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You may have heard them called by many names … support sites, forums, portals, intranets … but in the end, they’re all basically online communities. What might be most surprising though is how online communities can help you answer some of the biggest challenges you have with all your stakeholders, including employees, customers and vendors. And that’s where Salesforce Community Cloud comes in …
A well thought out community engagement platform, customized to your organization’s and your users’ needs, can be critical to growing your business, staying connected to stakeholders, and being more responsive to their needs. Communities can lower your marketing costs, increase sales, reduce customer service costs, build your partner network and reduce employee turnover. And Salesforce Community Cloud is like the Swiss Army Knife® of online communities.
Think for a moment about all the time, effort and money your company spends communicating and interacting with partners, customers and employees. Now think about how much easier would it be to manage these relationships by letting people manage themselves. Just like gas stations and banks used to be full service but have now adapted a self-service model (except for in New Jersey, of course, where it’s against the law to pump your own gas), your business could take advantage of self-service models, too – without sacrificing customer satisfaction. In fact, if you do it right, you could make your clients and users even happier. There are three main ways you can do this with Salesforce Community Cloud and many reasons why you’d want to.
1. Vendor and partner portals
Let’s say you want to create a portal that lets vendors access their account information. Instead of you having to talk to them on the phone every time they want information, they’d probably be happier with the increased control, access and convenience that self-service account access will give them. This kind of access could save time for you and them.
2. Customer portals
Do your customers really want to call you every time they have questions about their accounts? That’s highly unlikely. It would be much better for them if they could log in to a portal to access their information. It would be better for you, too, because in addition to the time saved, you could use a business intelligence solution to show your users a few buying suggestions using algorithms to match your products to their buying history.
3. Employee portals
What does it cost you to run an HR department? What if your employees could log in to their own personal employee page to review their work performance, benefits information and holiday availability, even on their own time? You could also add training videos and gather valuable employee feedback. You could even build in a reward system. The possibilities are endless.
One of our clients at RTS Labs offers a perfect example of the tremendous benefits of Salesforce Community Cloud. This firm in the healthcare industry had communication problems. With a staff of 2,000 and $600 million in annual revenue, they were inefficient in how they managed employee, customer and partner information.
Since they were already working with us in other areas, they decided to take advantage of our RTS Labs team that specializes in Community Cloud. Building on their existing Salesforce, we solved all their communication challenges within 16 weeks with a new improved version of Salesforce and Community Cloud.
The client now has three portals for servicing customers, partners and employees, all of which are connected through Salesforce on the back end (no more blind spots!). With an automatic connection to their email accounts, their reporting is aligned with team and executive needs. What’s more, their partners get more satisfaction because they can use self-service online, which saves our client and their clients time and money.
It doesn’t matter what you call them, customer, partner and employee communities are proving themselves to be a solid solution for growing your business and your revenues. What do you think? Is it time to explore if an online community is the right thing to add to your overall growth strategy? Or, if you already have an online community, could it be more robust? Are you using it for all it’s worth?
Fortunately, Salesforce is a one-stop solution for creating any type of portal you need, and the dedicated team of Salesforce Community Cloud experts at RTS Labs can help you determine IF it’s the right move for you and how to implement it if you decide to use it. (They can also present you with other options if Salesforce isn’t for you.)
Salesforce usually requires a fair amount of customization in order to get the best ROI and the least amount of frustration. Call us just to start the conversation and get a free consultation of what an online community, such as Salesforce Community Cloud, could do for your organization. You can also download this free whitepaper for more about when should DIY your Salesforce customization and when you should get expert help.
Contact us to talk about how we can help.