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Salesforce Customer Portal – Key Things to Know

All You Need To Know About Salesforce Customer Portal

Today's clients have long appreciated the helpfulness of self-service; 75% of them believe that this is the best way to resolve their questions and issues. Realizing this, 69% of service managers made self-service an integral part of their strategy. That's why forward-thinking Salesforce is not only developing its CRM and expanding an ecosystem of apps that boost business processes and consumer experience but also launching communities for all self-service options. Community is the next level of the brand space that has the functionalities of the Salesforce customer portal and a wide range of additional features.

Nuance's survey reveals that 67% of consumers choose self-service over communication with a team representative and expect the company's website to provide them with this opportunity. 90% of respondents to Microsoft's survey expect organizations to invest in self-service portals, and 77% are already using them. Therefore, building a portal or community that engages users and clients is essential for the transformation and growth of each business.

What Is The Customer Portal In Salesforce?

With the ever-increasing convergence of business and IT, as well as the necessity to operate anytime and anywhere, self-service portals are a must for today's service vendors.

Portals are tools to help consumers without the necessity to join service operators. Since users prefer to fix their troubles on their own, including technical ones, self-service portals aid them by offering the opportune answers to FAQs, discussions, instructions, videos, etc. Available through the company's website, these portals are open to end-users who simply connect through a standard web browser and search for the solutions they want.

Ultimately, portals help educate clients by providing a deep understanding of your product, so they are less likely to call for support in the future. By giving users the tools to troubleshoot, you enlarge their skill base so that they can determine questions as they arise.

What is a self-service portal in Salesforce?

The online customer portal acts as a variety of social self-service platforms where users and partners can find answers, strengthen relationships, and offer each other valuable advice and ideas. This minimizes support requests and relieves service agents so they can focus on more urgent tasks. Fewer support calls mean lower customer support costs to build up your customer service department as your company grows. Portals strengthen the authority of your page by turning your company into an expert in their industry and bringing more visitors to your site.

Why Businesses  Should Use Salesforce Customer Portal

Check out all the benefits that the Salesforce client portal brings to your company:

Simple Integration

The software is designed with flexible integration with web pages and applications to make the work of both consumers and users easier. It can configure functions with just a few clicks.

Communities

Blogs, forums, and discussion groups enable consumers to collaborate on solutions and white papers, while communications supplement those solutions with actual documentation. Thus, you increase the number of support agents who rely on a proven store of knowledge. In addition, the community of employees will provide interesting news, updates, and information about the company and allow you to collaborate on projects in real-time.

Omnichannel Support

The client portal system is fully adaptable to any mobile and stationary device.

Integration of Service Representatives

If customers and communities could not find the right solution, then the question is sent to a service manager. Client portal tools enable operators to track problems as they arise and get connected whenever needed.

Customization

The software incorporates built-in templates and allows users of all technical backgrounds to create professional-looking branded services.

Salesforce Customer Portal Features

You already know that clients are more mobile and don't want to talk on the phone or wait a long time for an email response. Instead, they prefer to immediately find answers to their questions and receive advice from any available device. Salesforce took all this into account in its developments and offered the most suitable software for customer and partner portals. The following are the features that Salesforce affords.

Access To CRM Content And Data

The Salesforce Customer Portal assists you in solving the problems your client is facing. This is done by providing admission to the CRM content of the respective client. These nuances help to gain a complete understanding of the audience and thoroughly understand their needs, preferences, and online interactions, which improves the quality of the support provided.

Integration tools

The Salesforce Self-Service Customer Portal integrates seamlessly with your back-end system or existing website. There are also tools to integrate with Service Cloud for the more personalized management of customer requests and rerouting consumer calls to operators who can more efficiently resolve their problems.

Expert Users Management

The portal makes it easy to automatically and efficiently manage audiences by roles, sharing rules, and profiles. It also has single sign-on functionality.

Launch Custom Reports

The portal enables Salesforce users to create thorough custom reports. This helps them understand the nature of their problems, track their actions, and monitor the effectiveness of the proposed solutions.

Salesforce Ideas

Concepts that consumers propose to resolve particular problems and share ideas in Trailblazer Community Salesforce. It helps other visitors and consumers manage their affairs competently.

Client Profile Creation

The Salesforce Customer Portal permits you to create profiles with custom layouts, list views, and robust field-level security. It also grants access to Salesforce custom objects and accumulates valuable data for custom apps.

