The user interface of any application, software, or platform is crucial to its success. If users can’t, well, use, the system, it won’t go far. For Salesforce in particular, this issue magnifies, as most of the platform’s users are non-technical.
As Salesforce continues to urge users to switch to Lightning, the organization continues to enhance the Lightning UI. These efforts make the systems easier to use and attract a bigger audience. Today, I’m sharing insights on how Lightning’s user interface is taking a big step in the right direction.
An Overview of the Salesforce Lightning UI
Many considering Salesforce in the past have been deterred by the decades-old look and feel of Salesforce Classic. This is, I’m sure, what was at least partly the driving force behind the new Salesforce Lightning UI.
Dynamic Data Updates
The new Salesforce Lightning UI also changes the way users interact with the system and data it holds. It offers dynamic content – you can change one field on a dashboard and instantly see how it affects everything else, all without a refresh.
Salesforce made this switch to help users see what’s most important to them, immediately upon login. For sales, this means detailed news feeds for their accounts. They can see the most important tasks on their lists and can be more efficient with their day. For nonprofits, this means they see the donor pipeline and quickly understand where they need to move things along.
Test Out the New Lightning UI Risk-Free
Need to check it out it for yourself? You see how it works without going through the effort of a full migration. Just edit your permissions to see how Lightning works on just your end. My team and I recommend personalizing a few dashboards – it only takes a few clicks. Then you can see how to make your layouts and dashboards truly your own. Lightning even provides more page templates than Classic. You can take personal customization to a new level within your layouts to suit your workflows and day-to-day needs.
Salesforce Lightning UI in the Sales Cloud
At this point, the platform serves many more teams than the traditional sales department. However, the Sales Cloud is still very much a core component of Salesforce. Lightning UI takes the functionality of Classic and makes it more accessible and understandable. It makes pipeline and sales funnel data much easier to understand and empowers users to capitalize on opportunities they may not have seen otherwise.
For example, Lightning delivers a running list of news on a rep’s contacts and accounts, providing them with a deeper understanding of a prospect’s business and ample opportunities to personalize sales communication. This leads to stronger and more authentic customer relationships and long-term business opportunities.
The new Salesforce Lightning UI also prioritizes accounts, visually showing which need action taken on immediately, to help sales reps hit the ground running every day. They no longer need to spend the first hour or two of their morning digging through their dashboards to figure out where to start.
Sales managers can see more data with less effort in Lightning as well. They can easily predict the revenue from an existing pipeline, either the total or broken down by rep. Managers can even manage call lists for reps who need to make a specific number of calls per day, all with simple sorts, and then pass this onto each rep to get the moving each morning.
For multitaskers, the Lightning Console apps allow reps to view multiple records at once. This is also great for comparing and contrasting opportunities when you want to dig deeper into the priorities the platform lays out.
Sales teams working together on accounts can avoid the frustrating task of updating everyone every time a change is made too. Lightning updates records dynamically, no page refresh – by any team member – required. Your team member can shift things through the pipeline while you add details about the account’s open contract, and you’ll see the update on your page automatically.
Better Data Management
This thread of better data management continues into other functionalities as well. You can now merge duplicate contacts and accounts, add recurring tasks to automate more of your to-do lists, and merge more tools for less manual data entry.
Easier Sales Reporting
Reporting gets easier in Lightning, too. You can elect to receive regular reports via email at the same time every day or week, allowing you to spend more time on analyzing insights and less on manual report development. Reports remain fresh and updated, and updated insights drive better decisions.
Salesforce Lightning UI in the Service Cloud
But, while the Sales Cloud may be the core of the platform, it’s certainly not the only one that matters. The Service Cloud benefits more and more from the new Lightning interface with every biannual release.
Intuitive visuals of major amounts of data are key in the Service Cloud, allowing users to connect the dots on the information available to them. For example, CSRs can see how a case moves through the system, from initial contact from a customer to a closure. This allows them to visualize bottlenecks, gaps in communication, and opportunities for improvement in the process and customer happiness overall.
Enhanced Customer Service Workflows
In addition, the compact case feed has received a facelift with the Salesforce Lightning UI. You can now see all details of a case and how your team has handled it thus far, all at a glance. The platform even offers suggested articles and solutions for common requests and issues to customers. This empowers them to resolve issues on their own, which is often faster for them, and freeing up more CSR time by eliminating more common, easily-resolved customer requests.
