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The Top 12 Criteria for Selecting a Salesforce Experience Cloud Systems Implementer

Nov 09 · 7 min read

Salesforce Experience Cloud, formerly Salesforce Community Cloud, helps brands build experiences for employees, partners, and customers. Salesforce Community Cloud was renamed to Salesforce Experience Cloud in Spring 2021 because it now enables you to make more than just communities. It can create portals, help centers, forums, sites, mobile apps, and more. It connects digital touchpoints with different audiences and digitizes processes for more efficiency.  It can also support the entire customer journey.

 

The urgency to digitally transform is high, thanks to COVID-19. In the current environment, it is clear that the digital experience is not just crucial for growth; it is imperative to survive. Customers demand ways to easily engage with companies online, and companies that prioritize that digital customer experience will thrive.

Here is what theCodery and Salesforce recommend to make this digital transformation leap:

  1. Get your experiences to market rapidly and then iterate fast to adapt to ever-evolving market trends and customer needs.

  2. Personalize customer interactions and make it easy for customers to engage with you in the fewest steps possible.

  3. Provide a consistent experience across channels and touchpoints. A seamless experience creates satisfied customers.

Salesforce Experience Cloud benefits organizations in the following ways:

  1. It can reduce the burden on support

  2. It fully engages your customers, employees, and partner ecosystem.

  3. It comes integrated with Salesforce for a holistic view of the customer

  4. It is an administrative dream

  5. It can improve the marketing experience and also can generate leads

  6. It provides a fully digital experience (digital transformation!)

  7. It helps you host online events and accept online payments

“You can think of Salesforce Experience Cloud as a channel. It is an interface that exposes back-end customer service.  It is a customer-centric lens into the Salesforce data that is relevant to that customer, such as orders, support tickets, or any touchpoint that a customer has with an organization. Covid-19 facilitated the need for this acceleration towards digital transformation, and the staffing shortages we are seeing now are further reinforcing the need for most businesses to digitally transform and automate.” Rob Jacques, CEO, theCodery

To get the most out of Salesforce Experience Cloud, your implementation needs to be configured correctly for your business needs, optimized for best practices, and set up correctly to help you meet your objectives. So what criteria should you consider when selecting a systems integrator or implementor for Salesforce Experience Cloud?  Here are our recommendations for selecting an implementation partner for Salesforce Experience Cloud.

The Top 12 Criteria for Selecting a Salesforce Experience Cloud Systems Implementer

#1 Digital Community and Portal Know-How

If you have not implemented a community or portal before, you may not know what risks are involved and may harm the user experience- working with a partner that has done it before can save you money. An experienced partner recognizes what the user needs to view in the portal and accounts for complete user experience transparency.

#2 Salesforce Ecosystem Expertise

Salesforce is a large complex company with many different product offerings. It would be best to have a partner that could architect your implementation with a perspective of scale and future growth. For example, not every single salesforce feature can be or should be exposed into Experience Cloud. The process of exposing each standard feature, while making enhancements with customizations can be perplexing.  Salesforce-specific expertise is pivotal for an optimal community user experience.

#3 Knowledge of Salesforce Experience Cloud and Community Cloud

Experience Cloud expertise is vital because the right partners will think through things like workflows and streamlining click-throughs proactively. Anticipating challenges and risks are also an essential factor to get you time-to-value faster. For customer portals, the customer has clarity on where they are in the process. With Salesforce Experience Cloud in particular, knowing how to implement it well to allow for that transparency can be challenging. Your implementation partner needs to have knowledge of what fields to expose on the case object. As an example, in the use case of a product support function in the community, Experience Cloud would need to be configured to allow the customer visibility into every aspect of order vs. just seeing shipping.

#4 Partnership vs. Job Shop

Some systems implementers just implement without much thought or strategy. In these situations, you have to invest the time to research what you want and need before the engagement starts. Whereas a Salesforce-focused firm like theCodery can take that research off your plate and come to you with recommendations proactively.

#5 Proficiency in a 360-Degree-View of the Customer

Insight into every interaction with the customer is what helps businesses address issues and grow. Some systems implementers just implement without optimizing the implementation for the insight and analytics. With Experience Cloud, you are essentially opening a new communication channel with the community. Then you are exposing and enabling the customer to see their own touchpoints.  This empowers the customers to view the history of their account and they can refer back to what needs they are trying to fulfill.

