Perhaps you are like most of my clients – focused on improving the experience of those most precious constituent groups: customers, employees and partners. If you have not yet seen what Salesforce has done to evolve their Customer Portal and Partner Portal products, it’s really worth a look. You can read more on that topic in this Salesforce Communities Post by my colleague Phil Weinmeister, who was one of the early explorers to pop the hood with salesforce.com and take Communities for a spin.
Once you see the power of Salesforce Communities, your mind will begin to race thinking of the many ways to apply this unique framework (which unlike the competition comes out-of-the-box completely integrated with your CRM system, offering that illusive 360 degree view of the customer). Here are just a few ways that you can leverage Communities to take the lead in your competitive space:
1. Form tighter customer relationships and harvest best practices by Connecting Customers:
Your competitors are wasting precious cycles playing the telephone game by collecting and redistributing ideas from their customers.
Leapfrog them by connecting customers with customers and moderating the discussion. This is a subtle but powerful way to provide differentiation and credibility. You add the “voice of the customer” to your customer service portfolio of activities. You can also feed the best answers (as voted by your customers) back to the community – and even to your call center to improve your basic customer service in the process.
2. Make it easier for your partners to select you with a Communities Knowledge Base:
If you have ever tried to navigate an FAQ section of a website you know what your competitors may be putting their trade partners through.
Leapfrog them by providing your partners with a self-improving knowledge base powered by Communities. Participants rank answers to their questions, making it easier for members to find relevant content and absorb the information you have to share. This body of knowledge grows in quantity and quality allowing you to provide superior value more quickly than your competitors.through.
3. Harness the “power of the hive” to attack your priorities with a Communities Intranet Solution:
Let’s face it. Intranets can be boring and hard to use. Your competitors have the same old corporate departmental folders and they force their employees to dive into directories and send emails to find the right information.
Leapfrog them by providing your employee base with curated content, and a Chatter-powered collaboration space that allows real-time collaboration and problem-solving, quickly aligning experts in your firm with the people who need them in a timely fashion.
4. Provide 24×7 project communications with a Communities Project Collaboration Space:
We’ve all been there. It’s 6pm and you need the latest version of the project plan, but everyone has left for the day. Your competitors wait until tomorrow to start to solve their problem.
Leapfrog them by quickly finding the right document in a central project repository and then instantly sending a one-to-many communication to your entire project team via Chatter so that everyone starts their day tomorrow running with the answer, not waking up to a question.
These are just a few of the many solutions that Salesforce Communities can bring to your organization. The limits are your imagination and your business case. And again, the value of having this information contained in the same database as all other customer interactions cannot be overstated from the perspective of user-experience, business benefit, and ongoing cost-of-ownership.
If you would like to learn more about how your organization can make gains in your industry by leveraging Salesforce Communities, I would love the opportunity to brainstorm further with you and your Team. Feel free to reach out.