Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Customizing the Salesforce Community Cloud™

Salesforce, Salesforce Community Cloud

Written by Laura Monn Ginsburg Laura Monn Ginsburg

salesforce customer community case studyThe Salesforce Community Cloud™ is an ideal solution for any organization looking to seamlessly integrate a portal for internal or external teams. An extension of the Salesforce® platform, it gives businesses the ability to implement and scale a Community for distinct user groups such as customers, employees, partners, etc. Although Salesforce provides standards Community templates to make it easy to build and deploy a Community, there’s also the option to go the custom route. Last week we hosted a webinar with ViON Corporation where we discussed how they went about customizing the Salesforce Community Cloud™ for their customer portal (view the recording here); here are our top takeaways from their story:

  1. The user experience is critical. Creating a Community that users will see value in and actually use is your top priority, so taking the time to think through a user’s clickpath, what resources they need to access, and how you’ll make the whole interaction easy is well worth your time. For ViON, this meant serious research of other companies’ approaches to portals and mapping out how users need to access support and resources. Ultimately, this also led them to part of their decision to customize their Community in order to lay it out and provide precisely the information their customers needed.
  2. Take the time to consider your users’ unique needs. Building on point 1 above, it’s important to remember that every organization’s users will have different needs and designing a Community to meet these needs (vs. what you think their needs are, e.g.) is crucial to the success of your Community as a valuable resource. For ViON, they knew their customers really wanted to see inventory levels, have access to a knowledgebase, and get an update on case statuses. Ensuring these elements were not only included but prominently available in the Community helped customers immediately see its value.
  3. A portal is an extension of your brand. One of the things I find most impressive about ViON’s customer Community is how seamless the branding is from their website (where a customer would login) to their Community. While you can also add elements of your branding when you use a Salesforce Community template (more on that in a previous webinar we hosted on Salesforce Communities), ViON worked with Luxent to ensure the ViON brand was carried through every level and detail.

However you approach leveraging the Salesforce Community Cloud™, whether it’s with the provided templates or with a custom approach, you’ll see great benefit to your company and users when you provide an informative, intuitive resource that engages them with your brand and expertise. Check out the webinar recording to hear more from ViON about their Customer Community.

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