Engage your stakeholders, launch a community!
Yannis Van de Velde
Community. A word that is used in many aspects of life. If we define it, it means sharing or having interests in common with a group. It is perhaps more used in political or social contexts than in business, however there are some very important similarities no matter where the word is being used. In this article, I will tell you more about how and why communities are useful to a business through bringing together different stakeholders like partners, customers or employees.
Make the right choice!
The first thing you need to take into consideration is your target group. Based on which stakeholders you want to get in touch with, a different type of community can be set up.
If you want to cooperate with partners on sales, support or even share marketing collateral, a partner community is your way to go. For example, companies in the automotive industry work together with many different partners across many aspects of their business. You get in touch with suppliers, car brands, dealers, resellers, leasing firms, car inspectors… every single day. This creates a hornet’s nest of communication. Companies in industries like these can benefit from a community by bringing some of these stakeholders together to provide clear communication and guidance. It is now even possible to set up a streamlined marketing campaign throughout the whole distribution channel.
Engaging directly with customers becomes more important every day. Customers are more empowered and look for solutions online themselves, but nowadays are also your best salesmen. A community can be a helpful tool for your customers to be able to interact with each other, for example by sharing ideas and solutions on certain issues they encounter with your product. It’s also an easy application to log a case and see your request being treated by the company in real life. It might seem like a big leap to take, but the many advantages of a community will be clear as soon as you log in!
Setting up a Salesforce Community
Community Cloud can be set up fast and is straightforward. The configuration provides clear guidance on why and how communities and their processes work. This makes it possible to set up Community Cloud for any type of company, in any industry, of any size. As a Salesforce Platinum partner, we at 4C can help you set up a community fitted to your needs and desires.
Want to play around with Communities yourself? You can figure out the perfect way to organise and help your community members in a Community Sandbox! Download Salesforce’s Ebook for Communities if you want to try it out.
Complete the customer experience
The features I like most about any Community Cloud are the branding and visuals you can use to make your community page blend in with your company branding. First of all, you can completely modify communities to reflect your company’s look and feel. Users will not notice the difference with your other websites or applications. They will be under the impression they are using a completely custom-built platform. Talking about customising, it’s also possible to use nice features like tiles instead of buttons or links which improves user experience as well. This makes your community just plain awesome to visit and start engaging with! As a marketing tool, this is a big plus.
For me personally, it is exciting to work with Community Cloud because it is a very visual product and it enables you to have a close relationship with customers and partners. One of the main reasons I love working at 4C is that we put our client’s customers at the centre. A customer or partner community is a perfect tool to establish a close relationship. What better way to engage your customers and partners than to let them feel like they are part of your organisation?
Are you interested in learning more about how communities can help you establish close relationships with partners and customers? Subscribe for our webinar on the 27th of March here. Don’t hesitate to visit our communities page and ask us more questions!