If you’ve implemented Community Cloud or are thinking of doing it, then you know that there is a LOT you can do when building a community. Out of the box Salesforce gives you 5 Templates along with 1 Build Your Own option and 1 Visualforce + Tabs option.
Before I show you what each of these templates can be used for, first you need to enable communities. Here’s how you can enable communities in your ORG.
Once you’ve enabled communities the action cannot be undone. I’d recommend playing with communities in a dev org or a Hand-on org from Trailhead.
Below let’s go through each template within Community Cloud along with its use case.
Template 1: Help Center
Give your customers the answers they’re looking for. Customers can search for and read articles and contact your support team to resolve issues. Your articles can cover various topics, such as products, customer locations, or FAQs.
- Give your customers access to the articles you choose — no authentication necessary. Anyone thirsting for knowledge can explore your help center on their own.
- Curated Knowledge
- You put time, money, and expertise into developing your knowledge base. Now let it work for you. Expose just the information you want, and watch your customers put those resources to good use.
- Case Deflection
- Customers can find the answers they need before they pick up the phone. And let’s be honest — as charming as your team may be, people, don’t want to spend time on the phone for a quick question they can answer themselves.
- Guest Case Creation
- For those times when even the most beautifully-crafted article doesn’t do the job: Your help center contact form lets customers reach out for help with the tricky stuff.
Template 2: Customer Account Portal
Create a responsive portal where customers can access knowledge articles, view and update their accounts, and create and manage cases, claims, or other Salesforce records. The portal seamlessly integrates with your third-party business processes.
- Record Management
- Create and update vital information in any Salesforce record, including custom objects.
- Third-Party Integration
- Integrate and expose data and processes from third-party systems like ERP and e-commerce via Salesforce Connect.
- Streamlined Profile
- Show customers information that matters the most in the simplified profile, and let them update their accounts on the fly.
- Knowledge Base
- Use Salesforce Knowledge to give customers answers to their most pressing questions about your product and brand.
Template 3: Customer Service
Create a responsive community that lets members post questions, access relevant content and records, view articles, collaborate, and create support cases.
- Give access to articles, Q&A, and cases.
- Use groups, discussions, and topics to organize content and solve issues quickly.
- Use Community Builder to brand your community, add ready-made Lightning components, and take advantage of custom Lightning components, layouts, and themes.
- Personalize the member experience, automatically escalate important cases, and create a safe haven with rules to keep out trolls and bots.
Template 4: Build Your Own
Create customized solutions for your unique needs. Start with basic pages (including Home, Error, Search, and Login) and the full set of Lightning components. Add the pages, custom components, and themes that your solution requires.
- Build your unique solution your way using drag-and-drop Lightning components as well as custom components. This template includes Home, Error, Search, Login, and Generic Record List, Record Detail, and Related Record List pages to get you started.
- Create a pixel-perfect branded solution with Community Builder. Add theming and integrate content from your existing website with CMS Connect, and create a personalized experience using the Audiences platform.
Template 5: Partner Central
Build and grow a PRM solution that evolves at the speed of business with Lightning Components, preconfigured workflows, and data from any source to help partners sell faster and smarter.
- Craft a personalized onboarding experience that exposes content, experts, and learning management tools for partners with clicks, not code, using the Lightning Community Builder.
- Channel Sales
- Extend CRM to your partners and make them an extension of your direct sales team by providing a single place to register deals, manage leads, track progress, and close business.
- Collaboration & Support
- Engage with partners to help accelerate deals, find subject matter experts, and get updates. Empower them with support tools that include Knowledge articles and Q&A in feeds.
- Equip partners with the dashboards, reports, deep analytics, and business intelligence they need to sell effectively and grow their business.
Template 6: Aloha Template
Build a configurable app launcher that lets users quickly find and access applications using single sign-on, including social logins.
- Salesforce Identity
- Use single sign-on (SSO), including social logins, to sign in to multiple applications. Apps are native in Salesforce or integrated as third-party, external apps.
- Third-Party Integration
- Integrate third-party apps with Salesforce using APIs.
Template 7: Visualforce Pages + Tabs
Build a custom community using standard Salesforce structure and tabs that can be fully customized using Visualforce. Requires advanced setup and allows for flexible configuration.
- Standard & Custom Objects
- Use object functionality in your community to gather, analyze, and share data.
- Give developers powerful tools for complex back-office integrations.
- Access your community through Salesforce for Android, iOS, and mobile web.
These are all of the templates you are provided when building a Community. You can build up to 100 communities within a single org (although it’s highly recommended that you stick to 3 or 4 communities max).
Are you building your own community? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!