those searches you’ll be able to report on what articles were clicked. You’ll also be able to report on Keywords and see the average number of results and a list of articles presented by keyword. Finally, on the article reporting, you’ll be able to report on total clicks and unique users who clicked each article. This is a big improvement to let you report on your article effectiveness, and most importantly, these metrics will really let you get at a solid Case Deflection rate. Previously, you sort of had to back into it. Now, you’ll be able to see the actual performance of the KB without having to necessarily tag all of your articles with a 3rd party like Omniture or Google Analytics.
- Improved Search – The beta we spoke about in Summer 14 is now fully released. Essentially, the search capabilities for articles received a nice upgrade and more relevant articles should be presented for customers and internal agents. In addition to the improvements in Search relevance, the results now present highlight of snippets from the search the was done (similar to how Google does it). If you look at the screenshot below, you’ll see how the search was for Tiger Woods and that term is highlighted in the results now. Nice new feature.
- Promote Articles – You now have the ability to more dynamically promote articles for particular search terms. This is also a really handy new feature. Basically, you can now add search terms to an article as “promoted search terms”. Then when a user searches for a term, any article that has that term listed as a promoted search term will automatically appear at the top of the search results.
- Send an Article Pilot – We don’t typically talk about Pilot features because you’re never sure when they will be fully released, but KB has an interesting one in Winter 15. There’s a feature that will allow an agent to send an article via email – but the article appears in the body of the email vs. being a link or an attachment. This would definitely be a better customer experience, and would be a cool pilot to check-out.
- Service Console – Some good new features to the Service Console.
- New Look and Feel – The Service Console gets a nice UI improvement that not only makes it look better, but some productivity enhancements too. First, as you can see from the image, it’s even more compact than it was before so a lot better use of real estate. It looks a lot more modern and slicker. In addition to being a better use of space, there’s some other improvements. First, lookups popped within the console can be expanded to show some fields in multiple columns. The lookup components also now support inline editing. So you can change data on a related contact without having to actually go into the Contact. This would be a very nice time saver – especially for that use case where the customer is giving you new contact info. Next, when using the Related Records component that was released in Summer 14 (which by the way, if you’re using Service Console and not this, you’re making a mistake. Our clients loved this new feature) now supports hovers when you mouse over the record. Very nice.
- New Components – In Summer 14, the Case Feed got a new Files component that was very slick. With Winter 15, this can now be added as a Service Console component even if you don’t use Case Feed. Essentially, from this Component, you can see all Attachments related to a Case in one easy place. The very slick part here is it pulls from all of the places a file could be – Attachments, Chatter, or even an Email Message that had an attachment on it. The components pulls links to all of these attachments into one list. Especially for email support agents, this is very nice. In addition to the Files Component, there’s now an Experts component. Based on the topics of the Case, this will present users within salesforce that are endorsed or identified as experts on that topic. Very handy to find internal subject matter experts to assist in escalating issues an agent isn’t able to resolve on their own.
- Page Highlights Improvement – If you’re using Case Feed with Highlights you can now turn off the Console highlights without turning off the Case Feed highlights. Will save some real estate and reduce a little confusion there.
- Search – Console now leverages the standard global search – with all of its benefits. Previously, the Console search was a slimmed down search that popped a new tab. This is a nice improvement.
- Social Service Pilots – I need to stop saying we don’t talk about Pilots, because I guess we do when they’re cool ones. Social Service is a new pilot that looks great. Social Service has been out for a bit now, but it required a Radian6 license to use it. Looks like now you can have a limited version of this without having to purchase anything additional. It’s the same functionality but limited to 2 social accounts (and that’s really what most companies need – 1 Twitter and 1 Facebook). In addition, there’s a pilot to be able to support two new social sites: Google+ social accounts (yawn) and Sina Weibo. I had to Google Sina Weibo to see what it was – learn something new everyday – but Sina Weibo is essentially the Facebook of China. So, if China is one of your target markets, this is pretty big.
- Case Feed Changes – Some quick Case Feed changes that mostly are tweaks and will help productivity a bit. The files part of the Case Feed now supports Drag and Drop. So, to add an attachment to a case, you simply can just drag it in vs. having to go through the upload wizard. In addition, in Summer 14, a new feature was added to the Email capabilities of Case Feed to allow for easier ways to find Contacts to email to (it’s much more like outlook now). This has been improved a bit to allow the agents to see the email address of the Contact that is being suggested. Finally, look and feel wise, Case Feed gets a bit of an update and is now presented in a more compact view. This one is pretty nice as the feed did have a lot of white space, so especially if you had a Case with a lot of history it could be very long to scroll through it.
That’s it for Service Cloud. Sadly no Live Agent new features this release, but they had so many big releases in a row that I think they needed a little bit of a break. In addition to the above, there are some good Service Communities features, which we’ll be covering in Part 3 where we’ll also cover Chatter and Work.com changes.