#6 Self-service and Personalization in the Customer Experience

Experience Cloud enables users or customers to find the answers they need quickly without having to send a message or call for every service request. It can provide your users/customers with access to an FAQ and expose a knowledge base so they can independently find solutions without contacting support. It can save service representatives a significant amount of time. With this in mind, personalization is imperative to make sure the content the user views is relevant to their needs, like custom shipping links for 3rd party shipping sites. Personalization allows for dynamic changes in the behavior of the site based on customer needs.

#7 Customer Engagement and Consistency Across Channels

You need a partner that will set up Experience Cloud to have all interactions in one view and establish a consistent experience.  A portal or community experience needs to be similar to your other web properties. You are opening up an engagement pipeline to engage beyond just text and email, but it needs to be consistent with other experiences.

#8 Partner Portal Expertise (where applicable) 

If you leverage a partner selling model, Salesforce Experience Cloud has deliberate capabilities to enable the partner channel to interact with partners’ sales team on leads, opportunities, contacts, accounts, deal velocity, pipeline, etc. The partner relationship side of the experience cloud is a really strong capability.  Not using the partner community properly or misconfiguration of the deployment can make business process integration difficult. A successful implementation can drive partner sales and streamline marketing processes with your partners.

#9 Employee Community Projects (where applicable) 

An internal community is really effective in sharing information with your employees. It has the same type of benefit for employees as it does for partners and customers. It facilitates deeper sharing across the company and can be used in custom implementations, such as tracking hiring suggestions, case management, etc. One use case we see quite frequently is the community portal being used for professional services time and expense entry. Teams can be grouped according to projects and you can give teams access to records, objects, and fields so they can work efficiently. And you don’t need special licenses to use this if your employees are already using SFDC.

#10 Analytics and Experience Cloud

Everyone always wants to understand metrics and analytics. A good systems implementation partner can help you select what items to expose to your customers, partners, employees best on industry best practices.  You can share your analytics with community members to give them deeper insight. Think of the use case of customer support functionality built within a community.  When set up accurately, managers can see performance on case closure, invoices, etc. in partner selling environments, partners can view leads, ACV, dashboards, etc.

#11 Time to Get Up and Running

Many large firms are booking up months in advance, so while you may be ready to go, they may be 6 months out still.  TheCodery is known for being nimble. With most projects, theCodery can get started quickly and get faster time-to-value than our larger competitors.  With Covid-19, customer experience accelerated digital transformation, and now staffing shortages, many companies need to get customer portals up and running fast. One client articulated why this factored into their criteria for selecting a systems implementation partner.  They said, “we can either hire more service reps until our partner can take on our project, or we can quickly reduce the workload on existing reps  and scale with a SI partner that can move as fast as we can.”

#12 Last but Certainly Not Least, Focus on the Customer Experience

You are likely considering Salesforce Experience Cloud to improve the customer, partner, or employee experience. You should have a partner that puts the customer/user experience first before any implementation happens. Your partner should help you think through what features to expose and connect the user experience to Salesforce functionality and capabilities. They should guide you on making choices that enhance the user experience as a poor user experience can have a huge impact on adoption and usage.

 

How theCodery can help you with Salesforce Experience Cloud: 

  • Create compelling and impactful digital experiences: Engage any audience quickly with digital sites, apps, and portals customized to your business based on your industry.

  • Build stronger relationships with a single view of each contact: Deliver personalized content and experiences with all the data in one place.

  • Evolve your business: Quickly launch experiences and adapt them with ease.  Scale with the proper tooling and the right partner to help your business plan for future experience growth.

  • Track Objectives Proactively: Get insights quickly with reporting and custom dashboards so you can swiftly view experiences and rest assured of their accuracy.

Do you want help implementing Salesforce Experience Cloud?  theCodery is a Salesforce partner that has delivered hundreds of successful Experience Cloud and Community Cloud implementations and has 5-star reviews on the Salesforce partner site.

About theCodery

theCodery understands the challenges in modern tech stacks. We have developed a personalized approach for each Salesforce Experience Cloud implementation while leveraging our deep been-there-done-that and best-practice expertise to ensure you get the most value from your Salesforce deployment.  We take an agile approach with all development, optimization, and integration projects. If you need help, we are here. Whether you are trying to broaden your engineering and development capabilities, reduce technical debt, integrate tools you are unfamiliar with, or create new applications, theCodery has a proven track record of solving problems and streamlining complexity.

theCodery: Accelerate your time-to-value on Salesforce Experience Cloud with a trusted partner that delivers scalable architectures that are tailored to delight your employees, partners, and customers.

If you have any questions for theCodery or our Experience Cloud clients, please get in touch with us at https://www.thecodery.io/contact-thecodery

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