Salesforce Customer Service Portal Types

Salesforce proposes three types of portals, which offer original use cases.

A Self-Service Portal is a public platform where Salesforce consumers can share their requests and resolve their issues themselves.

A Partner Portal is a platform for Salesforce partners and others to communicate with each other on common issues.

A Customer Portal contains Salesforce support that aids customers in solving their particular problems by providing them with an advanced interface with sophisticated functionality comparable to Salesforce.com.

What Is The Capability Of The  Service Cloud Customer Portal?

This end-to-end service solution was developed on Salesforce's hi-tech cloud platform and is compatible with any internet-connected device. Its adaptable, multi-channel online tools, templates, and mining capabilities to support self-service can help you quickly design:

  • A help center that offloads your service agents and grants consumers access to critical data.
  • Personalized portals and communities that are adaptable to mobile devices.
  • Step-by-step, end-to-end self-service workflows so consumers can find solutions to problems on their own.
  • Portal-built services with a complete overview of your consumers.
  • An individual approach to clients through automation and chatbots.

With its robust community options, Service Cloud proffers templates and advanced customization to align your customer portal with your brand identity. And where the answer is not found, Salesforce Service Cloud Portal automatically informs the service operators who will respond quickly through the community portal. The most active and expert community members are displayed on a permanent leaderboard by voting.

Salesforce Experience Cloud

Additionally, Salesforce has an Experience Cloud partner portal modeled on the Customer 360 platform to help you quickly drive business solutions for consumers, employees, and partners in any industry. Formerly it was named Community Cloud and was limited to individual portals and websites. Now it’s a fully digital engagement platform that mirrors the entire digital customer landscape powered by Salesforce and connects consumer data and communication channels.

With Experience Cloud, you will have access to:

  • Managing partnerships, or distributed marketing, registering deals, market development funds, distributing leads, and other functions.
  • Customer service, from adaptation to long-term loyalty.
  • Content management with audience personalization, scaling, and content structuring across all channels in multiple languages
  • Customer account portals with direct access to data and processes for updates, access to information, and more.
  • B2B commerce solutions with interface installation for any commercial model.
  • Dedicated external and internal portals for any industry with Lightning Bolt solutions. They offer industry-specific apps, components, and processes that integrate with the Salesforce platform.
  • Experience Builder with targeted templates to build and update communities and websites for consumers, partners, and employees.
  • Components for customizing without code, for adding functionality and data integration of CRM or legacy systems (Microsoft or SAP).

Salesforce Customer Portal Vs Partner Portal

The portal is selected based on your requirements and the users you will manage. For example, if these are partners, then you need an affiliate portal. On the other hand, if you plan to provide customer support, you will need a Self-Service or a Customer Portal.

And now consider the variety between partner and customer portals. The key differences are:

Purpose Of Use

The primary goal of the Salesforce Partner Portal for Salesforce companions is to identify opportunities, leads, cases, and other relevant information. Partners can only get the data they need without having access to all your organization's data.

The Customer Portal, in turn, provides customized solutions to the problems customers face and is strictly focused on support items so that consumers can interact with cases.

Role-based Access

You will be able to grant special role-based access to your partners present in the partner portal. On the other hand, such access cannot be provided by the customer portal.

Price

The Salesforce Partner Portal will be more expensive because it gives users more access to CRM than the Customer portal.

Members

The Partner Portal is designed for use and participation by Salesforce investors, advisers, partners, and other stakeholders. The Salesforce Customer Portal is focused on end customers and users working with Salesforce products.

Salesforce Communities VS Community Cloud: What's the Difference?

Community Clouds and Portals have the same structural points but differ in the ways users interact with them. So let's look at the principal dissimilarities between Salesforce Customer Portal and Communities:

Salesforce Communities VS Community Cloud What's the Difference

Salesforce Customer Portal License: Main Editions And Types

Three types of licenses are used to construct communities.

  • The first one, Customer Community, is applied for support and feedback. This is the minimum required for external access and collaboration, but keep in mind that non-licensed visitors can see community content too.
  • The Customer Community Plus is suitable for internal employee communities, online communication through Salesforce HR, or IT teams.
  • The Partner Community is most often chosen by B2B businesses to generate a lead stream, track revenue, and educate their offers. This is a Partner Relationship Management license.

