This summer we are releasing Salesforce Communities --  our latest innovation that will help your company create online portals to better connect with your customers, partners and products. Powered by Salesforce Chatter, the leading enterprise social network, Salesforce Communities will put social and mobile at the very core of every community and allow you to hear from your customers around the clock from any device.

Today, more than ever, companies need to be better connected with their customers and partners. The popularity of crowd sourcing in social communities, the level of engagement on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and the increase in connected mobile devices have all combined to create a new generation of customers and partners who have expectations for how they engage with a company.

Here are five benefits of connecting with customers through communities:

1. Save Time

By creating a community platform for customers to share, you give your customers access to not only your knowledge base, but other community members thoughts, as well as those of your employees and partners, offering the ability to combine your existing resources with crowd sourcing tips for much faster customer service outcomes.

2. Save Money

By connecting your customers to other highly engaged customers, you’ll decrease the amount of tough questions coming into your customer service center. Customers will answer each other’s questions. Every call not connected to a live agent is a penny saved.

3. Enhance Products

Include product developers with engaged customers for product ideation, feedback and beta testing. 

4. Strengthen Loyalty

By having a stronger connection to your customers’ likes, wants, and purchase histories, you can tailor future product offerings and content to them. Getting that first sale is one thing, keeping them coming back as a matter of brand loyalty; that takes work. 

5. Drive Sales           

Being connected is about switching from offering services to offering solutions.  A stronger connection with a potential customer involves knowing more about them, their wants, their needs, their past purchases, their likely next purchases. You’ll be offering them solutions tailor-made to their needs so closing deals is more frequent.

Get updates on the Chatter Communities Pilot Program.