The Hype Behind Community Cloud

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Since launching Community Cloud in 2013 Salesforce has continued to grow the functionality and extensibility.


But what is a Salesforce Community? Communities isn’t a social media application, it’s a customer/employee/vendor/client communication application.  It lets you create an online space to speak with the people you do business with even if they aren’t on Salesforce.


So, what can you do with an online portal?  One major use in our business is the Help Desk and Work Ticketing systems.  By logging into their Community account, any AltSolut customer can create an emergency ticket, update a ticket, or see responses on a previous ticket in our Help Desk.  Through the power of Salesforce, many processes are automated behind the scenes like routing the work to a capable agent who has the availability to work the ticket, or notifying a lead if the work isn’t completed in certain timeframes.


In the Work Ticketing System, we developed in-house, clients can see Sprint progress on current development as well as provide feedback or review/upload documentation.  Housing our Work Ticketing System in Salesforce allows us to manage our Project Management process in detail rather than paying a 3rd party provider for less extensible services.


Is that all?  Of course not.  Communities can also act as your Employee Intranet or Vendor Management system.  Pull employee metrics directly from other Salesforce Objects and create a KPI dashboard.  No more waiting until that 6-month review to see your progress.  Vendors/Clients can manage PO’s and Invoices with less work on your team through the power of Salesforce’s Contracts and Entitlements automation feature.  And you can even leverage Salesforce Chatter to maintain that air of personal acquaintance.


I already have a website, though!  With Lightning Builder, you can build easy to maintain public web pages with the look and feel of the modern era.  Salesforce can dynamically pull in content from their CMS (or Amazon’s AWS), and without the need for a team of developers to manage the process.  Customers can see your normal website, or login to their My Account area and see & make changes custom details.  By linking Commerce Cloud (or a 3rd party payment processor), they can purchase items without ever leaving the site or signing in again.  Community also comes with robust blog management features, and can integrate a forum quickly with great moderation options.  Or, you can integrate Community Builder on top of your existing website.


You’ve certainly made a point that Community Cloud can lift heavy, but IT says they can’t add extra cost and time! is built by both Business Users and IT Rockstars.  Compliance and Audit are key in any business, and Salesforce provides many tools to help.  Through help desks, knowledge (very robust permissioning), and easy configuration with outside sources like Active Directory SSO, Oracle, and more, IT will be very happy with all the time they aren’t spending answering simple questions or chasing down the equipment you forgot to return (We sent you an email five minutes before your shift was over to bring it back on your way out.


Spencer Gibson, Alternative Solutions and Customer Life-Cycle Management Consultant

Salesforce Answers Built on Ohana

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Working as a Salesforce consultant provides incredible insight into how companies use the platform.  Regardless of our experience with Salesforce, we sometimes come across a question or use case that we need a bit more direction.


Fortunately for us, Salesforce realized in order to be profitable they had to have a purpose.   Building around the spirit of Ohana, Salesforce has made its ecosystem of customers and employees personally responsible to ensure no one is left behind.   Yes, it may sound hokie or like I’ve drank the “Kool Aid” but in reality, regardless of profit, Salesforce has created something more powerful than money can buy……community.


Let’s take a look at some of the best areas and communities to find answers and join in Ohana.


My first stop typically takes me to Salesforce Help where I can review documentation, download user guides and access video.   This is the best starting point.


If I need to dig deeper or research a more unique or custom request, I typically make the Salesforce Trailblazer Community my next stop.  Here I can find answers to questions from other users.


To stay up-to-date with the constant enhancements and new products, there is no better place than

Trailhead.  Trailhead offers complete tutorials and hands-on exercises to help you become an expert in all things Salesforce.   Follow them on Trailhead on Twitter and Trailhead on Medium.


Salesforce Stack Exchange is Q&A site for anyone in the Salesforce ecosystem.  Lots of great questions and expert answers.


Finally, visit Salesforce on YouTube.  Browse through playlists or catch-up on Dreamforce.  Create notifications to be reminded of new videos that get uploaded.


There is a plethora of resources to utilize and assist you with questions and Salesforce learning.  Use them when needed and in the spirit of Ohana, help others along your Salesforce journey.

-Danny Raines, Alternative Solutions Senior Salesforce Consultant for Call Center? Yes.

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If you walk around a call center and ask what agent performance issues are prevalent, you’ll often hear the same things: Lack of agent knowledge, lack of attention, difficulty navigating systems, and lack of agent empowerment.

But, what can we do to improve these areas? Lots of things.

Today, we’re going to focus on CRM and specifically By giving agents and supervisors tools to combat common issues, we can improve agent performance, and make collaboration less of a pain point in the organization.

With, we solve many issues related to these things all at once.

Knowledge is a powerful tool that can be tailored to present relevant articles to agents based on relevant case status and contact information.  The escalation process for chat, phone, and email avenues is also greatly improved by leveraging Omni-Channel routing. The increased, yet efficient, communication allowed by Chatter within and between departments does wonders for a call center’s culture.

With the new Lightning Experience, we can shorten clicks per action, sometimes cutting them in half or more. With custom coding, many agent processes can be automated, allowing your agents to focus on the customer and let the software do the heavy lifting. This not only improves the agent experience and thus employee retention, but it improves efficiency and allows you to backfill less of your attrition.

With Chatter (a method to comment on records to other users), Omni-Channel, and simple yet recognizable notifications, agents are easily and quickly able to gain supervisor approvals without a long hold process. Reminders can also be set by agents or automatically generated based on business rules.

There are a great many factors that go into agent retention, but CRM is one of the best tools that can be used to combat it. It can help your agents perform, make their daily experience better, and help them feel empowered and attentive. does Call Center CRM better than anyone else, and for the first time you can truly integrate your CRM into the rest of your business’s system of record. Alternative Solutions Consulting is the industry expert you can trust to make these integrations work.


Spencer Gibson, Alternative Solutions and Customer Life-Cycle Management Consultant