Community Cloud is a powerful platform that companies can use to build sites and portals for all different kinds of users. Whether they are targeting customers, partners, or employees, companies can use Salesforce’s Community Cloud to simplify and streamline business processes. But designing effective communities for maximum efficiency can be tricky. Here are a few tips and tricks for building the perfect sites for your users.
Identifying Your Community’s Purpose
You can build many different communities, but if each one doesn’t have a carefully thought out purpose, user acceptance will suffer. Communities are meant to support each other and offer solutions for common problems, so identifying those problems is a good place to start. From there, you can build the interface and add additional features on top of this solid base. For example, if you are building a community for your customers, you will want to identify their common pain points. Issues like long wait times for customer support or difficulty finding information can be solved with a knowledge base or support forum. By building your community around what your customers want, you can guarantee engagement and growth. This foundation is essential for creating a portal that customers ultimately want to use. Only then can you add extra features and bonuses to increase customer satisfaction.
Using Templates to Design Your Sites
Community Cloud comes with templates (Lightning Bolts) that can greatly reduce the time you spend customizing a site. They can be created by anyone and range from simple community shells to in-depth and complex community solutions. Bolts come with a theme, page layouts, and components that can be used, modified, or ignored altogether when building your community. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when a vast, growing library of Lightning Bolts already exists!
Tap Into Existing Communities for Inspiration
Community Cloud has been around since 2015, and there are established chatter groups that can provide inspiration and guidance. Over time, best practices have evolved and changed into reliable tips and tricks. Experts have emerged and are active chatter group members willing to help others in need. And while a simple search can lead to promising results, some great resources are:
As with any implementation, the methods for measuring success are important to define early on in the process. There are many different metrics that you can collect, and developing a scorecard to keep track of data over time can give you insight into trends and usage statistics. Does success depend upon user logins, posts, tickets, or another metric? This goes back to understanding your community’s purpose. Once you define your success criteria, you can make tweaks to community design and rollout to improve your numbers. To start, we have collected a few metrics that may determine the success of a community below. Keep in mind that every community is different and some of these metrics will not be applicable to your situation.
- User growth over time
- Active users versus single logins
- User support ticket increase/decrease
- Customer satisfaction surveys
- Partner conversions
- Knowledge base articles viewed/created
- Forum posts with highly rated answers
Constant Feedback and Continuous Improvement
When it comes down to it, one of the best ways to understand your users is to encourage feedback from the community. Whether it be through an online forum, focus groups, open submissions, or another method, user stories are incredibly valuable for process improvement. There is no better group to tell you about user needs than the users themselves, so we encourage soliciting feedback for agile community development. Cycling through feedback sessions, development, and implementation can keep your users happy as their needs and your capabilities evolve over time.
Salesforce Documentation and Trailhead
Salesforce always provides robust training materials for all of its services on Trailhead. If you are looking for a quick module to get started, check out Community Cloud Basics. Searching “Communities” will also yield other helpful modules to learn more about the platform.
Additionally, the Community Cloud FAQ page is a great place to get ideas of how to service your customers, partners, or employees with different communities. You can also learn about different possibilities on the Features page.
Want More Tips And Tricks?
Even if you were to follow all of the general tips and tricks above, there are always more company-specific strategies that may put your community over the top. If you want personalized tips and tricks to make your communities successful, talk to a representative from Ntegro today. Contact us online for a free consultation, and we will be happy to help.
Do you have any other tips and tricks that have worked for you in the past? Share them below!