Following on from our last post ‘Community Cloud Use Cases’, today in our third and final post on Community Cloud we’ll discuss customisation and adopting Community Cloud to fit your business. For more information on what exactly Community Cloud is, make sure to read our blog post ‘What is Community Cloud?’.
Community cloud really can work for any type of business with the right configuration and set up. Thanks to Salesforce, we can now build branded CRM-powered portals, forums, sites, and mobile apps quicker than ever before. These responsive digital spaces are not only achievable but configurable to your business needs and goals.
Features and Specifications
Before investing in the platform and undertaking any development work, first take a look at your reasoning and requirements for Community Cloud.
Some questions you might ask yourself are:
- Why do we need Community Cloud? Is it to connect with Partners, employees and/or customers?
- What are my technical requirements? Do I need any Lightning custom components or complex integrations?
- Do we have someone to take ownership and handle the project? Have we an internal Salesforce admin/developer or do we need a Salesforce Partner that we could work with?
Drag and drop
With recent updates, Community Cloud has seen the addition of new dashboards in lightning which allow you to better understand your customers and how they use the community.
With drag and drop functionality and customizable templates form the new Lightning Community Builder, it is easier than ever to set up a basic community. You can also track user adoption, engagement and what groups are doing best. This allows for continuous improvement of your community experience.
Do you want your client-facing community to feel rewarded? Gamification is an excellent way to entice your community to help each other. Within Community cloud, you have two options, Recognition Badges and Reputation Overview. Salesforce provides some basic badges or you can create some unique ones yourself.
Based on Work.com, to use Recognition Badges you must enable the ‘Thanks feature’. You will also need to configure who is granted the ability to create and give badges before your set up continues. Users will have badges displayed on their profile page.
Reputation, similarly to badges, appears on profiles and is based on how active you are in the community. You can find out more information about setting up Recognition Badges and Reputation Overview here.
When setting up a new community, it is important to bring in permissions. If you have different users, onsite and offsite, etc, you will want to determine what each type of user sees, controls and has access to. A lot of customisation means a lot of custom permissions.
We mentioned Files Connect before, but it is worth noting here too. This is what is used to integrate 3rd party apps like Microsoft SharePoint, Google Drive, etc and instantly make them mobile-friendly. This gives you the ability to share files instantly with customers, partners and employees.
Custom Landing/Home Pages
Increase productivity and conversion rates with custom landing pages. To achieve a personalised homepage with a specific style, you will first need to create it with a custom Site.com Studio or Visualforce page. You can find out more about custom homepages here.
How does Community Cloud differ Chatter?
Some may ask, well what’s the difference between communities and chatter?
Chatter is more of a ‘social layer’ that can go across all products from Salesforce, a social network/forum across the organisation. Employees will use it for sharing ideas, insights and connect with team members.
Community Cloud is different as it enables businesses to create branded sites to connect with partners, customers and/or employees. With immense integration options, file connect and more, it differs from chatter significantly. Community Cloud can also be used internally, externally or both.
If you are looking for a simple social layer for your organisation to allow employees to chat and share ideas, chatter might be the right option for you. However, if you are looking for an advanced, branded location for your community to connect, grow, and support each other than Community Cloud is the option for you.
Did you know?
You can also migrate a Community from a non-salesforce platform. While this is more complex, Salesforce and a Salesforce partner can help you successfully migrate and deploy from a non-Salesforce community.
You can also take a guided tour of community cloud on the Salesforce website here: https://www.salesforce.com/community-cloud/guided-tour/
Setting up a community can be easy or more advanced depending on your requirements and specifications. There is a basic structure you can follow when setting up a community. Here are the essential steps involved:
- Enable - Enable Communities from the Communities Settings in the Quick Find box. You’ll need to set a domain name (you will not be able to change this name again).
- Manage - Now you need to manage your Community with Community Workspaces. Your Community workspace options are based on your template selection and preferences.
- Update - Updating the settings throughout the entire org. Community settings, defaults, Custom Community Roles and more.
- Setup - Adding members, sharing CRM data, branding, defining what records are visible to who, enabling notifications Communities, updating community settings and other features like SEO.
- Customise - Each Community comes with login, logout, password management, and self-registration page by default. However, you can configure all of these. It’s also possible with Apex, Visualforce or Community Builder (Site.com Studio) pages to customise this behaviour.
- Deploy - It is strongly recommended that your Community has been tested in a Sandbox. During testing, you can changesets, Metadata API and more. Once your community is ready, you can deploy to a production org.
Technical Obstacles and Customisation
Templates & Restrictions
Community Templates are brilliant and allow you to build rich branded and responsive spaces for your customers, partners and employees.
However, one thing to pay attention to is each template’s abilities. Each template has certain access and pages functionality, as well as the ability to do specific tasks. If certain tasks, pages, etc. are not available in one template, you must change templates. There is also the option to develop a completely customised template.
You can read more in detail about each template and what is included within each template here.
UI & Design
When it comes to design and custom setup, if your community is customer-facing, not only do you want your Community to look professional but also be user-friendly. Medium to large companies needs complex integrations and custom branded themes and designs.
So how can a partner like Pexlify help?
- We will work with you to identify your system requirements and customisations.
- We’ll recommend important improvements that will streamline your processes.
- We will develop your template with UX at the heart of the design.
- We can help with custom development & mobile optimisation.
- We offer support options, post-implementation, for ongoing progress and development.
- We can help with your 3rd party Integrations - including using Mulesoft, Jitterbit, etc.
- Document uploads? We can help with that too (Some businesses are still faxing documents when they could be uploading them directly with Salesforce).
- Create custom Lightning components.
Payback Vs Cost:
Time, cost and resource savings that come with Community Cloud are impressive and the results are evident.
What kind of ROI can you expect from Community Cloud? Take a look at these Results for an employee self-service portal:
- Payback Period: 0.4 Years
- Annual ROI: 270%
- Cost: Benefit Ratio: 1 : 5.4
- Average annual benefit $929,758
[Results sourced from a Case Study by Nucleus Research on the ROI of Salesforce Community Cloud.]
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Thanks for reading, if you enjoyed this post please feel free to share it and tag us @Pexlify.
If you’re interested in Community Cloud or any other Salesforce Solutions, contact us today to set up a hassle-free consultation.