Plan a Console for Support Agents
Introduction to Console Customization
In the Service Cloud Basics module, we showed you how a Salesforce console increases support agent productivity, and we even configured some console features. In this module, we're going to customize a console even further. That's right. Buckle your seat belt and get ready to turbo-boost your console for agents!
Take notes. Listen thoughtfully. Plan accordingly. Even though you can change a console at any time, it’s best to roll out a console to your support team when it’s most useful for them. The more time you spend planning a console, the less time you’ll spend responding to agents’ requests: “Please change this. Please change that. Hey, can you please change this and that?”
- Which records do you use most?
- Which fields do you want to see front and center?
- Do you prefer to work off of lists?
- Do you want more than one console?
- Who will use a console in your org?
- Have you purchased enough feature licenses?
- Which items do you want agents to access from the navigation tab?
- Which records do you want to display as primary tabs or subtabs?
- Which fields do you want to highlight on records?
- How do you want lists to display in a console?
- Do you want to add any keyboard shortcuts to a console?
- Do you want agents to access domains outside of Salesforce?
- Do you want agents to see notifications when lists or records they’re working on have changed?
- Do you want to display any third-party data in a console’s sidebars or footer?
A Console Customized for Support Agents
As you can see, there are a few things to think about. But planning to create or customize a console isn’t that hard, and it won’t strain your brain. That’s why in this module, we’re going to show you a handful of console features that you can easily set up with a few clicks. And that’s the Salesforce way: a few clicks to cool! To get your support team on the trail to increased productivity (see what I did there?), we’re going to learn to customize these console features:
- Highlights panels
- Pinned lists
- Push notifications
- Keyboard shortcuts
Define Support Agent Workflows
Before we dive right into clicking our way to a customized console that boosts agent productivity, let’s take a step back. A tiny step back. What are the most common ways your support team “works” and “views” a case? Do they respond to inbound emails 70% of the time? Do they search and review articles in a knowledge base before responding to customers? Do they need to see specific information about a customer, whether the case arrives from email, the web, live chat, or some other channel?
You might be thinking, “There are a lot of questions in this module,” but understanding how your support team works will help you build a console that boosts agent productivity. You can build as many consoles as your org’s limits allow, but if they don’t match your support team’s workflow, all the consoles in the world won’t increase agent productivity. And what we mean by “workflow” here isn’t the time-based workflow or process automation features in Salesforce. What we mean by workflow is how efficiently your agents work with cases.
Notice how the workflows look a little different? That means the console for each workflow should look a little different too. In other words, if your support agents rarely use a knowledge base or email templates, then adding those features to a console won’t boost productivity. In fact, it might hinder productivity because the agents have to stare at a screen cluttered with features that they rarely use.
To prevent a clutter of rarely-used-features for your agents’ console, we recommend that you follow these simple steps:
- Identify your support agents’ workflows
- Sketch out the workflows to visualize them
- Use these sketches to create your console’s layout
As you saw in the Service Cloud Basics module, a console layout focuses on page layouts. Page layouts include highlights panels and custom console components that let you determine how records appear in the console. In the next exercise, we’re going to add fields to a console’s highlights panel to change the console layout and boost agent productivity.
Add Useful Fields to Highlights Panels
If customized correctly, the highlights panel boosts agents’ productivity because no one has to search or scroll to find the fields they need to understand and close a case. To do this, let’s first assume that you’ve chatted with your support team and learned that their workflow relies on glancing at these case fields in this order:
- Case Origin
- Case Owner
- Contact Name
- Contact Email
- Contact Phone
- Account Name
- From Setup, click Customize | Cases | Page Layouts.
- Click Edit next to Case Layout.
- Click the highlights panel icon.
- Change the default fields on the case highlights panel to include the fields requested by your support team.You may notice that some of the requested fields are already on the highlights panel. Before you can move them around, you must remove them by selecting None in the drop-down lists.
- Click OK, then Save.
- Return to your Sample Console by clicking Back to Sample Console under the global header, or by selecting it from the App Picker.
- From the navigation tab, click Cases, or select a case if a case list automatically appears because it was the last thing you looked at in your console.Now, the updated highlights panel appears with the fields requested by your support team. This guarantees increased productivity because it matches your agents’ workflow, and they no longer have to hunt for the most useful information on cases.