7 Powerful Ways to Use Salesforce Communities to Drive Growth

CRM, Marketing, Salesforce December 20, 2016

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Community and collaboration are two very powerful concepts that can transform and drive growth in any business or organization – and Salesforce communities are the same way. Building a community that engages users and customers creates loyal brand ambassadors. Collaborating with your community and partners builds relationships. The knowledge you gain can help you discover new answers to problems you want to solve or improve.

The idea of building communities in order to foster collaboration isn’t new. Yet, business owners still struggle to find efficient ways to make this happen. Enter Salesforce Communities. Salesforce Communities allow you to connect employees, customers, and partners all in one branded space that integrates with your own Salesforce org.

With the robust features available to Salesforce Community owners, the possibilities are endless. Still not sure if a Salesforce Community could help you? Maybe these 7 powerful ways to use Salesforce Communities to drive growth will convince you.

Customer support

Building a support community is an excellent use of Salesforce Communities. The Salesforce platform allows you to set up a branded site perfect for a customer support setting. The cloud-based social media app within Saleforce, Chatter, can be used to start support tickets or get help from a customer support agent. The documentation features can be used as a knowledge base for self-service options. And lastly, the forum capabilities can be used as a place for peer-to-peer problem solving, community building, and more.

What better way to grow your company than by providing a means for excellent customer support that will also build loyal customers?

Social media management

As with any Salesforce product, Salesforce Communities allow for complete integration. You can pull in data, connect with other CRMs and systems of engagement, and integrate APIs. For companies that are looking to focus on building a strong social media presence or that haven’t found the right tools to pull it all in and manage it from one place, Salesforce Communities may be your savior. With Salesforce Communities, you can pull in brand ambassadors, manage your workflow, plan content, and listen on social media – all in one dashboard.

Build a thriving community

According to a study done by the University of Michigan, companies with their own virtual brand communities make more profits than from Facebook and Twitter. In fact, customers in customer communities spend 19% more on average.

Do you have a group of passionate fans or customers? Patients who could benefit from engaging with each other? A technical user group that loves problem solving? Salesforce Communities are easy enough to use and have the right features to help bring these people together.

With Salesforce Community, you can customize your community page to match your branding, fit specific user needs, and even personalize each customer’s experience to their specific interest. Your customers can search the community to find information quickly, ask the community to get the answers they need, and endorse other members for important contributions to discussion topics. Community managers can access custom badges to incentivize engagement and participation, as well as build dashboards to help visualize and monitor community success.

Marketing

Imagine having all your brand assets in one place and a way to chat with collaborators in real time without sending thousands of emails. Salesforce Community is the perfect way to collaborate with other agencies on marketing projects and campaigns. The features available make streamlining campaign creation and gathering feedback from potential customers incredibly easy.

Supply chain collaboration

The supply chain can be a logistical nightmare to manage if you don’t have the right tools in place. With Salesforce Community, manufacturers can manage distribution by monitoring in-store promotions and placements. They can respond to risks in the supply chain and communicate directly with other members. You can also create dashboards that make monitoring and tracking more streamlined for you and your customers.

Increase employee communication

Collaboration and communication are essential, but we all know that email is not always the best medium for making collaboration and communication happen. Salesforce Community is a great way to achieve better and faster communication, thus increasing productivity, communication, and collaboration across departments (or even within departments).

With Salesforce Community, employees can share thoughts and insights instantly, connect to critical community information, and access everything they need throughout the work day. They can find and engage experts from across the company, receive company updates, and have access to all their other Salesforce Apps – all from any device, since it’s cloud based.

For managers and C-suite leaders, Salesforce Communities are a great place to monitor performance metrics, send out company updates, and organize your employees by department or team.

Extend business processes beyond your staff

Collaborating with partners on leads and deals is simple with Salesforce Community. Channel partners can close deals faster by accessing experts and managing leads right within the community. They’ll also have access to sales records when they need them. Partners will be able to start discussions or engage with other employees at any time in the sales process.

5 bonus “getting-started” steps

A successful community is one that meets the needs of both the business and its members. If you are considering a Salesforce Community but aren’t sure where to start, here are some steps to get you on the right path:

  • Examine your user needs and make a list
  • Examine your needs and business goals
  • Brainstorm use cases and come up with a list of experiences you want users to have
  • Create a vision statement for your community
  • Give us a call at RTS Labs so we can help you implement your Salesforce Community and share best practices we’ve learned over the years