Digital customer experiences make up the new competitive battlefield for businesses, and they’re crucial to a company’s success. According to Salesforce, 80% of customers say the experience a company provides matters just as much as its products and services.
To meet the rapidly changing expectations of today’s all-digital customers, businesses must provide convenient and seamless experiences connected across every digital touchpoint. A digital experience platform (DXP) empowers businesses to do just that.
As an emerging digital technology, a DXP provides a way to improve and connect all aspects of the customer experience. DXPs allow businesses to orchestrate frictionless customer journeys across digital channels, engaging customers seamlessly with the brand across apps, customer service, in-store kiosks, the desktop, and more.
What is Salesforce’s Experience Cloud?
Experience Cloud (formerly Customer Community) is Salesforce’s DXP solution that enables Salesforce customers to streamline business operations, gather actionable customer insights, and deliver connected customer and partner experiences.
The online platform enables companies to connect customers, partners, and employees with the data and records they need to get work done. This next-generation portal combines the real-time collaboration of Chatter with the ability to share any file, data, or record anywhere and on any mobile device securely.
Experience Cloud allows you to streamline key business processes and extend them across offices and departments, and outward to customers and partners, allowing everyone in your business ecosystem to service customers more effectively, close deals faster, and effectively collaborate.
With Salesforce Experience Cloud, and the robust templates it provides, you can create many different types of Experiences depending on your business needs, such as:
• Account Portals – B2C organizations can create a responsive environment where customers can update their personal information, see statuses on submitted claims or tickets, and chat with an Agent who has insight into the customer’s purchase history.
• Partner Portals – Salesforce Customers who engage in a value-added reseller (VAR) model can create a management solution that enables VARs to update sales opportunities for your internal team to report on, receive real-time updates on pricing changes, and even create new Leads in your internal Salesforce database.
• Help Centers -Salesforce Experience Cloud provides a solution for both product and service-based businesses to create a knowledge base, self-service portal, or a forum for customers to find answers themselves, on their own terms and time frame.
• Storefronts – Provide an experience for both B2B and B2B2C customers that includes features tailored to their complex needs like purchase history and product recommendations.
• Microsites – Empower your marketing team to create engaging microsites and informative landing pages to generate leads for new product launches, future events, and more.
• Industry Solutions – Bring external patients, clients, subscribers, distributors, and suppliers into a connected, secure process with powerful end-to-end solutions for your industry.
• Grant Applications – Provide an exclusive, invite-only opportunity to allow grantees to submit new funding requests and see past grant payments, and upcoming funding, and even run hard-to-get Grant Reports.
These are just a few ways Salesforce customers can leverage Experience Cloud— the opportunities are truly endless.
5 Salesforce Experience Cloud Features to Up-level Your Customer Experience
Personalization and customization – Build Fast with a Declarative Builder
Experience Builder empowers organizations to build powerful websites, portals, forums, and mobile applications with drag-and-drop capabilities.
Get started quickly with Templates
Choose from a selection of out-of-the-box templates preconfigured with pages, components, and business processes, all designed to help you launch faster, or start fresh and build your own template.
Hundreds of prebuilt drag-and-drop components make building fast and easy, prepackaged with feature functionality from your CRM. Components will help enhance your User Interface (UI), data organization, visual elements, and more. Contact The CRM Firm to learn about our Experience Accelerators that help bring the finishing touches to your Experiences.
Enhance Your Experience with Design Themes
Start with prebuilt themes and add your branding. Drag-and-drop content built with Salesforce Content Management System, Salesforce’s hybrid CMS that allows you to create, manage, and deliver content to any channel inside or outside of Salesforce. Adjust colors, fonts, pages, content, and Experiences with the design panel. Experts can even use custom CSS styling to bring custom brand elements into your Experience.
Create Tailored Experiences for Each User
Use Audience Targeting to control which page, theme, or component is visible to your customers and create a custom experience for groups or individuals. Use CRM data like user profiles, location, referring domain, and record types to define audiences by fields on a CRM object.
Seamless Integration with Your Internal Salesforce Ecosystem
Experience Cloud is natively connected to the foundation of your internal Salesforce database, so you can integrate data from your internal Salesforce database into your Experiences. For example, if you have a VAR that is working 100 leads on behalf of your organization and those 100 leads are linked to the VAR Account within your internal Salesforce database, authenticated users related to that VAR can sign into your Partner Experience and see, update, and manage those Leads assigned to them.
Salesforce Experience Cloud allows you to collaborate with your customers via different channels, like—
• Knowledge — Help customers help themselves with easy access to articles, FAQs, and the collective wisdom of your community.
• Case Escalation — Customers can create cases in the community forum, and even have cases automatically escalated based on keywords or if a question goes unanswered. Agents can answer within the community or privately.
