Salesforce Field Service Ligthning — Bulls Eye on better Experience?

The News

On April 17, 2018 Salesforce announced their next-generation Field Service Lightning, which shall take customer experiences to new heights.

The release implements four major improvements, which are:

Below is the full text of the announcement. Alternatively you can read it here.

Next-Generation Field Service Lightning Takes Customer Experiences to New Heights

Paolo Bergamo, SVP and GM, Field Service Lightning & Mobile


If you’ve ever spent a day waiting for the washing machine repair person or the utilities worker to show up, you know how trying it can be. But, when that employee shows up on time, armed with the right parts and is able to fix your problem on their first visit, you’re amazed. Even delighted. It feels like the company has your back.

Here at Salesforce, we’re laser-focused on provided a connected customer experience. That’s the main reason why we launched Field Service Lightning two years ago. We wanted to extend the world’s #1 service platform, Service Cloud, to field service — to equip mobile employees and dispatchers with all the information they need to provide customers with a connected experience that simply “wows”.

And today we’re excited to announce the next generation of Field Service Lightning that empowers companies to provide world-class service experiences in the field.

And of course … we never forget our Trailblazers! They need simple tools to customize their Field Service Lightning experience.

What’s been most rewarding for us since launching Field Service Lightning is the momentum from our ecosystem and customer Trailblazers. Because it is built on the Service Cloud platform, Field Service Lightning is highly customizable.

GearsCRM, a Salesforce Gold Consulting Partner, has deployed 15 diverse implementations of Field Service Lightning. “We’ve seen the immediate benefits that a truly mobile and connected workforce can bring to customers. With Field Service Lightning, our clients are able to provide a first class support experience to their customers and make their mobile workers’ jobs easier. It’s a win-win,” says Harry Radenberg, President and CEO of GearsCRM.

Pricing & Availability

Additional information

Both, the ordering and the return order process, are built upon powerful workflow and rule processing engines and can be widely tailored to customers’ needs. They help the user through the process with a kind of guided procedure and, where necessary, use AI based tools to come to good suggestions. Demoing the new system, Salesforce uses a cable TV upgrade as their scenario for scheduling and also for returning the old part.

Snap-In Appointments Manager
Snap-In Appointments Manager

Snap-In Appointments Manager

The crew scheduling functionality helps optimizing the schedules and repair times using an algorithm that calculates repair times based upon the skill sets of the technicians in the crew and the crew size.

Overall, the release of Field Service Lightning is targeted towards delivering an improved on-site experience for both, the customer and the employee, says Dana Chery, Sr. manager of product marketing at Salesforce.

The bigger Picture

Field Service Lightning itself has been launched a bit more than 2 years ago and is used in a variety of industries as diverse as health care and retail. It is heavily invested into since. As Salesforce does not communicate customer numbers broken down by product line it is hard to assess product traction, though.

MyPoV and Advice

Looking at the demo scenarios that Salesforce presents the processes are well thought through and efficient.

The four main new features are addressing the needs of customers, users, and admins alike, streamlining processes. This streamlining includes the setup that with its wizard interface can be executed without consultants as long as the demands to the system are not overly complex. This now sounds worse than it is meant, as I do think that the vast majority of Field Service Lightning will benefit from this.

As an interesting aside, when being asked whether the process of creating an appointment via snap-ins Appointment Management can also be executed via voice commands, e.g. using Alexa or Siri, the execs couldn’t comment on it. This leads to the speculation that something is in the works here. While voice is not yet mainstream the combination of this well structured process with the, for humans, most convenient form of communication would make a lot of sense — and Salesforce has the reputation of being a frontrunner.

These times the way of distinguishing oneself from competition is no more via functions and features but by enabling a smooth and frictionless experience for customers and users alike. I think that for the targeted processes Salesforce succeeded with this release, also continuing to show that advanced analytics features (aka AI) can positively contribute without being hyped or even pushed into the foreground. AI is an enabler in the background. With this release core functionalities got a solid makeover towards the above-mentioned frictionless experience. This should make Salesforce’s Field Service Lightning and therefore Service Cloud even more attractive for customers. Kudos for this.

I am looking forward to hearing more from Field Service Lightning. Perhaps something that includes the integration cloud (Mulesoft acquisition)? Prebuilt integrations into other vendor’s customer service solutions could make things real exciting in the highly competitive field service market.

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