Leveraging Salesforce’s Outbound Messaging API

Written by Rabeea Aqil   &   Poonam Chandersy

Salesforce ArchitectTechnical Content Writer

What is Outbound Messaging?

In Winter '22 release, Salesforce rolled the Outbound Messaging feature within the Lightning Flow that requires Outbound Messaging API utilization. An outbound message in Salesforce is an action that sends the information to an endpoint or external service in the form of an Extensible Markup Language (XML). It sends object field data to third-party applications to perform a specific task as per the requirement. This has played a vital role in integrating Salesforce with any other application. Outbound messages can now be sent using workflow, entitlement, or approval processes.

The main highlight of outbound messages is that no apex codes need to be written; they can be created by using a simple point & click method. Furthermore, when any message is sent to an endpoint, it gets the data in the fields that are being sent out in the form of XML.

Types of Outbound Messaging

Outbound messaging allows customers to stay engaged and informed in convenient ways – either on their mobile devices using a phone number or on messaging apps such as SMS messages, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp. There are two types of Outbound Messaging:

Messaging Type Description Examples
Outbound
  • An agent initiates a conversation with a customer.
  • Outbound messages are ideal for proactively engaging with a customer to resolve an issue, follow up to a previous question or check-in to strengthen the overall relationship.
  • Agent follow-up to an existing case or customer question
  • Account representatives’ connection with their customer
  • Sales order follow-up
  • Shipping error resolution
  • Appointment rescheduling
Triggered
  • A process or workflow that automatically sends a message to a customer’s preferred mobile messaging app based on changes to the customer record.
  • Shipping update
  • Purchase confirmation
  • Payment received
  • Appointment confirmation or reminder
  • Security alerts like identity verifications or password resets
  • Order status or where is my order (WISMO) updates
  • Bill payment reminders
  • Surveys or feedback

It is essential to differentiate messaging from a chat session. Messaging occurs over third-party channels like SMS, Facebook Messager, or WhatsApp. In contrast, chat is a window that pops up on a desktop or mobile web browser for customer service conversations. Messaging is an asynchronous channel, signifying that the communication doesn't have to happen simultaneously. Rather than waiting for an immediate response, a user can send a message and leave it, expecting to receive a response. Whereas in chat, it is synchronous, meaning that the communication happens simultaneously and is in sync.

Prerequisites for Outbound Messaging

There are many ways to set up outbound messaging, and the implementation of which depends on what the messaging services is intended to do and which apps it needs to use. However, there are a few prerequisites that need to be considered before proceeding:

  • A Salesforce organization with Service Cloud or Sales Cloud and the Digital Engagement add-on: This provides the organization and users access to the messaging capabilities.
  • Omni-Channel: Messages are automatically routed to agents logged into the Omni-Channel utility in the console. Customer responses go directly to the agent who initiates the outbound message when logged in or to an available agent logged in to the Omni-Channel. However, outbound messages do not count towards the omni-channel capacity.
  • Customer Consent: Customers must provide their consent to receive messages. While all channels have slightly different methods of giving consent, customers do have the option to opt out when they choose to do so.
  • Messaging User Fields: Outbound and inbound messages create Messaging User records to which specific fields can be added or removed. Default fields include the customer's name, phone number, Facebook name, and opt-out status.
  • Messaging Templates: Create messaging templates to add content for automated message notifications. Use the Process Builder or Floe Builder to define processes that automatically send messaging templates to the customers when certain conditions are met and when the cases are closed.

The Flow of an Outbound Message in Salesforce

Steps to Create an Outbound Message

  • Enter the "Name" of the outbound message
  • The "Unique Name" will auto-fill, but you can provide a customized name
  • The description is an "Optional Field," allowing to give a description
  • In the "Endpoint URL Field," enter the endpoint URL of the recipient who will receive the message
  • Select the "User to Send As" from the search option
  • Check "Protected Component" if required
  • Tick on "Send Session-ID" to send the session ID in the message
  • Select "Available Fields" of the object selected
  • Add fields to the "Selected Fields" by clicking on "Add"
  • Now click on "Save"
  • Click on "Done"

Utilizing Outbound Messages in Flows

Under the actions, Outbound Messages are now available in Flows. The entry criteria or record triggering event can feed into the flow, and an outbound message can be selected from the actions to work through the Outbound Messaging API.

Benefits of Outbound Messaging

Like other channels, messaging appears on the Service Console, so agents have a 360-degree view of each customer and their service interactions. In addition, the console is a virtual help desk that allows anybody part of the service team or organization to view a personalized view of each customer and their cases. Along with the agents being able to communicate across different channels with the customers simultaneously, messaging also includes the following benefits:

Benefit Description
Provide Anytime Help from Any App Connect agents to customers at any time, across international markets, through mobile messaging apps. Use customers’ preferred messaging channels like SMS, Facebook Messenger, or WhatsApp
Proactively Keep Customers Informed Send customers notifications and updates without them having to reach out to the agents for help or information. Avoid or deflect cases by sending outbound messages to customers based on CRM field changes on their records.
Messaging in One Place Get instant access to all customer information to address customers within the console. Gents can start outbound conversations from customers’ lead, case, contact, personal account, or opportunity records
Automate Service with Simple Conversations Add Einstein Bots to SMS text messaging and WhatsApp conversations to automate routine tasks and satisfy high customer demands. Off-load simple, common questions to chatbots so agents can resolve complex cases

Conclusion

Royal Cyber understands the importance of leveraging Salesforce’s Outbound Messaging API and how it can help in accelerating an eCommerce business. So, contact us and learn how our Salesforce experts can help you implement and execute this messaging service to ensure increased customer satisfaction and lead conversions.