salesforce service cloud

  • Passing the Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant Certification

    Although not strictly part of the pathway to Certified Technical Architect, sometimes you just want to branch out a little and demonstrate your knowledge of the platform. So with this in mind, I recently sat the Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant Certification Exam (that is a mouthful!)

    Happily, I can report back, that I passed! And to help others also pass, I have compile a list of tips and resources I found beneficial to passing the Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant.

    Salesforce Certified Service Cloud Consultant – Who is it for?

    Firstly, let’s clear the air a little.

    You don’t have to be a consultant to sit this exam. Much like I mentioned in the Sales Cloud Consultant exam, it is a good way to certify your understanding the features and benefits of the various aspects to Service Cloud and following on from that, also the implementation of it.

    If you are an Admin, Application Manager, etc – and are working within Service Cloud, and want recognition for your skills. Or wanting to learn specifically about implementing Service Cloud, this is the certification for you.

    Additionally, if you are a consultant and wanting to demonstrate your understanding of Service Cloud – then yes, this is also the exam for you. 🙂

    What does the exam cover?

    Even though the Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant Exam is based on Service Cloud products and knowledge – there is a sizeable chunk of the exam dedicated to which solution fits the business problem the best. Along with best practises for implementation steps and delivery of a Service Cloud project.

    Image result for lightning service console
    Lightning Service Cloud Console, unsurprisingly, forms a big part of the Service Cloud Consultant Certification Exam.

    Breakdown of the exam:

    • Industry Knowledge: 10%
    • Implementation Strategies: 15%
    • Service Cloud Solution Design: 16%
    • Knowledge Management: 9%
    • Interaction Channels: 10%
    • Case Management: 15%
    • Contact Center Analytics: 5%
    • Integration and Data Management: 5%
    • Service Console: 15%

    Salesforce’s Exam Guide gives you an official breakdown of each section.

    I found that the key topics/areas in my exam included – in no particular order:

    • Case Setup, including Console (both Classic with Case Feeds and Lightning Service Console)
    • Case Escalations rules
    • Entitlements and Milestones
    • Also, when you might use an Entitlement/Milestone vs Escalation rule
    • Knowledge, and all things relating to Knowledge (Articles, Permissions, Integration with Communities, Knowledge ‘Lifecycle’, Migrating to Knowledge, etc)
    • Marcos and Quick Text (why and how you might use them)
    • Email to Case, versus On-Demand Email to Case.
    • Migration of data, and best practises involved in such activities.
    • Industry knowledge, around metrics/SLAs and how to best report on them.
    • Use cases for customer retention (ie using Service Cloud and Sales Cloud together)
    • Different Service Channels, and why/when and how you might use them (Calls, Email, Live Agent, Social, etc )
    • Omni-channel, what it is used for and capabilities.
    • Different Console configuration options, and what might be best in specific scenario. Keep in mind, some of these questions still focus on both Classic Service Console and Lightning Record Pages with Components.

    Exam Format

    Like other Salesforce Exams, this in the format of a multiple choice exam.

    All up, there were 65 questions in total (n.b. this is at time of writing Jan 2020).

    Though this included an additional five questions, which don’t end up counting to your overall mark. Instead providing feedback to Salesforce on user understanding of newer practices, products and features.

    FYI – this is similar to other exams, like the Platform Developer I exam (where it had additional questions testing on your understanding of Heroku).

    Resources that helped me

    After using and implementing Service Cloud for a couple of years, I still found it really useful to study.

    For example, I didn’t realise there was a difference between Email to Case and On-Demand Email to Case… And there were a few questions about the different solutions and why you might use one versus the other.

    In short, studying helps! 🙂

    If you don’t have experience using Service Cloud, this might be a little more difficult for you to pass. But not impossible. The key is preparation.

    And when studying, don’t just learn the feature. Try and pay attention to the scenarios and the ‘why’ you might use a particular feature/solution.

    Trailhead, is a great place to start.

    The Service Cloud modules and projects, are very hands-on and give you that implementation experience. And Salesforce has grouped a large number of the courses together, into a ‘Prepare for Your Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant Credential‘ trailmix.

