Push Notifications to Agents

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
  • Understand push notifications.
  • Explain different types of push notifications.
  • Customize push notifications for lists, pages, objects, and fields.
  • Set up push notifications on cases to boost agent productivity.

Introduction to Push Notifications

Have you ever worked on something only to discover that someone else was working on it too? All of that time and effort...wasted. Doing unnecessary work can be so frustrating that you want to either cry, lie in bed with the blankets pulled up over your head, or stick your head out a window and scream, “Why!”

In addition to all that frustration, when members of your support team work on the same customer case without knowing it, time, effort, and money are all wasted. Think of how much a support agent is paid hourly, and that’s the price of multiple agents working on the same case unnecessarily. Perhaps you can’t put a price on frustration, but you can tally up a cost for the duplicative work of support agents.

To prevent support agents from duplicating each other’s efforts, the console includes a nifty feature named push notifications. Push notifications are visual indicators that show agents when something that they’re working on has been changed by another user. Think of push notifications as a warning sign on the great highway of work—they draw an agent’s attention to an immediate change that might be important, without pulling them away from what they’re doing.

A picture of a sign warning that someone else edited a record you are working on

To get a better idea of push notifications, let’s see what they look like.



In this module, we’re only covering push notifications for a console. Push notifications are also available for the Salesforce Mobile App.

View Different Types of Push Notifications

Depending on how you customize push notifications, your support agents can see a variety of visual indicators that say, “Watch out! Someone else just changed what you’re working on!”

First, there are push notifications for detail pages.

A screen shot of a push notification on a detail page

These warnings help an agent understand that a record they’re looking at was just updated by another user. For example, an agent might be reading a case’s details when another agent updated a field on the same case.

Then, there are push notifications for lists.

A screen shot of push notificatins on lists

Push notifications on lists show as (1) yellow when a record changes, (2) blue if it’s the last item you viewed, (3) bold and italic when a field specified by an administrator changes.

These warnings help an agent working off lists understand that one or more of the records on the list have suddenly been changed by others. For example, an agent might be working off a case queue for Platinum Support when other agents working in the same queue changed a few of the cases.

Of course, some support teams might not like seeing visual indicators. It’s possible that a few of your agents may say, “Hey, we’re trying to work here. We don’t want the distraction of seeing all these warnings pushed at us!” If that’s the case (pun intended again), you can set up both detail pages and lists to automatically refresh when records change. Like magic, an update can make pages or lists to refresh so that an agent can see the latest and greatest changes without doing—or seeing—a thing. How’s that for pushing the most current information to your team?

Plan for Push Notifications

There’s a few questions that you should ask before you push visual notifications to your support team. In the Planning a Console for Support Agents module, we mentioned that you can create all the consoles in the world, but if they’re not useful for your agents, they won’t use them. Well, that same principle applies to push notifications. If you don’t customize push notifications according to how your agents work, then the notifications won’t be useful.

What Triggers a Notification or Refresh?

Your first question will be, which objects and fields should trigger notifications or refreshes? Not all objects and fields are available for these push notification features. Of course, the most frequently used standard objects are available for push notifications. Plus, any custom objects used to track your company’s unique business data are available for push notifications too. But before you jump up and down with excitement as to what you want to trigger notifications or refreshes, review this list of currently supported objects and their fields:
  • Accounts
  • Contacts
  • Cases
  • Leads
  • Tasks
  • Opportunities
  • Campaigns
  • Custom Objects

To Notify or Refresh?

Next, ask your support team, “Yo, which types of push notifications or refreshes would work best for you?”

Perhaps your Platinum Support agents want visual indicators on account detail pages, but they prefer that case lists refresh automatically. Maybe your Gold Support agents want visual indicators on contact lists, but they prefer that case detail pages refresh automatically.

Ultimately, how you customize push notifications is up to you. But if you customize push notifications for objects and fields that your support team doesn’t use, or you add visual indicators where nobody needs them, what’s the point? Above all else, we recommend that you ask your agents what works best for them.

Check Your Security Settings

One last thing about planning for push notifications. And this is a security thing. You can create all the push notifications you want, but if a little security attribute named Require HttpOnly is turned on in your org, push notifications don’t appear. Not at all. Nada.

Set Up Push Notifications

Let’s say that you’ve explained to your support team how push notifications can prevent them from duplicating each other’s work, and consequently, boost their productivity. They’re thrilled to learn that a console feature can prevent them from wasting their time. But they’re even more ecstatic to hear you ask, “How can I set up push notifications to work best for you?”

An agent, named C.U. Ondatrail, says, “We live and breathe cases and case lists. Case Priority, Case Status, Case Origin, and Date/Time Opened. Cases are our lives. We need to know when these case fields change. Please help us. You’re our only hope!”

To boost your agents’ productivity, it’s clear that they want full visibility. Let’s add visual indicators on both case lists and case detail pages. We’ll set up push notifications to trigger on all the case fields requested by your agent.
  1. From Setup, enter Apps in the Quick Find box, then select Apps.

  2. Next to the Sample Console, click Edit.

  3. Next to Choose How Lists Refresh, select Refresh List Rows. This means that rows in lists refresh with visual indicators when there are any changes to fields selected for push notifications.

  4. Next to Choose How Detail Pages Refresh, select Flag. This means that a message appears on the detail pages of updated records for objects selected for push notifications.

    A screen shot of list refresh and push notificatins settings in a console setup

  5. Click Select objects and fields for notifications, then Edit.

  6. Add Cases as the object for push notifications.

    A screen shot of the push notification setting for choosing an object

  7. Click Edit to add the case fields that your agents want to trigger push notifications, then click OK.

    A screen shot of push notification field setup

  8. Click Save.

That’s it! Your support team now has the push notifications that they’ve requested for case lists and case detail pages.

To see these push notifications in action, log in to Salesforce as two different users on two different types of web browsers (like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox), then have the two users view the same case, but have one user change the case’s Priority. This is what you’d see.

A screen shot of push notificatins on a list
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