What Exactly is Salesforce Community Cloud? Salesforce Community Cloud is a digital space designed to help users share information and collaborate with essential personnel relevant to their particular business processes. From customers and partners to department heads and employees, this forum serves as a dedicated support site to help team members connect. Each personalized forum is called a “Community.” To create your new Community, all you have to do is set up your interactive site and use the easy point-and-click branding tools found in the Communities Experience Builder to brand your collaboration space. Benefits to Using Community Cloud There are many benefits a company can take advantage of when using Communities. One of these is the ability to customize Communities and include select features your user may need. For example, Communities can include a question forum or a Salesforce Chatter feature that provides users the ability to communicate with one another and directly with your company. This helps when obtaining answers to users’ questions, which can come through a colleague, a company rep, or using a knowledge article. With these resources available, trust is established and helps provide a personal experience for the user. Another important benefit for using Salesforce Communities is to save your company money! Communities can help your company save money by purchasing the less expensive Community licenses compared to a full Salesforce license! Saving money by only purchasing the essentials is great, but the biggest money saver comes through using Case Deflection. The Case Deflection feature searches text being entered into the Contact Support Form and returns relevant articles and discussions. By utilizing case deflection, companies save time and money by minimizing the amount of cases sent to your company. The last benefit is my personal favorite; it’s the ability to customize Salesforce Communities. You can create customizable experiences, with no developer skills, that give your Community users the best overall personalized experience. Speaking from experience, I have been able to build several Communities and I am a Salesforce Admin with no developer experience. However, lucky for me, if there is a need for more advanced features that require code, we have Salesforce developers and Shift3 developers on our team that can help with those requirements. A Community is definitely a suitable solution for most client/user needs. Cloud Community Licenses There are several different Community licenses, editions and types. There are Customer licenses which include Customer Community and Customer Community Plus. You’ll also find Partner licenses and Employee licenses, which include Lightning Platform Starter and Lightning Platform Plus. All of these licenses have types, which are either member-based or login-based. Member-based licenses give access to a Community as many times as they want and Login-based licenses allow for a certain number of logins per month. When choosing the types of licenses, think about how often you plan to use the Communities and the edition required based on your needs. Best Practices Some things you want to consider before building your Community are branding and user-based design. When branding, you want to match the look and feel of your company standards. You can even make many custom changes by using code. User-based design is another key factor to consider when building your Community. Overall, you want to think about the users’ perspective and keep your design simple, intuitive, and uncluttered. Community Cloud is the Way to Go Whether you need help with data entry, building deeper relationships with your customers or partners, a Salesforce Community can be what your company needs! The customization, different types of licenses, and easy build are all amazing reasons why a Salesforce Community can be beneficial to your company. We Can Help You Build Your Community Cloud Need help personalizing your Salesforce Communities? At Shift3 Technologies, we use a consultative approach to help you determine the best strategy to identify your challenges, implement appropriate solutions and enhance your systems. Frustrated with Salesforce? Learn to love it again with our 3-part blog series. For a free consultation, email [email protected] today. This post was written by Melissa Varela, a Certified Salesforce Admin, teacher at heart and believer that Salesforce truly makes people’s lives easier. Melissa has become a regular contributor to the Shift3 Technologies blog and is currently a key presenter for the California Trailblazer Series.