Monday, June 16, 2014

Empowering Connection and Collaboration Through Salesforce.com Communities

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Last October at Salesforce.com’s annual user conference, Dreamforce, the company launched a product that revolutionizes the way your customers, employees and partners can connect. Communities are centralized and customized spaces in which customers, partners and employees can interact and collaborate. Communities makes it easy to share and exchange information and interact with people that are on an organization’s internal and external network to add direct value to business processes. While many may think Communities is a simple expansion of Chatter – it’s so much more; not just because of the variety of functions, but also because you can really brand it to your business. Communities allows for information and communication to be centralized which can reap immense benefits to your sales, partnerships and support functions.

Here are a few examples of how Communities can benefit the different departments within an organization.

Sales

Communities can help an organization perpetuate more sales by allowing employees to connect directly with resellers, suppliers, distributors, vendors etc.

Partner Support/Engagement

Connect with partners for deal support in a timely and efficient manner without keeping a prospect “on-hold” for too long. One of the biggest opportunity killers is time and with Communities, your partners can collaborate on deals in a faster and more efficient manner to get the approvals, answers and information they need.

Self-Serve Support

One of the key components to successful customer service is having a centralized source for information for customers. If customers can engage with an easy-to-use community/site, branded with a familiar and friendly look and feel, that gives them the same knowledge via articles and FAQs they would receive from a rep, it can be extremely beneficial in terms of cutting support costs. It is always valuable to empower your customers and give them options when it comes to customer support.

Social

Content, engagement, feedback and workflow can also be managed in a single place on the Communities platform.