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Create Self-Service Communities and Portals

Learning Objectives

After completing this module, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe how self-service can help boost customer experience.
  • Describe how customer communities are integrated with Service Cloud.
  • Explain how to integrate custom branding and integration into your business processes.

Welcome to the Age of Self-Service

This probably isn’t hard to believe, but oftentimes the last thing a customer wants to do is pick up the phone and talk to a customer service agent. The same is true for instant messages, SMS, and social. Sometimes, customers just want to solve the problem on their own.

In fact, according to Harvard Business Review, 81% of customers would rather try to take care of their issue themselves before reaching out to a representative. That’s why it’s more important than ever for companies to offer not only a self-service solution for their customers, but a single place they can go to ask questions of other users, access their account and request support.

Salesforce Community Cloud paves the way for companies to do just that. They can offer partner communities, employee communities, or customer communities. But for now we’re going talk about Customer Community and how it can bolster your business.



Check out our Community Cloud Basics trail to learn how to get started with Community Cloud, and learn how you can use it to connect with your customers and employees.

Create a Whole New Customer Experience with Communities

Self-service has become the new welcome mat for a growing number of customers. That means it can be the first service interaction a customer has with a brand.

With that in mind, a self-service solution should be much more than a place where customers try to troubleshoot problems on their own. It should be more useful than a beefed-up FAQ page. It should and can be:

  • A gathering place for your customers to help themselves and act as subject matter experts to help one another.
  • An account portal where customers can instantly access information they need.
  • A support hub to engage with agents, ask questions, and get guided help.

You can create your own branded self-service communities and portals with Salesforce. With Communities, you can take a basic FAQ page and make a true self-service portal for customers, a place where they can find everything they need, from knowledge articles to user forums, and even opportunities to chat with support agents.



See the video: Modernize the Customer Experience with Connected Portals to get started.

Integrate Service Cloud and Communities on One Platform with Salesforce

The big benefit of building your customer portal on the Salesforce platform is, of course, that you’ll have everything on the powerful Salesforce platform. That means that it’s fast and easy to seamlessly integrate the Salesforce features you need directly into your portal, including Service Cloud. There are tons of useful features Service Cloud brings to your customer community. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

  • Create a One-Stop Customer Experience: You can integrate business processes, including account balances and preferences, from Salesforce or other third-party systems so customers can find what they need without leaving the community.
  • Give Customers Access to More Knowledge: It takes just a few clicks in the Lightning Community Builder to take previously internal how-to guides and articles and push them to your customer community. Now, customers have access to all your support resources at their fingertips.
  • Provide Support the Way Customers Want It: Whether it’s posing a question in a community forum, starting a live chat, or formally logging a case with support, Service Cloud offers a full suite of service options that you can make available through your customer community. Bonus Tip: All service cases filed in the community will show up in Salesforce, so you can easily to track them and collect reports.
  • Deliver Smarter FAQs: Rather than generic FAQs, Service Cloud makes it possible to surface the right article the first time. How? Salesforce Einstein uses the customer’s activity on the community to determine the most relevant discussions and articles to show them.

Build Communities and Portals Using Lightning Community Builder

Now, building a community couldn’t be easier. With Lightning templates, there’s no need for expensive coding projects. With drag-and-drop ease, you can have your own branded community portal (including your company logos as well as look and feel) up and running in no time.

Make Customers Happy and Increase ROI with Communities

Beyond providing another channel for your support team to deliver awesome customer service, communities can help solve other key business challenges.

Two ways that your company can benefit from a customer community.

1. Boost Customer Satisfaction:

Communities let you make more information available to customers, so they don’t have to go through the process of contacting a support agent to deal with routine requests, such as resetting a password or checking on their account balance. They can do these types of things themselves quickly and easily, right in the community.

2. Decrease Call Volume:

By using a customer community to deflect some of the more mundane service inquiries, companies can drastically reduce the number of incoming calls their agents receive. Agents are not only taking fewer calls, but can focus their time and energy on more difficult and complex customer issues that may require more agent attention.



Rights of ALBERT EINSTEIN are used with permission of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Represented exclusively by Greenlight.