Salesforce Winter 16 Feature Write-up – Service Cloud

Winter is here with Lightning

Winter is here with Lightning


Winter 16 is nearly upon us and Dreamforce is now behind us (although, I’m sure some are still recovering). In Part 1 of our Winter 16 write-up we went into a deep dive of Lightning Experience – the new user interface that is a lot more than just a new look and feel. In this post, we’re going to focus on the new Service Cloud features coming in Winter 16. Let’s get right at it.

  • Service Console Look & Feel – The Service Console gets another face lift. It’s referred to as a Lightning update to the Console, but this isn’t the Lightning Experience and it’s not an optional change. This is more of a modernization of the Console, and it will be automatically updated when you go to Winter 16. Some good new changes with this. First, the top of the console does get a bit of the Lightning Experience treatment and is simplified. Search is now nice and centered and the icons are off to the right mimicking the new LE look. Also, as part of this, you can now brand the console a bit by adding custom colors and logos. That color branding also applies to the color of primary tabs. Next, the list views for the console get updated with a simpler and responsive design. As you minimize the space for the views, they will automatically remove columns from the list view to save space. Very nice touch as a lot of agents like to expand and collapse this as they are working. The rest of the changes are really clean-up items like adding some more spacing where needed, making the fonts consistent and modernizing the icons. Overall though, the Console looks even slicker with these changes.

    Winter 16 Service Console

    Winter 16 Service Console

  • Live Agent Updates – After taking a release off back in Spring 15, Live Agent gets back to back strong releases with Winter 16. Some very cool new features here.
    • Automated Time-outs – First, we get a nice fix to the bane of all chatter’s existence – the customer time-out. Simply put, the nature of chat is that you’re usually dealing with someone who is multi-tasking on the other end of the chat. A lot of times the customer even forgets they are engaged in a chat. Typically all support groups have a process to handle this in that after X amount of inactivity, you as the chatter need to ask if the customer is still there, and if the customer doesn’t respond, with your last message before hanging up the chat, let them know that you are because there was no response. It’s a little annoying to do, but also, it opens up the door for your chatting agents to actually let that drag out longer than the process – and therefore keep themselves less busy while making it look like they are still at capacity (Am I suggesting agents game the system??!! Yes I am.). With Winter 16, you can now automate this process. Automatically drop-in the alert message and then automatically hang up the chat with a final message. No more games.
    • Raise a Hand for Help – Agents will now have the ability to set a flag on a chat that they need help on. This flag will be visible to anyone monitoring the Supervisor Page – and as with everything on that page – in real-time. From there, a Supervisor can jump in and start a whisper with the agent to help them with the issue. Remember, chat agents are typically on 3 – 5 chats at the same time, so it’s not like a phone call where you can just put the call on hold and throw-up your hand to get help. The chat agent needs to keep the other chats going, even while they are stuck on one of them. This is a great tool to facilitate getting real-time help, but keeping your agent within the chat interface while they receive it.

      Live Agent Flag for Help

      Live Agent Flag for Help

    • Block Sensitive Data – This is a really interesting one. It is amazing (or if you’re cynical, maybe completely expected) how people will just hand-over sensitive information – like their credit card or social security number – without even being asked. The problem is, now you have that sitting in your chat window and worse, saved in a chat transcript where anyone with access can find it. It’s a big potential liability that every service organization needs to deal with. We’ve actually built some custom apex to handle stuff like this – but it’s more as the data is being saved in salesforce, like when the transcript is created or the email-to-case creates the case. With Winter 16, you can now add expressions to look out for – like a credit card pattern – and it will automatically obfuscate that text even in the chat window. So, now the credit card number will never be visible. The only loophole here is the sneak-peek. It’s obviously impossible to realize someone is putting in a bad pattern until they actually do, so the sneak-peek will still show it. If you’re in a environment where this is a consistent problem, salesforce recommends turning off the sneak-peek in combination with this – and we agree. (and if you’re interested in hearing how to extend this to all Cases and objects, feel free to contact us as we have a tool for this)
    • Assign Skills Permission Set – You don’t have to be an admin to set Skills for agents anymore. Now you can give this to Floor Supervisors or other non-admin users. Nice little update.
    • Updated Look & Feel – In Summer 15 the chat window had a new look and feel for the agents. With Winter 16, this is now extended to the customer’s side of the chat. Nothing huge here, but it is a much more modern and easier to read look and feel. Below is the before and after.
      New Customer Look & Feel for Live Agent