Consistent Branded Experiences
Recently released from Salesforce Classic is the Lightning Service Console. This service better connects channels – from incoming phone calls to email to social media – to give customers a consistent, branded experience, no matter how they reach out to your organization. It compiles data to help teams anticipate what a customer needs next and provides insights without making CSRs dig for them.
Each team can customize as many layouts as they need to put the top functions for each team all on one page. The more tailored each page, of course, the more efficient and productive each team can be.
Einstein in Salesforce Lightning UI
Einstein plays a major role in Lightning on the Service Cloud as well. Einstein learns from your data, finding patterns and data correlations, to make smarter predictions. The more data you give it, the smarter your system gets and the more insights your team gets. This empowers you to close cases faster. You can also automate more processes with Einstein to shift resources to more complex customer service activities and requests, making CSRs more productive.
Like in the Sales Cloud, reporting features come along with your upgrade the new Salesforce Lightning UI. You can easily measure the productivity and efficiency of CSR teams and representatives and then motivate and reward them accordingly. You can compare teams to see which strategies work and which ones could use improvement. Or, you can set up your page to quickly see your team’s number of open cases and number of agents available, making it easier to tackle those cases efficiently.
Customer Experience Improvement
Lightning even provides the ability to show average CAST (customer satisfaction) scores for each agent. You can use these to draw conclusions about their performance and solve declining performance quickly. If you think you need to shift more resources to a specific channel, run a report on customer issues and average close time by their source. Then put your best CSRs for that channel (because you can run a report for this too!) on those cases.
Salesforce Lightning UI in the Marketing Cloud
Much like in the Sales and Service Clouds, the Lightning UI empowers marketers to deliver results faster with better insights. One of the biggest impacts of the move from Marketing Cloud into Lightning is its full integration with other clouds. This delivers a streamlined experience for users across the entire platform. Now, marketers have more clarity around how a prospect or customer has engaged with their organization in the past – through the sales funnel and engagement with customer service.
Cohesive, Branded Customer Experiences
This new information from the other clouds will help marketers drive a more engaging customer experience. They can build drag and drop custom applications to spark a new customer journey based on customer interactions with sales reps or CSRs. This automated communication between all areas of a business drives more personalized and authentic messaging and therefore relationships. No matter who the customer interacts with, the marketing messaging is there and clear. This information also empowers you to build custom marketing campaigns, depending on where a prospect is at and drive better insights on the marketing messages to deliver next.
Another common feature is the ability to build highly customized layouts and dashboards. This gives marketing teams the ability to tailor their Salesforce experiences. The functionality allows marketers to build consistent experiences for customers across all types of touchpoints. Without the Lightning upgrade, marketers only have access to website and email analytics. They can therefore only understand – and impact – only a fraction of the customer experience.
(As a note, these drag and drop capabilities are currently available in Email Studio, making personalized yet automated emails simple to set up and run without maintenance. You don’t need Lightning to check this out. If you’re interested in seeing how the setup works, we recommend trying it out!)
New Journey Builder Integrations
Obviously, this has major implications for the Journey Builder in Marketing Cloud. If you launch the new Salesforce Lightning UI, you also get access to new features within Advertising Studio. These include integration to Facebook ads data as well as Google Custom audiences and drives a better understanding of how customers engage with your brand across paid channels.
Don’t Wait to Capitalize on the Salesforce Lightning UI
My team and I have worked with many clients who are wary of the switch from Salesforce Classic to Lightning. We completely understand the hesitation – many companies have their businesses completely running on Salesforce and its integrations with other tools. A switch could create chaos for most employees and their day-to-day responsibilities and processes. However, we’re confident that a forced switch is coming one day and encourage you to migrate over carefully and methodically. There’s no point in attempting to avoid the inevitable.
Not to mention, you’re paying the same for your licenses whether you use Classic or Lightning. If you want a higher return on your investment in Salesforce, you should leverage as many features as possible. For many, this means activating Lightning and learning to use its new powerful features.
Partner with Experienced Architects
If you need support during this step, we can help you navigate this terrain. Contact us today to learn how we can aid you in your migration to the Salesforce Lightning UI.