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The Ultimate Guide to the Salesforce Community Cloud

Let’s face it: there’s always a better way to serve your customers. Salesforce Community Cloud was one of these ways. It has provided another way to interact, engage with your customers, and improve your offering.

Since its introduction, the tool has evolved significantly and now allows you to create many other digital experiences, from partner portals to customer service sites and communities. Its offering has changed so much that it was rebranded as Salesforce Experience Cloud.

Let’s look at what Salesforce Community Cloud, AKA Experience Cloud, has to offer!

What Is Salesforce Community Cloud or Experience Cloud?

Salesforce Experience Cloud is a digital experience platform that allows you to build community experiences based on the Salesforce CRM. These online communities then serve as points of contact with your customers and even your partners or employees.

It offers a range of advanced features that let you create various sites or platforms quickly and easily. And, because the entire platform is built on Salesforce, it provides robust, advanced security and excellent performance.

To provide you with a platform to build these experiences, Experience Cloud offers a range of features, including:

  • Building sites without writing any code.
  • Getting deeper insights with in-depth site analytics.
  • Using SEO tools and tracking.
  • Building websites that are responsive and optimized for mobile.
  • Incorporating enhancements from the Salesforce AppExchange.
  • Building up to 100 sites for your organization.


What Can You Do With Experience Cloud?

Salesforce Experience Cloud, i.e., Salesforce Community Cloud, offers several possibilities. You can create multiple sites or portals within your business that all meet different needs and requirements. This is even easier since Salesforce provides several templates and even allows you to build custom sites.

Ultimately, these sites that will help you and your teams reach your business goals include:

  • Customer service sites. Nowadays, it’s becoming increasingly popular for companies to provide self-help options to their customers. With Experience Cloud, you can build one of these customer service sites to provide your customers with a portal where they can find assistance without needing to contact your support team. To create this site, you’ll typically use a knowledge base where your customers can find information or answers to their questions.
  • Partner portals. With Experience Cloud, you can also create a partner portal that allows your sales staff and other partners to collaborate and manage their channels.
    • A Salesforce best practice for Community Cloud includes motivating your team to use the partner portal to share new ideas and strategies to increase sales, optimize workflows, or provide information about potential customers.
  • Account portals. These portals give customers a secure place to access or update their account information. Since your customers can access and edit vital account information, pay invoices, and search for information quickly and easily, you’ll get a customer experience boost!
  • Communities. As mentioned earlier, customers increasingly prefer sorting problems out independently instead of contacting the support team.
    • One way to provide your customers with this option is to use Experience Cloud to build a customer community or forum where your customers can ask others for help or even share their opinions or feedback about your products, services, or brand.
    • You can also use Experience Cloud to create a similar community for employees. Here, your teams can interact and discuss their goals or projects. In addition, you can also provide them with all the information they need to do their jobs through this community, like manuals, operating procedures, and more.
  • Microsites. You can also create Salesforce Community Cloud microsites that are perfect for landing, event, or other pages.
    • This is ideal if you want to create a site quickly and archive it once it’s no longer needed.
  • DIY Sites. Apart from the options above, you can also create custom sites based on your unique needs and requirements. You’ll use the Salesforce Lightning Web Runtime framework to create performant pages that match your brand.


Why Use Salesforce Experience Cloud?

You might be wondering why you should use Experience Cloud, especially if you’re already using other tools for customer service, self-service, and marketing. The thing is, with many of the other tools available, you can’t create branded, user-friendly, and feature-rich sites for these purposes.

And this is one of the platform’s major benefits – with its flexibility and customization options, it can help you streamline your business’s processes, improve collaboration within your teams, and serve your customers better.
discussing the salesforce experience cloud

Your teams can rally around the customer’s goal – no matter if they’re in Sales, Marketing, or Customer Experience. Experience Cloud makes it simple to break down silos, get the right data, and provide a phenomenal experience.

And, considering that you can build sites for various purposes, you’ll save a lot on costs because you won’t need to use a tool or platform for every site separately.

Another benefit of the Salesforce Community Cloud is that you can build a wide range of solutions. Apart from building these solutions, the Experience Cloud platform also simplifies managing them.

You’re also able to integrate data from almost any source. Use data directly from Salesforce or pull it from external, third-party platforms. Ultimately, this allows you to deliver personalized experiences based on who the users of the site are.

And speaking of data, you can also use Experience Cloud CMS to optimize content distribution across your sites. You won’t need to duplicate your content for every site. It’s as easy as setting up connections between your site and Salesforce CMS.

Finally, as with most other Salesforce features, you’ll have access to extensive reporting capabilities. These allow you to measure engagement and interactions on your site, analyze data to extract insights, and then use these insights to optimize the experience your site provides.

How to Build Your Salesforce Experience Cloud Site

Before you build your Salesforce Community Cloud site, you’ll need to enable digital experiences. So, from Setup, you’ll enter Digital Experiences in the Quick Find box and then select Digital Experiences | Settings. Here, you’ll choose Enable Digital Experiences.

For the next step, you’ll need to choose a domain. You’ll see your organization’s digital experiences domain if enhanced domains are enabled. If enhanced domains are not enabled, you’ll be able to select a domain name and then click on Check Availability to make sure that it’s available.

You also have the ability to define a custom domain on the Domain Management page. When done, you can click on Save. In addition to enabling digital experiences, there are other settings and options you can change depending on your needs, including permissions and CDN.

Once you’ve enabled Digital Experiences, you’ll enter Digital Experiences in the Quick Find box, select All Sites, and then select New to create a new site. This will open the creation wizard, where you can choose the template you’d like to use. If you only select Sites instead of All Sites, you’ll see how many sites you can build.

When it comes to templates, you have several options available. If you’d like more information about a specific template, you can select it in the wizard. This will give you a description of the template and its key features.

You can click on Get Started when you’ve chosen the template you’d like to use. You’ll then need to enter a name for your site and the URL you’d like to use. The name you enter will typically be appended to the URL you chose earlier during the process.

Once done, you can click on Create. This will create your site in preview mode, and you can build and customize it further from here.

To do this, you’ll use Experience Builder. It lets you style your site, create custom pages, add components, and deliver personalized experiences to your audience quickly and easily. Once you’re happy with your changes, you can click on Publish to publish your site.

It’s important to remember that this is just a broad overview of the process you’ll use to create, customize, and publish a site. There are many other options and settings you can use to create and customize your Experience Cloud sites to your liking.

Get Started With Experience Cloud To Improve Your Business Processes

As the name suggests, Experience Cloud is a valuable tool that can help you build various digital experiences to deliver an improved offering to your customers, employees, and partners. Ultimately, Salesforce is expanding its offer to help you create more marketing and CX collateral in one ecosystem.

So if Salesforce is already your single source of truth, why not try Experience Cloud? The fewer tabs your team needs to switch, the easier it will be to focus on what matters: your customers.

Try Match My Email today.