    Even though I have hands-on experience, I still did the Trailhead modules. I always feel that you can never have enough hands-on experience. As it helps build your confidence, and if you get stuck in the exam, you can at least think back and try and visualise how you did a particular step.

    Online Course

    I also purchased the ‘Service Cloud Consultant Certification’ course on Udemy from Mike Wheeler.

    It is a good course and really outlines the foundation of the exam and how to implement certain solutions. I was concerned when watching the videos, that it was a little dated, especially considering there has been a big push over last few years to bring Service Cloud up to parity in Lightning.

    But from my own experience, there was enough on the exam still based around Classic… And the reasons of ‘why’ you would use a particular product is still the same.


    Most other blogs I researched before hand, seem to mainly focus on the exam and reiterate the outline of the exam… So I decided to also asked the Reddit Salesforce community for some tips & pointers for the exam, you can check out that thread here.

    One user ‘yummyyummybrains‘ (great username btw!) pointed out that with these Consultant exams:

    …I can say: the questions are going to involve a lot more qualitative and evaluative analysis than the Specialist Exams. Less: “What does this function do?” and more: “given these parameters, what’s the best way to achieve the client’s stated goal?”

    I’ve had a hard time recommending study materials for the MC Consultant Exam for that very reason — how do you study for an exam that requires deep knowledge of the relative pros and cons of different features, and how they would be impacted by the specific needs of a client?…

    yummyyummybrains on Reddit re: Service Cloud Consultant Exam

    One blog article I did find that stood out for me was from Ashish, who created an in-depth study guide, including checklist of topics and direct links to Salesforce Help articles for each specific topic on the Exam Guide.


    So there you have my little debrief of the Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant Certification Exam.

    As mentioned about, there is a big focus on why and when you would choose a particular solution to match a business requirement. So learning just the features of Service Cloud products won’t be enough…

    If you have any tips or insights you would like to share, please feel free to use the comments below.

    And if you are sitting the exam, best of luck to you!

  • How to setup Live Agent in Salesforce

    We have all seen websites these days – which have that little pop-up prompting you to ‘chat with someone’.  Or we see a little ‘chat now’ button on a page, to chat live with someone.  But how can you configure your website to do this too?  And how to setup Live Agent in Salesforce?

    But isn’t implementing Live Agent complex?  The short answer is no.  And the good news is, it is relatively easy to do.

    So, in this ‘how-to’ guide we look at the steps to implement Live Agent with your Salesforce org.

    What is Live Agent?

    We have all been there, trying to contact a company for help with a product or service. Their website redirecting you to a call centre, web-form to submit or some even give you a postal address! Eek!

    This is where Live Agent comes into the picture. In a digital world, Live Agent from Salesforce allows you to improve the customer’s experience. Making it seamless for customers on your website to get in contact with your support (or sales) team.

    At its core, Live Agent is a web-chat support channel. Think of Skype or Slack, but in a customer service context.

    Here is a quick overview video from Salesforce, covering some of the features of Live Agent.

    And although it is a tool primarily used for Customer Service, it could also be used by your sales teams. Imagine providing sales support to a customer who is stuck completing an order on your website?

    The power of Live Agent is its versatility and ability to plug into your sales/service processes within Salesforce, with relative ease.

    Live Agent is included for Salesforce Service Cloud Unlimited Edition customersWhat does Live Agent cost?

    This is an important question, as it isn’t free…

    So how much does Live Agent cost?

    Well the good news is, as of 2016 Salesforce have included Live Agent in the Lightning Service Cloud Unlimited license.

    And it is also available on Enterprise, but at an extra add-on. As an add-on, you will have to speak with your Salesforce Account Executive for a price.

    There are other alternatives out there too, which could integrate with Salesforce. But remember to check your if edition is compatible with these packages.

    Planning your implementation of Live Agent

    Live Agent is a communication tool, it can be used to power your customer service teams. Or if implemented incorrectly, could cause damage to your brand. What is the difference between the two? Planning…

    Just like most things, planning is key to success. Just because it is relatively to easy implement, doesn’t mean you should just dive right in and do it.

