18 Feb Simplify the journey to partner self-service: #2 Support and training
by Chris Gardner
Your channel partners are smart, and they want to be empowered to work with you and leverage your partnership as much as you want them to. But that doesn’t mean they won’t need some help at times.
Before unveiling a new partner portal, it’s crucial that your organization has instilled a culture and reliable process of training and support—the next focus of this series. Here’s how:
Your channel partners need adequate training to stay up-to-date on the products and services offered by your company. Whether you run a required certification program or just offer training, granting access to these materials within your community is a great way to get partner adoption and keep adoption rates high. For many companies I have worked with, a third-party LMS tool is commonly integrated into the partner community. Two great examples that offer integrations into Salesforce are LearnUpon and Litmos.
Integrating the LMS into the portal provides a single location for partners to get the training required. This is often leveraged for onboarding training, as well as new product releases. If you use an LMS with a Salesforce integration, you can track individual completion of courses, which can roll up to the account. This gives you easy tracking to monitor the compliance of your channel partners.
Another area where companies see great returns is in providing support self-service enablement. Letting partners submit cases is a common first step. However, that still requires high-touch service from your internal support team. But by leveraging Service Cloud and its features, you can significantly increase the self-service capabilities of your partner portal.
Salesforce Knowledge is a fantastic tool to provide to your channel partners. You can create articles around specific or common topics, which will allow for greater case deflection. When implementing knowledge in a partner community, we typically see a 30% decrease in case creation. That frees up internal support representatives to focus on higher priority items, increasing SLA compliance.
Another beneficial Service Cloud tool is Live Chat. When you enable Live Chat on your partner portal, your support team can handle a higher case volume in less time.
Combining Service and Community Cloud tools is a great way to increase the self-service capabilities of your partner channel. This leads to higher partner satisfaction, reduced internal resource demand, and greater partner retention.
In the next and final installment of this series, we’ll cover a variety of additional (but oh-so-important) features that your partner portal can leverage for increased ROI and happier partners.
Chris 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.