Get Started with Community Cloud
Whether you call it a portal, a help forum, a support site, HR central, or something else, an online community is a great place to connect with the important folks in your life (you know, customers, partners, and employees) in a new and different way.
At its most basic level, a community is a group of people who share a common mission or goal. You can define what collaboration model best fits your needs. Do you want to have customers helping one another out? Peer-to-peer communities do just that. Perhaps you want a portal, where your customers can, for example, access account information.
Maybe you want to use a community to generate ideas for new products. Or test prototypes in a safe space, log support tickets, provide live chat with agents, or sell products. All these business processes—and more—can come to life in an online community.
You can even create multiple communities within your Salesforce org to address different purposes—and many companies do just that. Since communities live in your Salesforce org, you can choose which members from your company and which customers, partners, or other people outside your company can participate.
So start sharing content, experiences, business processes, and information with your community, and enjoy the experience as the community takes off.
What can you do with a community? Almost anything you want, but here are some common use cases.
- Customer Service and Account Portals
- Empower your customers to find solutions to their customer-service issues on their own with access to your knowledge base, your service agents, and peer-to-peer support. In addition, give customers access to their data in a member portal.
- Partner Relationship Management and Channel Sales
- Increase your (and your partners’) revenue stream by collaborating on opportunities and deals. Onboard partners quickly by sharing content and training materials.
- Employee Relationships
- Retain happier employees by providing a space for them to easily complete their onboarding, learn about benefits, and resolve HR issues.
Have we whet your appetite? We hope so, since we look at specific communities types more in depth in a little bit.
What is the advantage of building a community using Salesforce? Two words: integrated everything. Here’s a short list of how you can use the Community Cloud to make a truly stunning experience.
- Create multiple communities for specific needs.
- Extend business processes to employees, partners, and customers.
- Integrate data (such as orders or financial information) from third-party providers.
Data from your community lives in your Salesforce org, and data living in your Salesforce org can be shared externally through your community. (Don’t worry. Your admin controls data visibility with the outside world and which audience can access what—just like you do with your internal Salesforce org). In short, a community built using the Community Cloud provides a window into your Salesforce world.
Let’s take a closer look at how the Community Cloud helps one business improve its relationships with customers, partners, and employees.