Winter may still be a few weeks away, but Salesforce Winter ‘20 is already available under the pre-release program. You’ve probably checked out the sandbox if you’re a Salesforce aficionado. For those who are yet to do it, here’s something that might interest you – this is one of Salesforce’s most exciting releases as Salesforce Lightning is getting switched on for all Salesforce Orgs.
Let’s look at what you’ll be getting new from the Winter ‘20 release, and how many of the updates mentioned here will help improve customer interactions, both directly and indirectly.
- The Lightning Experience for everyone – If you’ve been shying away from the Lightning Experience until now, you won’t be able to anymore! Lightning Experience will be enabled for all Orgs from Winter ‘20. Although you can still access Salesforce Classic by using the switch facility, we suggest you stay on with Lightning because this is now and the future.
Lightning has a modern and improved user interface, is more agile and has so many end-user benefits that you cannot say “No” to this one, especially if you believe in connecting intelligently with your customers. Classic is not going to be able to keep up and will never offer all the new functionalities; so this is your best chance to move, move fast and move to the top.
- Recycle Bin in Lightning Experience – Earlier accessing the Recycle Bin was possible only by switching back to Classic. If this was one reason holding you back from switching, the good news is Lightning now has the Recycle Bin. You can stay on Lightning and view, restore, and permanently delete the items in your Recycle Bin and the org Recycle Bin; and also use Restore and Delete buttons.
- The new Mobile App – Salesforce is soon releasing its new opt-in mobile app that will enable you to customize your users’ experience in many ways. Users can access custom record pages on a phone (which, until now was restricted to desktop view), show or hide record page components based on the type of device they are being viewed on, and configure which form factors that a Lightning app supports and can be viewed on while creating or editing it.
- Whatsapp & WeChat – The winter release is finally offering a widely demanded feature, WhatsApp and WeChat on Salesforce. Although a pilot program, this integration will greatly empower customer service agents to connect easily with customers and track conversions. The WhatsApp integration will allow agents to reply to WhatsApp messages sent by customers internationally from the Service console, while the WeChat integration will enable them to do the same for WhatsApp messages sent by customers from China.
- Communication across Salesforce UI technology with the Lightning Message Service – The Lightning Message Service API allows communication across the Document Object Model (DOM) and between the Aura Components, VisualForce pages, and Lightning Web Components. Earlier, a custom publish-subscribe solution needed to be implemented to facilitate communication. However, now you can build Lightning web components that can communicate with existing Visualforce pages or Aura components. This feature is currently available only as a developer preview for the Developer Edition and scratch orgs.
- Add Lightning Web Components to Flow Screens – The winter release enables Salesforce users to add the new-age Web Components to Flow Screens. This is a powerful addition to the toolkit, allowing users to choose developer-built components or pick them from AppExchange, and use them in their flow screens for additional performance benefits. Talking about Flows – they are becoming increasingly powerful, and the new release builds it up by allowing users to run Flows on a Schedule, and not just from record interaction.
- Increased Limits for Approval Processes – Salesforce has raised the limits for approval processes up to 1,000 active and 2,000 total approval processes. Each object can have up to 300 active and 500 total approval processes.
- Send Surveys – Admins will now be able to send out Surveys using an action on the process builder called ‘Send Survey Invitation’.
- Count Unique Values in Report Results – This one is still in beta; but it solves a familiar problem – the inability to count the number of unique values in a report, which could be previously done only with “Power of One”. With the new release, users can count the number of Accounts that are mentioned in a report, even if each Account has multiple Opportunities. Another feature in a similar case is how admins can use standard reports to Analyze opportunities based on opportunity scores. In the past, opportunity scores were supported with only custom report types.
- Einstein bots – The new release comes with the End Chat Rule that helps bots sense the natural end of a session with a customer, and automatically close the conversation. Reps get better assistance with knowledge articles. When reps enter search terms, the algorithms display one to three knowledge articles that help them resolve client requests in the best possible way.
- Connect to third-party NLPs – Salesforce now permits connecting to third-party Natural Language Processors like IBM Watson’s Conversation Service (WCS), Microsoft’s Language Understanding Intelligence Service (LUIS), or Google Natural Language (NL) to their Einstein bots. This allows users to infuse a multilingual experience into the existing systems.
- Alter sales outreach based on call results – Lead prospects can now be branched to different sales outreach steps depending on the results of a call. Sales reps can use different paths of conversation if they are speaking to a prospect or when they are leaving a voicemail, for instance.
Salesforce is doing its bit by ensuring that the migration to Lightning is as smooth as possible for all Orgs. They have included some really handy tools such as scanning apps that make sure Actions & Buttons are ready or can be converted. Hardcoded URLs and AppExchange Packages are also kept ready for migration.
If you have questions regarding migration from Salesforce Classic to Salesforce Lightning, write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Suyati is a Salesforce Consulting Partner and an AppExchange Partner with 40+ years of cumulative experience. Our Salesforce application development expertise includes enterprise-wide applications, as well as Salesforce and AppExchange consultation.