How does communication change with my customers?

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When making the move from to Service Cloud there are many elements to consider. An important area to keep front of mind is how this change will affect your customers and, more importantly, how will communication and engagement methods change once you have migrated to Service Cloud? Are the communication channels between Desk and Service Cloud similar? Can these be configured to mirror your current Desk setup?

These are just some of the questions to consider when looking at customer engagement and we will endeavour to answer these pressing questions for you now! vs Service Cloud - Communication Channels

When moving to Service Cloud, you don’t need to be concerned that you will lose some of your important communication channels with your customers. In fact, Service Cloud offers the same channels as with even more functionality and choice. Take a look at this comparison chart to compare each product:
Feature Service Cloud
Multichannel Support:    
Email x x
Phone x x
Chat x x
Facebook x x
Twitter x x
Web From x x
Customer Self-Service    
Knowledge Base and Community Q&A x x
Content Management System   x


Agent Panel vs The Lightning Console

The equivalent to the Agent Panel is The Lightning Console in Service Cloud. With your new Console, your agents can handle email, phone, chat and social cases while also having access to many other features available in the Agent Panel, as well as some new ones.

Let’s review the Agent Console first. For the purposes of this article, we will be focusing on the Next Gen agent.

  1. Customer Information tab
  2. Company information tab
  3. Case details tab
  4. Custom fields
  5. Macros Customer
  6. Case History
  7. Case Notes

Now let's take a look at the Service Cloud Console to map these Desk features.

Additional features of The Lightning Console:
  1. Knowledge sidebar (there are many sidebar components to choose from) 
  2. Quick actions for responding on multiple channels through the same case 
  3. Your agent’s work history or easy access to previously updated cases 
As you can see from this comparison, The Lightning Console offers all of the functionality of’s case view, with additional options for your unique workflow process, making room for even more productive agents and faster resolve times. vs Service Cloud - Case Interactions

Responding out to your customer queries in Desk is easy and straightforward, with all channels using the Case Interaction functionality to communicate with your customers. However, there are limitations with the Desk setup. For example, you can only respond out to a case from the same channel as the customer has reached out to you on. You cannot log a phone call related to an email case within the same case. Service Cloud Lightning Console resolves this issue.

With The Service Cloud Lightning Console, case interactions become “Quick Actions” which you choose, based on the channel you wish to contact your customer on or what actions you would like to perform on a case, all within the same case. Let's take a look at some of these Quick Actions and what they mean in The Lightning Console.

Default Quick Actions:
Quick Action Pre-defined Fields
Post  n/a
File n/a
New Child Case

Contact Name

Log a Call

Subject (default value: Call)
Comment (description)
Related To

New Task

Due Date
Related To
Assigned To

New Event

All-Day Event
Related To
Assigned To

Thanks n/a
Link n/a
Poll n/a
Question n/a

Custom Quick Actions:

Custom actions are actions that you create and customize yourself, such as Create a Record, or Send Email. They can also invoke Lightning components, Visualforce pages, or canvas apps with functionality that you define. For example, you can create a custom action so that users can write comments that are longer than 5,000 characters, or create one that integrates a video-conferencing application so that support agents can communicate visually with customers. Service Cloud Quick Actions opens up functionality on cases, allowing highly customized actions for your agents to best suit your workflow needs. vs Service Cloud - Automatic Responses and Themes

With we have three different ways we can customize our correspondence out of Desk. These come in the form of:
  • Auto-Acknowledgements
  • Reply Themes
  • Notifications

Auto-Acknowledgements are used to auto respond out to a customer when they submit an email case. Notifications allow you to notify your internal teams about cases that are available to be worked or escalations. Reply Themes are used to style the look and feel of all of your responses out of Desk.

In Service Cloud we have a similar setup. For Auto-Acknowledgements and Notifications, you can build out plain text or HTML templates called Email Templates. Furthermore, you no longer need to setup a rule to trigger this message to your customers. These are simply set in your Support Settings section of Setup. Let’s take a look:

Reply Themes are handled slightly differently in Service Cloud. Instead of appending the HTML design to the outbound response, you can pre-populate the Email Quick Action box with a HTML design, allowing your agents to type their responses within the design itself.

Finally, like Macros, you can build templates containing pre-defined responses as well as HTML and CSS styling for certain case types which your agents can choose right from case view to respond out to your cases. Agents can also create a template from a response they have written in order to save it for later use. vs Service Cloud - Customer Portal

With you get the benefit of an inbuilt, ready-to-go customer self-service portal. You can upload articles, enable Questions and Answers and even set up private access so that your customers can view the status of their open cases, as well as other open cases from their company.

With Service Cloud, you get the same functionality and more by purchasing a Community License. Like Desk, you can build your knowledge base through article creation and crowdsourced questions and answers, allowing your customers to self-serve. Furthermore, you also gain the same functionality as Desk with the option for private access.

Let's take a look at some of the functionality differences between the Support Center and Communities.
Feature Service Cloud
Knowledge Articles x x
Crowdsourced Questions and Answers x x
Private Access x x
Customized Branding x x
Personalized Feed   x
Create Article from Case (Service Cloud)   x
Knowledge Management   x
Mobile Optimized Templates   x
Personalized Members area   x

With Service Cloud and Communities, you can provide a solution that helps your customers self-serve and your agents be more productive. Communities and Knowledge can be set up to be intrinsically linked to the Lightning Console in order to provide a seamless workflow for your agents when tackling cases, creating knowledge solutions and answering community questions, meaning all of the work is tackled in the one place.