    6 things to consider before you implement:

    1. Stating the obvious but remember that Live Agent is a different communication channel. There is a different skillset needed here. So, do you have people who are able to communicate effectively via this channel?
    2. What are the objectives of Live Agent? What are the metrics for success and performance indicators (KPIs) that you want to track? And what customer behaviours are you wanting to change as part of this rollout?
    3. Do you have an idea of how many people may contact you at any one time? For example, do you have traffic estimates from your site? Do you have enough people to staff the queue? What hours of operation will you offer?
    4. Where in the customer journey do you want to prompt the customer? Do you want to invite them to chat, or just offer a ‘chat with us’ button on a contact page?
    5. Will you cap the volume of chats to your agents? Is there a Service Level Agreement (SLA) in place for Live Agent? How are you going to prioritising Live Agent chats vs Emails or Phone Calls?
    6. Are you using Omni-channel? (This is one for another post.) But if your org is not using it currently, is it something that could set this up too? With the aim of routing of service requests across the multiple channels (Live Agent, Calls, Emails, Social Media) to the right people.

    How to setup Live Agent in Salesforce

    Now we have the planning out the way, we can start the configuration of Live Agent in your org. For a basic setup, there are seven steps needed to enable Live Agent:

    Steps to create a basic Live Agent setup in Salesforce

    Use Case

    As a Salesforce Admin, your marketing team has asked you to help roll out Live Agent to the company’s website.  We are setting up a basic implementation, which means we will present a link to customers when agents are available, or a ‘sorry no agent’s available’`message if none are available/all are offline.

    Our agents are using Console, and we want to allow them to set their status/availability, and have that reflected on the website.

    Enabling Live Agent

    Live Agent works within Classic, Console and Lightning (when omni-channel enabled).  However, at this stage you can only enable Live Agent through Classic.

    Update (20th Sept): You will be able to setup and configure Live Agent via Settings in Lightning, once Winter ’19 is released in Oct 2019.

    1. Switch to Classic -> Setup -> Type ‘Live Agent’ in the Quick Find
    2. Go to Live Agent Settings
    3. Check Enable Live Agent and click ‘Save

    This exposes the Live Agent objects, relevant fields, and expands the Setup menu. What objects I hear you say! These objects include everything that drives Live Agent within Salesforce:

    • Visitors
    • Sessions
    • Transcripts
    • Transcript Events
    • Live Agent Supervisor
    • Quick Text

    Setup Users

    There are two elements which are needed to setup a user for a basic Live Agent setup. Enabling the user for Live Agent, and then adding the available Live Agent users into a ‘skill’ (we will cover what this is shortly).

    First enable the Live Agent feature on the user record.

    • Go to Setup -> Manage Users -> Users
    • Find the user(s) you want to enable for Live Agent, and edit their User record
    • Check the ‘Live Agent User’ box for each User you want to enable:

    Check User Permissions / Profiles

    Another important step in the setup of Live Agent is ensuring a user has access to the relevant objects and fields.

    The best way to do this is create or update a Permission Set/Profile to include the new objects and fields used by Live Agent.

    Some additional permissions on ability for users to manage Skills exist to.

    Salesforce have a detailed overview of the permissions recommended for Agents, and their Supervisors.

    Update your Console to include Live Agent

    Your Console app, most likely will not include Live Agent by default. So you will need to either enable or create the app for your users.

    • Go to Setup -> Create -> Apps
    • Either select an existing console app, or create a new one.
    • Check ‘Include Live Agent in this App
      • Additional options display, allowing you to prompt your agent to create a new record (such as a case) to link to the Live Chat

    Within console, the user should then see the Live Agent status in the Utility Bar:

    Live Agent in Console Utility Bar
    Live Agent in Console Utility Bar with a Chat Request

    Define your Skills

    Skills within Live Agent are a way to define or categorise different types of work. And are used to send the Live Agent session to the right person.

    For example, on your website you have Live Agent embedded on a general ‘Contact Us’ page, an eCommerce landing page and another on a product specific page. You might not want the same person in your company answering all these different types of queries. This is where Skills allow you to have two different sets of users specialising in the specific skill.

    You can control how you break the work down, and who you assign it to. And Skills plug-in to tools like Omni-Channel, if you ever look to expand your implementation.