• Engagement — Create an engaged community by recognizing your most active members with customizable badges that appear on their profiles. Enable members to endorse each other for specific skills and expertise. This includes native gamification features alone with Chatter and Groups.
• E-commerce — Create new purchasing opportunities by integrating your e-commerce platform and enabling customers to discover, research, and buy products all in one branded, mobile, and social environment.
Web Content Management
Salesforce Content Management System (CMS) is a unified shared service for all of Salesforce. In Salesforce CMS you can create and manage the content from draft to publish, and archive and extend it to any channel built on Salesforce, such as a commerce site, a marketing email, a customer community, or a partner portal.
In addition to traditional content types like blogs, videos, and articles, Salesforce CMS allows you to share data you’ve stored in your CRM system and bring your CRM data to life with rich, engaging content.
Businesses can use CMS workspaces to create and organize their content. With role-based access in CMS workspaces, you have granular control over who’s creating content and where the content is shared. Each workspace can have contributors, translation language settings, channels, content, and folders. You can create separate CMS workspaces to differentiate internal and external information, different geographies, or even different campaigns.
A Salesforce Customer Portal provides an online support channel for your customers, creating a self-service environment. With a Customer Portal, you can customize and deliver a visually stunning user interface to your customers, and use various Salesforce features to help you and your customers succeed, such as—
• Determine which pages and fields customers see with page layouts and field-level security.
• Manage customers with profiles, permission sets, roles, and sharing rules.
• Provide and organize documents via Salesforce CRM Content or the Documents tab.
• Create a knowledge base for your customers using Salesforce Knowledge.
• Allow customers to participate in Ideas communities.
• Display and collect data that is unique to your organization with custom objects.
• Display custom s-controls and content from other websites via Web tabs.
• Provide customized reports via the Reports tab.
With Mobile Publisher, businesses can convert any experience to a mobile application to cater to customers on the go. The mobile experience combines an elegant, easy-to-use interface with powerful Salesforce functionality. All Experience Cloud digital experiences are 100% mobile optimized.
Because Experience Templates are fully responsive, it’s easy to provide a rich Experience Cloud experience that can be viewed on any mobile device.
Experiences are made even smarter with Einstein Intelligence features by embedding AI throughout each experience, enabling users to discover relevant content, groups, people, and files.
Personalize every customer interaction through:
• Einstein Bots — Deflect more cases with intelligent chatbots. In a few clicks, launch a multi-channel, multilingual bot that integrates with your Salesforce data. Bots automate routine common requests, guide customers through the next steps, and help service teams do more.
• Knowledge — Easily surface relevant articles and resources in your Help Center to reduce the cognitive load on your customer support team—freeing their time to focus on critical cases. Help customers find the information and answers they need on their own time without the need to connect directly to an agent.
• Generative AI-Powered Search Answers — Help customers find answers fast by surfacing answers that are grounded in your Knowledge base directly into your Help Center page or in a chat with an autonomous bot. Save agents time by auto-generating and sharing answers directly in their flow of work.
Community Engagement Tools
Salesforce’s customer engagement platform makes it easy to reward members for being active in the community. Create ranks, badges, and a scoring system as incentives to gamify participation.
Empower members to identify and endorse other members as experts on specific topics.
Users can create their badges, which are a great way for users to thank each other for their contributions, for taking initiative, or for any other activity they want to recognize.
Highlight top influencers and contributors with a public leaderboard to thank members for their contributions.
Who can benefit from Experience Cloud?
Companies of any size can create seamless, branded community experiences quickly and easily with Experience Cloud to—
• Drive more sales by connecting your employees with your distributors, resellers, and suppliers.
• Deliver world-class service by giving your customers one place to ask questions and find answers.
• Promote an upcoming event and manage social listening, content, engagement, and workflows all in one place.
How various industries can leverage Customer Account Portal to enhance customer relationships and experience:
• A Utility Company might allow customers to check their bills and pay them online.
• An Insurance Company can let clients file claims online and check their claim status.
• A University makes it easy for students to sign up for classes online.
• A Wealth Management firm can let clients collaborate with designated coaches, schedule appointments, and make payments.
• A Staffing Agency can allow augmented staff to sign in and log time against a project or client for billing.
No matter if you build a portal, a help forum, a support site, or something else, an Experience Cloud site is a beautifully branded digital experience connected to your CRM. Experience Cloud makes it easy to create experiences that engage customers and empower partners.
A thoughtfully crafted site built on Experience Cloud can have an outsized impact on your brand with improved customer satisfaction, easy account access through a self-service portal, increased customer engagement through discussion forums, and simplified support interactions with self-service knowledge base articles and resources.
To plan your Experience strategy, contact The CRM Firm.