The crucial distinction between licenses is the availability of CRM objects that consumers have access to. The organization creates community-controlled access to custom objects, and each of them handles sharing individually.

Access Types

Each edition provides two types of access: membership and login-based, where revisions represent the level of access and types represent the frequency of community use.

  • Membership-Based - This type is the same as the standard Salesforce licenses. This is usually a higher fixed monthly fee per license, and the assigned users can log in whenever they want.
  • Log-in Based - This is most beneficial for external users who only need to log in 1-3 times a month.

When using the Membership-Based access, the company buys a license based on the number of users that will have access to the Community. And by logging in, the company buys a set of logins per month. Users assigned to this type of license then use one of these logins every day they log in.

Domain Name

Although each enterprise can organize up to 100 communities with its unique domain alias, the organization itself will have a default domain name it uses as the base URL for all communities. So, for example, if the domain is * .force.com, then the community will receive a domain - the business name.force.com. And the corresponding URL in this main domain will have all communities by default.

How to create a customer portal in Salesforce?

  1. Open the quick search and enter the customer portal.
  2. Find Settings.
  3. Push Change and enable Customer Portal.
  4. Save the settings.

After enabling this feature, you can construct a customer portal in this way:

  1. Open client portal settings, fill in all required fields, and check the Enable log-in box. Then save all new settings.
  2. Assign a user: Create contact and save.
  3. Open the contact that you require assigning to the customer portal.
  4. Press the External User Management control button and select Enable Client User.
  5. Come to the customer portal and pick the Edit Profiles. Next, choose the Custom Client Portal Manager check box and save changes.

Salesforce Customer Portal Pricing

Salesforce Customer Portal Pricing

Should I Use The Salesforce Customer Portal Or Communities?

Portals are a necessary and in-demand product for those organizations that have been using Salesforce for a long time. But this format is outdated and is gradually being replaced by Community Cloud. However, for companies that are just beginning or are scaling, then Salesforce portal is the ultimate choice.

The right decision depends on an assessment of your requirements, the stage of your company’s development, and what your consumers expect from you.

Why Migrate?

If you've been employing a customer or partner portal for a while, then it might be a good time to migrate to the Community Cloud. Communities themselves are effectively updated portals that proffer improvements, such as Lightning templates to develop a fine-tuned self-service or community that delivers visual and functional mobile and desktop experiences.

Chatter's abilities for partner and consumer includes:

  • File sharing
  • Private tasks for users of the partner and customer community
  • Social profiles
  • Public and private groups
  • Topics and recommendations
  • Chatter REST API
  • Managing community members through profiles and permission sets.
  • Dashboards and reports for partners.
  • Ability to import accounts, leads, and contacts with the Data Import Wizard: they can also update leads in bulk.
  • Single sign-on for external/internal users and maintenance of various providers
  • Sharing users to customize the membership model (public or private)
  • Support multiple log-in credentials (Facebook, Salesforce, etc.)

Note: After you build a community, you can use the Partner or Customer portal. Portal licenses can be freely used in communities — you don't have to buy community licenses for portal consumers. Moreover, changes in community settings do not affect your current portal settings.

Conclusion

Salesforce portals and communities are crucial platforms for partners and consumers to communicate, generate solutions, share issues, and present innovative concepts in interactive forums.

With the Salesforce self-service portal, you can optimize your clients' services using the performance of Salesforce capabilities. However, despite the intuitive interface and point-and-click tools, you will still need the support of professional Salesforce consultants to deploy and customize portals and communities to your needs.

We have been in the industry for many years and have dealt with several Salesforce solutions. So we can offer and implement an excellent customer service experience for your company, be it a knowledge base, forum, portal, or combination of them. We will help you create a customer portal in Salesforce, or a personalized and branded community to effectively collaborate and boost business processes, such as marketing, activity tracking, recruiting, lead generation, sales, onboarding, support, and training. Contact us if you want to achieve top results and maximize the value of your business right away!

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Written by

Arthur Koryaka

Starting from 2007, Arthur managed to successfully help automotive, insurance and healthcare industries to adopt a CRM system. As an experienced consultant, Artur proved his practical knowledge by passing certifications for the different Salesforce roles. Over the years, Arthur is developing his expertise in the financial industry and helps clients migrate to Finance Sevices Cloud.

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