    • Go to Setup -> Customize -> Live Agent -> Skills
    • Create a new Skill record, by clicking ‘New

    • Add in the Name and a Description
    • Then you can choose to either add in specific Users, or Profiles (keep in mind, only users with Live Agent feature enabled will have access)

    Configure your Live Agent

    Next up, we need to define how we want Live Agent to behave, and which features we want to enable. You can have multiple configurations, this lets you have different Live Agent settings for different users within your org.

    A Live Agent Configuration allows you to setup:

    • Chat Capacity – a maximum number of chats an agent can receive
    • Sneak Peek – ability to see what is being typed, as it is being typed by the customer
    • Sound & Notifications settings
    • Assignment of the configuration to users or profiles – control over which agents access this configuration. It is worth noting, a user can belong to only one configuration at a time.
    • Supervisor settings
    • Chat Transfer settings – allowing you to control who can receive a chat transfer by Skill

    For more details on what each of the settings are, you can read more here.

    Setup your first Live Agent Configuration:

    • Go to Setup -> Customise -> Live Agent -> Live Agent Configurations
    • Create a new Live Agent Configuration, by clicking ‘New

    Live Agent in Salesforce: Configurations
    Live Agent in Salesforce: Configurations

    • Add in the Name, then you can customise which settings and features you want.

    For this basic setup, we will create a configuration with:

    • A maximum of 5 chats
    • Sneak Peek enabled
    • A basic Auto Greeting of ‘Hello, how can we help you today?’
    • A Critical Wait Alert of 10 seconds
    • Assistance Flag enabled
    • Supervisor monitoring and whisper
    • And ability to transfer to others within the same Skill group

    Chat Buttons and Invitations

    Now we have set the backbone of Live Agent up, we now need to setup part which allows the customer to start a Live Agent Chat when they are on the website.

    By creating either buttons or invitations, you can define how a Live Agent session can be started. A button, simply enough is an icon/button you embed on a webpage for users to click on to start a Live Agent chat session.

    Alternatively, you can setup an Invitation. Customer are then invited to use Live Agent, when certain criteria have been met. For example, if someone is on the specific page for 5 seconds, you might want to prompt them to see if they need help.

    You can fully customise this experience to match your website. For this basic setup, we will create a basic button, without any customisation.

    Create your button:

    To create your first Live Agent button

    • Go to: Setup -> Customize -> Live Agent -> Chat Buttons & Invitations
    • Create a new button, by clicking ‘New
    • For a basic setup, you only need to enter:
      • Type – do you want a button or an invitation
      • Name of the button/invitation
      • DeveloperName – this auto-populates from the Name
      • Skills which are related to the button/invitation
      • Additional animation settings are required if you have selected Invitation

    Live Agent in Salesforce: Chat Button and Invitations
    Live Agent in Salesforce: Chat Button and Invitations

    • Once you click ‘Save’, you will then be given the HTML code for the button/invitation:

    Live Agent in Salesforce: Chat Button HTML
    Live Agent in Salesforce: Chat Button HTML

    Ready to Deploy

    The final step is to create a deployment, these are the final touches for your Live Agent setup. And allows you to control some of the visitor settings.

    Once a deployment is created, it will give you some additional HTML to add to the bottom of each web page you want Live Agent embedded into.

    Go to: Setup -> Customize -> Live Agent -> Deployment Code

    • Create a new deployment, by clicking ‘New
    • For a basic setup, you only need to enter:
      • Name of the deployment
      • DeveloperName – this auto-populates from the Name
      • Chat Window Title

    Live Agent in Salesforce: Deployments
    Live Agent in Salesforce: Deployments

    Add the code to your site…

    Now for the crowning moment. When you are ready to add the code to your webpage, you will need the code output from the Button/Invitation and the Deployment settings.

    Create a test Webpage

    To test this, you can create a html file in your favourite text editor. In this example, we are going to add this code to a test page for Live Agent.

    Open up a text editor, we will create a test HTML page to begin with. To start with, copy this into the text editor:

    <!-- add the code output from Buttons/Invitations here-->
    <!-- add your HTML code from Deployment here-->

    And now, replace each of the lines above, with the relevant HTML code from Salesforce. The HTML output from Chat Buttons/Invitations and Deployment is what we want.

