The Utility Bar: Your End User’s Best Friend

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A day in the life of a customer service user can be delicately categorized as fast-paced. They turn over dozens of cases per day, with the goal of doing so as quickly as possible while also keeping customer satisfaction in mind. It’s not exactly a cake walk.

The utility bar in Service Cloud is a key productivity resource, and by enabling it for your users and catering it to their specific needs, you provide them with an indispensable part of their toolkit. Think of the utility-bar as a way to provide users with shortcuts to the various parts of Salesforce that they constantly use throughout their day. The utility-bar can make Service Cloud easier to use and more enjoyable for your users as they’ll have exactly what they need right at their fingertips:

  • The utility bar is a one-stop shop to house common productivity tools that end users commonly use.
  • If you are familiar with the Classic Salesforce Console, there’s a good chance you have already seen a similar feature called the footer and the benefits it provides.
  • The utility bar is fixed at the footer of a standard or console lightning app, which users can access to open utilities. Utilities are time-saving tools which can be configured in any salesforce app using the App Manager.
  • Since the utility bar is static at the footer of the app, the components in the utility bar are just a click away, which allows users to perform common tasks without having to navigate away or switch context. You’ll find both power users and regular users engaging with these utilities quite often.

Interested in driving user productivity and satisfaction? Here are a few commonly-used utilities you can enable today for your users:

History

The history component gives users access to the last 10 tabs opened in the console. This enables them to quickly see recent work without having to search or type. The history utility shows the workspace tabs opened along with the subtabs that were opened within each workspace tab. These are listed in reverse chronological order. In the event a user closes one or more tabs accidentally, or the entire workspace they can be reopened from the history component! Users can also share links to the tabs with other users using the ‘Copy Link’ action in History, which is located beside each tab.

Open CTI

The voice channel is usually the most utilized customer service channel. Open CTI is Salesforce’s solution that allows companies to easily integrate telephony systems with Salesforce by using easy to implement APIs and support common telephony actions like screen pops, call logging, click-to-dial, and more. The utility bar houses the softphone which connects with a telephony system. The softphone is backed by a call center object which integrates an Open CTI implementation with Salesforce.

The softphone appears automatically with each incoming call and users are able to minimize it as they work through a customer’s issue. And of course, call control actions like mute, hold, and end call are only a click away!

Macros

Another power-packed utility item is macros. They condense a set of tasks into a single click, boosting user productivity by automating common repetitive tasks. For example, a lot of customer service personnel have to follow the well-trodden path of sending emails, putting in case comments and updating cases. But instead of doing so by completing a variety of tasks, using macros each of these can be boiled down to a single click for users. Macros are also intelligently optimized to show only the macros related to the user’s current activity. To create macros in Lightning Experience, use the Macro Builder—an easy to use point-and-click builder.

Notes

A core part of a customer service user’s daily responsibilities is to take detailed notes of their interactions with customers, whether that’s an interaction via phone, chat, SMS, or another channel. Amidst all the chaos, it is easy to lose where the notes for each case were captured. To make note taking easier, notes can be created using the ‘New Note’ global action. The notes widget in the utility bar lets users access notes within Service Cloud and sort them according to the view preferred by the user. Since notes are present right in the utility bar, users don’t need to spend time looking for them outside of Service Cloud.

Custom Components

In addition to the standard components provided by Salesforce, you can also add custom components to the utility bar. You can install an existing Lightning component from the App Exchange or create a custom component to serve the needs of your support organization. Take for instance a common need for a support user to share links with their peers for collaboration. Shortened URLs are all the rage these days due to their readability and ease to remember. A URL shortener can easily be integrated into the utility bar as a custom component.

Now, the support user does not have to navigate to another page or use a browser extension with questionable security parameters to shorten URLs. They can simply do so within Salesforce!

The utility bar is an excellent productivity tool to allow users to communicate more seamlessly and efficiently with customers. It condenses a variety of frequently used functionality in a compact form to save real estate on the app and provide a great user experience.

The utility bar can be easily customized from Setup -> App Manager-> Edit an app -> Add standard & custom utilities from the Utility Bar section.

If you’re looking to boost user productivity and satisfaction, log in to your sandbox and set it up. And of course, we’d love to hear your feedback!

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