      New Customer Look & Feel for Live Agent

  • Case Feed Updates – A couple of small but useful changes to Case Feed focused on reducing clicks.
    • Custom Filters – With Winter 16, you will have the ability to create Custom Filters within the Case Feed. This will let you have a filter that groups up multiple types of feed lists. For example, if you wanted a feed of all Case Comments, Transcripts and Emails to represent “Customer Communications” you could add this, and with one click the Case Feed would just show those records. Doesn’t look like you can filter this down to field level criteria, but this is still a nice feature.
    • Quick Actions – Quick Actions can now be added to the sidebar for Case Feed. Another productivity tweak that will allow agents to create, search for or update records with less clicks.
    • Files Widget Update – A tweak to the Files Widget that makes it easier to add files to an email being created with Case Feed.
    • Subject Line no Longer Truncated – Agents can now see up to 650 characters on the subject lines of emails. This only works if you are using Case Feed.
  • Two-way Camera for SOS – I’m literally bouncing in my seat over this feature. Part of me isn’t sure if this is what I think it is because it’s buried in the salesforce1 section and not even mentioned in the Service Cloud section of the release notes, but I’m 99% sure this is what I think it is. This is a huge hooray here. Basically, this feature extends out the video chat in SOS to be a two-way video chat, vs. just showing the agent to the customer. What this means is your agents are no longer blindly being guided by wonderful but maybe not the most savvy of your customers. Instead of having to ask 14 times for the customer to describe the cable they are seeing (why don’t you just tell me the movie you want to see?!), you can now just tell them to turn their camera and show the cables via the video. A massive sanity saver for your agents and not to mention a big custom sat driver for your customers. (This is an update from 10/4 as this is only mentioned in the salesforce1 section so I missed it the first time around. Sorry!)
  • Social Service Approvals – A cool update to Social Service in that you can now require Approvals for Social support responses. Social responses are a different type of response as these have the potential to be seen publicly by anyone – not just the person with the issue. Due to the risk of an inappropriate – or maybe just incorrect – public post, placing an Approvals process in front of the post going live could make a lot of sense. Basically, the social agent will make the response and it will go into a standard approval flow. Once approved it will automatically be pushed to the social site. If rejected, the agent will be notified and will need to re-try.
    Social Service Approvals

    Social Service Approvals

  • Knowledge Links in Case Feed – When agents add links to the Community Actions the customer will now be directed to the appropriate community to see this article. Eliminates the need to attach the article itself, or to make the agent figure out the correct URL for the community for the article.
  • Entitlement Reporting – Quick, but very handy update to Entitlements reporting. Now salesforce automatically tracks the total time a Milestone has been paused and / or lapsed so that you can easily run reports on these stats. They are stored right on the Milestone record.
  • SOS Available on Android – The SOS Video Chat previously was only available on iPhones and now can also work with Android phones.
  • Feed Based Layouts on Assets – Assets can now have feed based layouts while will keep your feeds consistent with other objects in the Service Console. With Assets being a critical object, this is a nice little update.
  • Macros now have an API – This new API means you can now push Macros across different instances, so as you build and test them in your Sandbox, you can now promote them to Production. Sweet.

That’s the Service Cloud features for Winter 16. With Lightning Connect being the focal point of the release, there is no huge Service Cloud new feature, but this is a good list of solid updates. Next up, Part 3 will be the Collaboration update focused on Chatter, Communities and Work.com. For Communities in particular there are some big updates.

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