community cloud

Community Cloud: Your business’ engagement layer

by Chris Gardner

Salesforce is the world’s premier CRM platform. From sales to service to marketing, Salesforce has tools to accomplish anything your business requires. Under each cloud, there is a common layer of business logic, automation, and reporting.

Salesforce’s Community Cloud offers something different than any other part of the Salesforce platform. While it uses the same layer of analytics and automation, it provides the unique opportunity to create a custom interface between your users and Salesforce. We call this the engagement layer, and it gives three huge benefits to your business: user experience, brand recognition, and value.

 

User Experience

There are several reasons that the engagement layer is essential. First, it lets us create customized user experiences. This is especially important for customer and partner portals. We need to ensure that people have a positive experience in engaging with our company.

For our customers, we need to ensure that there is an intuitive experience. They should feel guided through the processes and understand how to find the information they need. Our partners should have access to all of the vital data they need to run their own businesses. We want our partners to develop a preference for our company and processes. Community Cloud is the means of providing that information and access to customers and partners alike.

 

Brand Recognition

A user-friendly interface is critical. But we also have the opportunity to extend our brand awareness through the look and feel of our community. We should start with the basics, like brand colors, header and body fonts, and logos. Default themes give us these standard options and are a great way to get started with Community Cloud.

If we move from a default theme to a custom theme, we can extend brand recognition even further. Custom imagery, Lightning components, and page layouts can take our brand to the next level. Whether we want to match an existing website or craft a new experience entirely, we have full control with a custom theme.

 

Value

Our goal with most Community Cloud projects is the exchange of information. We want people to provide or consume data from our Salesforce org. To ensure that we get that interaction, we need to make sure we are providing value to the person or business.

This requires us to understand our users by creating personas. What is our partner trying to accomplish? What do our customers need to find? How do our employees need to see this data? Crafting a good set of personas will help us build our engagement layer with value in mind.

 

Through Community Cloud, we can create a custom engagement layer with our business. We get the chance to create a custom user interface within the Salesforce platform, allowing our users to interact with our instance in a meaningful way.

 

Chris GardnerChris is a Salesforce Consultant and Developer with Simplus. He is an experienced leader with a focus on implementation, best practice consulting, and marketing. Chris has over ten years of experience in consulting for small to large businesses. He fosters healthy client relationships from initial engagement through handoff. Chris is skilled in turning client requirements into actionable system designs and following best practices to implement and optimize Salesforce solutions.

chrisg@simplus.com

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