If you haven’t heard of Salesforce or their newly rolled out Community Cloud, you are in for a pleasant surprise. Since many people are already familiar with LinkedIn, they already have the basic idea what Salesforce.com is doing and why they are doing it.
When you think LinkedIn you think of a community of connections and contacts. Now when you see “Community Cloud” you will think of Salesforce and a community of companies, customers, and employees all linked together. It is a customized, private community you create that you can chat with and share files with everyone in the community. You can provide links to resources that will help people perform their job duties more effectively, and perhaps the most important job responsibility – assisting customers. Instead of connecting only to people, Salesforce connects you to the business processes that cause your business engine to hum.
What distinguishes Community Cloud from LinkedIn is that it is a tool that companies can customize to fit their own needs, including establishing their own security and privacy parameters. Transparency can be as open or shrouded as the company needs.
Because we live in a mobile world, the Community Cloud environment has been designed using Responsive Web Design principles. This gives users the ability to be a part of the Community Cloud wherever they may be and have access to the same suite of services and information as someone sitting in the company headquarters. According to Michael Stone, Senior Vice President of marketing, “Ninety percent of our communities are mobile-enabled. We designed this from a mobile-first aspect.”
While the Community Cloud is Salesforce’s latest development, its foundation is not. Salesforce has built upon its Salesforce 1 Service Cloud customer service platform that was designed to connect both with customers and the next generation of mobile apps and mobile devices. This is what is called The Internet of Customers. And there is no better place today to connect all these pieces together than the cloud.
The goal of Salesforce 1 Service Cloud is to maximize the efficiency of a company’s customer service. According to recent studies, the ability to answer a customer’s service issue on the first call, what is known as first call resolution, is about ten percent. More than 91 percent of customers complain they have to call multiple times to get the same problem resolved, while 89 percent of customers have to explain their problem multiple times to a number of different representatives. The Salesforce 1 Service Cloud was created to tackle this issue head on.
Beyond its mobile device flexibility, the company’s Community Cloud has created a unique footprint in the world of sales and customer service on the Internet by making them a social activity. Instead of treating customers, sales personnel, customer service people, and company processes as disparate parts of the system, Salesforce joins them together in a social network. Here is where expanding to the cloud brings the greatest advantage to the company. Wherever a customer is, they can expect the same quality of service and connect with the people who will be able to resolve their problem with the goal of first call resolution.
The Community Cloud is offered on a subscription basis starting at $500 per month. What clients get for that price is a unique, customized, private social community network in the cloud that can be accessed by customers, sales personnel, customer service representatives, and other employees. The privacy and security levels can be customized to fit your company’s needs. Applications have been designed to accommodate virtually every mobile device. The goal is for all responsible parties to integrate and communicate in a social network community whose ultimate goal is first call resolution.