5 Quick Wins for Service in the Spring 15 Release

  January 8, 2015       Hetty Boardman

There’s plenty to talk about in the Spring 15 release. There’s a number of major new improvements and features for the Service Cloud, from defaulting email addresses and templates in the Case Feed, to enabling Macros for Service agents, to making a more robust Assets object with its own sharing model and record types. Take a look at the Release Notes for more information.

On the other hand, there are some great quick wins in the new release as well. These are features you can take advantage of immediately, since they can be enabled with just a few clicks. Some don’t even need to be enabled and will just appear automatically after the release lands, so it’s worth knowing about these beforehand!

Why not take the next five minutes to see if these could be handy for your organisation? Read on for our top 5.

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5. Salesforce for Outlook works with custom Email fields

This is a nice one: the Salesforce for Outlook sidebar will now be able to find matches based on custom Email fields as well as the standard ones. Salesforce only provides one Email field as standard, so you may well be using additional custom Email fields if you store a secondary or tertiary email for a contact or lead.

Previously Salesforce for Outlook was only compatible with the standard Email fields, leaving you liable to miss key information or even create duplicates because the sidebar couldn’t find any matching records. While Salesforce has a lot of options around deduplication functionality, including some new standard functionality in this release, it’s better to head duplicates off at the pass. This improvement should help you to do this.

Action Needed: None – it’ll start working immediately after your Spring 15 release date.

4. Linked Cases available on articles

This is great if your organisation uses the Knowledge base. You can now add a Related List to your article showing what Cases have used that article. This is a nice quick visual indicator to help your agents see how effective an article has been. This can help them to find the right article to solve a tricky case. It can also raise visibility of articles that other agents have found particularly useful, which is always good encouragement if the agents themselves contribute to your knowledge base.

linked-cases

Image shows the new Linked Cases related list on an article [image from Salesforce Spring 15 Release Notes]

As a side note, it’s also possible to report on how effective your articles have been by building a report using the ‘Cases with Articles’ report type. This shows any cases in your organisation which have articles linked to them, and what those articles were. This will help you to see which articles are popular with your users. You can also drill down by other features, such as case type, article type or who wrote the article.

report-type-cases-with-articles

Image shows the report type for Cases with Articles

Action Needed: Just enable linked cases in Setup (go to Setup > Customize > Knowledge > Settings > Enable list of cases linked to an article).

3. Improvements to Notes (Pilot)

UPDATE: since writing this feature, we’ve found that the improvements to notes are no longer part of the Spring 15 General Release. You can still request access to the Pilot if you want to explore this feature – read on to find out how.

If you’ve ever used Notes on the Notes & Attachments related list, you’ll agree that an overhaul has been long overdue. The new Notes works in a similar way to the old Notes, and you can still add notes directly from a record, such as an Account. However you also get the following new features:

  • Users get a new richtext editor, where they can write their note and include bulleted or numbered lists
  • Users can save the Note as they go, with a dialog box reminder if they navigate away from the page before saving. (These are both features that aren’t mentioned in the Release Notes but we think are really useful.)
  • Notes can be accessed through the Files tab, where standalone Notes can be created as well
  • Notes also appear in global searches and in reports (under Files)

add-note-to-ac

Image shows the old interface for adding a Note to an Account

Image shows the new interface for adding a Note to an Account

We like these improvements because customers often ask us where they can go to ‘Add a Note’ against an account or a contact. In the past we might guide them to add notes into the body of an Activity, for example while Logging a Call, or into the standard Description field of an account.

Or we might dig deeper and ask, “Why do you want to log a note? What will the information be used for?”  If the answer is “to store contact details” or “to update the account’s SLA information”, we might encourage them to add this information to the record itself instead of using a Note. But sometimes a note is just a note. With a good enough use case, and with these improvements to the Notes functionality, we can see the new Notes being adopted as a best practice.

Action Needed: This feature is still in Pilot, so if you want to give it a try we recommend raising a case with Salesforce and asking for access in a sandbox. Once you’re accepted, you just need to enable notes in Setup (go to Setup > Customize > Notes > Settings).

2.  Standard Address Fields Show Google Maps

Once the new Release comes in, standard Address fields will include a GoogleMap image directly underneath, showing the location on a map. Clicking on the image opens the map in a new window.

Image shows the new GoogleMaps image underneath an Account Billing Address

Watch out if your organisation already has a large Account page, as this feature will be switched ON by default once the new Release comes out. It adds some additional bulk to the page, and it’s not possible to move or resize the map.

It’s handy functionality, though, and it’s great to see this supported as standard functionality. In addition, it only appears if the Address is filled out, so it doesn’t take up space where it’s not needed. Switch it off in setup if it’s not for you.

Action Needed: None – it’ll start working immediately after your Spring 15 release date. You can switch it off globally in Setup (go to Setup > Customize > Maps and Location > Settings).

1. Navigation improvements to the console

This is my favourite new feature, and it’s actually a lot of little time-savers. There’s a lot of console improvements in this release, all small navigation changes that help to bring the console more in line with the behaviour of a standard browser like Google Chrome. The features aren’t exactly groundbreaking, but they’re still welcome improvements, especially in the fast-paced environments that the console is generally used for.

  1. Improved keyboard shortcuts: One is being able to use CTRL+Click to open a console tab without making it the active tab. This is a common shortcut in a number of popular browsers. You can also hide/show pinned lists and the sidebar: see the Release Notes for a full list.
  2. Rearrange console tabs: users can organise their own workspace by changing the order of their primary tabs or subtabs.
  3. Customise navigation tabs: Users can now customise their console navigation tabs in the same way that they can customise their tabs on any standard app. Once you’ve enabled this feature, users will see the option at the bottom of their navigation tabs dropdown.

Image shows the new ‘Customize My Tabs’ option which allows users to rearrange their own console tabs [image from Salesforce Spring 15 Release Notes]

Action Needed: None – the features are available immediately after your Spring 15 release date, except for the keyboard shortcuts, which need to be enabled in your console settings.