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Customer Experience and Design

Lightning Strikes Again with New Service Cloud Features

An Introduction to the New Salesforce Service Cloud 

Salesforce touts themselves as “the world’s #1 customer service platform” and they have taken another step forward in solidifying that position. The recent updates in their Summer ’17 release are aimed at accelerating Service Cloud setup and customization, productivity enhancements for agents when handling cases, and enhancements to the mobile Field Service Lightning app on iOS and now a Beta Android app, to name just a few. We’ll focus in on the new Lightning Service Console and how it helps agents improve their productivity, find more of what they need on a single screen, and adjust the layout to fit their needs. Let’s get started.

What It Means for You

The update brings Service Cloud up to date and more in line with Salesforce’s other Lightning-based clouds. Salesforce Lightning Service Console does not completely replace the Classic Service Console for Service Cloud users. Users can find it through the App menu on Salesforce Classic and in the App Launcher on Lightning Experience. Lightning Service Console is a step towards a full-fledged Lightning Experience for Service Cloud users.

When Lightning Strikes

The objective of the Console view is to enable users to see more relevant information on a single screen, and thus be more productive. In addition to adjustable and responsive Console panes, the following features available with Lightning help users achieve these support goals:

  • Lightning Console Split View allows users to keep track of their Cases while digging into specific records while keeping their tabs and related records. Users are able to click through their cases without having to go back to a top level.
  • Compact Case Feed condenses the Case Feed to a more easily digestible view. This cleans up the page and allows users to read the first line of the comment and drill down when they want instead of scrolling and scrolling and scrolling…
  • Add files by dragging them on the Files and Attachments Related List instead of having to click a menu to attach a file. This really simplifies what used to be a multi-step process.
  • Case Hover allows users to get a preview of the case without the need to fully drill down. This is a real time saver so you don’t have to open one case after another to find the information you want!
  • Keyboard Shortcuts (not customizable) are a boon to productivity. Use both hands at once to speed up work.
  • Person Accounts are fully supported in Lightning Console apps. If Person Accounts fits your business (you need to capture information about individual people or B2C relationships) the Service Console now supports Person Accounts.
  • An underrated enhancement with the move to Lightning is the ability to brand the Console with custom colors.

What To Watch Out For

The introduction to Lightning Service Console has its benefits but as with any release there are some things to be aware of when considering this transition. First, let’s list some differences. Salesforce Classic Console apps can’t be migrated to Lightning Experience. Lightning Console apps do not support Classic Console app features such as: custom keyboard shortcuts, multi-monitor support, push notifications, macros, and Live Agent at this time.

Second, there are some features outside of the Console itself that are either being devolved or do not work at all with Lightning Service Console. Lightning Console JavaScript API is currently available as a developer preview and is a pilot feature. Visualforce in Lightning Console apps is not generally available and is considered a beta feature. Lightning Component Action Overrides do not work and the way they are currently handled in Lightning ensures data integrity. The Forecasting object isn’t supported. Some Knowledge component actions do not work in Lightning Console apps either. For a deep-dive on Lightning Knowledge check out this recent blog post.


Salesforce’s UI refresh is gaining steam quickly and Lightning appears to be the standard moving forward across the entire Salesforce platform. The first Generally Available (GA) Lightning Service Console release gives users many positive features and options in how they perform their daily functions. Salesforce is aware of the features that haven’t made it to Lightning Service Console and they are undoubtedly working on them as I type. As long as you’re aware of the benefits and limitations of the current iteration of Lightning Service Console, this should be a smooth branch of the Salesforce lifecycle map.

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