    So you will end up with something like:

    <!-- this is the code from Buttons/Invitations -->
    <a id="liveagent_button_online_5738E0000008OVJ" href="javascript://Chat" style="display: none;" onclick="liveagent.startChat('5738E0000008OVJ')"><!-- Online Chat Content --></a><div id="liveagent_button_offline_5738E0000008OVJ" style="display: none;"><!-- Offline Chat Content --></div><script type="text/javascript">
    if (!window._laq) { window._laq = []; }
    window._laq.push(function(){liveagent.showWhenOnline('5738E0000008OVJ', document.getElementById('liveagent_button_online_5738E0000008OVJ'));
    liveagent.showWhenOffline('5738E0000008OVJ', document.getElementById('liveagent_button_offline_5738E0000008OVJ'));
    <!-- this is the code from Deployment-->
    <script type='text/javascript' src=''></script>
    <script type='text/javascript'>
    liveagent.init('', '5728E0000008OPk', '00D8E0000000gBA');

    Now find the part in the code that shows: <!– Online Chat Content –>. Add in the text ‘Chat Now’. Your code then should look like:

    <!-- Online Chat Content -->Chat Now</a>

    Additionally, we need to add in some text if an agent is not available. Do to that find: <!– Offline Chat Content –>. Similarly add in the text ‘Sorry no agents currently available’. This should now look like:

    <!-- Offline Chat Content -->Sorry no agents currently available</div>

    Now go to ‘Save As’, and save the text file as ‘Live Agent.html’.

    A basic example of Live Agent HTML page

    We have now created a very basic page, to test Live Agent. If you now open the HTML file you have created, you should see:

    Basic Live Agent demo, no agents available
    Oh no, no agent’s can help me!

    Alternatively, if you are testing and then select ‘Available’ in Live Agent status. Refreshing the webpage should pickup the change in status and display:

    Basic Live Agent demo with available status
    Yay… Help is at hand…

    Clicking the ‘Chat Now’ link, will then prompt the Agent logged in with this to accept the chat:

    Live Agent, what the internal Agent will see
    Live Agent, what the internal Agent will see

    Once the chat is accepted, you should see the transcript of the chat in your Console. And as we ticked the ‘Create new case’ option for Console above, Salesforce will automatically prompt you to create a Case:

    Live Agent, what the internal Agent will see
    Live Agent in a Console view

    Add Live Agent to your WordPress site

    The variety of website technology and hosts out there is truly mind-blowing. Deploying Live Agent to your website, needs a bit of knowledge of HTML and your website.

    Let’s take a look at adding Salesforce Live Agent to a WordPress page. WordPress is a very common platform that is used globally, even by! ? Other platforms and web hosts, may follow similar steps.

    By the way I am assuming you have access to create and publish web pages in WordPress for this section.

    Sticking with our Use Case, we want to create a new Contact Us page, where the Live Agent link is embedded.

    • Login to the WordPress admin page of your site.
    • Click on ‘Pages’ and then ‘Add New
    • Ensure you are on the Text page editor

    Adding a page in WordPress, to then embed Live Agent
    Adding a page in WordPress

    • Add in a page Title. For example ‘Contact Us’
    • First up, take the code from Chat Buttons/Invitations and paste it into the editor
      • Remember, as per above you will need to add-in:
        • Online Chat Content and
        • Offline Chat Content
    • Underneath that HTML, now add in the Deployment HTML code

    You should end up with something like this:

    Live Agent added to a WordPress page
    Live Agent HTML within a WordPress page

    Now you can preview the page, save it as a draft or publish it (if you wish). We now have a basic setup of Live Agent, tested and working on our site.

    Give yourself a round of applause…

    Wrap up…

    So we have now setup a basic Live Chat implementation. Your internal users can accept incoming chat requests from your customers and record the chats within Salesforce against a case.

    Live Agent is fully customisable though, and this is just the beginning of what you can do.

    Customisations include overall look and feel, adding in custom landing pages or pre-chat forms to capture contact details.

    Additionally, you can integrate Live Agent with Omni-Channel, which allows you to manage work states of your agents across multiple channels.

    But these are all things for another how-to guide down the road.

    Additional resources to help you

    Overall Training / What is Live Agent:

    Planning the roll-out:

    While researching this post, I also found these resources which may be of interest in the planning stage:

    Implementation Guide for Administrators:

    Video resources:

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