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November 16, 2022
Salesforce

What Is Salesforce Experience Cloud?

An overview of the unique capabilities and customization features making Experience Cloud a powerful and versatile tool for businesses.

I. Introduction

Salesforce is leveraged by businesses of all sizes across numerous industries. Its extensive suite of products helps streamline sales, marketing, customer service, and other critical business functions via a cloud-based platform.

One of Salesforce's most notable advancements is Experience Cloud -  an integral part of modern business operations. Experience Cloud enables companies to build and deploy customized digital experiences across various channels, including web, social, mobile, and other emerging touchpoints. With Salesforce's deep expertise in cloud computing and data management, companies can be confident in the security, scalability, and stability of their digital experiences.

II. What is Salesforce Experience Cloud

Experience Cloud is a comprehensive platform integrated into Salesforce that empowers companies to establish a personalized corporate virtual space that aligns with the company style for building online communities and providing a point of contact with customers, partners, or employees. Businesses can create an immersive digital environment for an exceptional customer experience and employee collaboration.

The platform offers a wide array of functionalities such as Experience Builder, Salesforce CMS, Mobile Publisher, and Salesforce suite of web applications. All these tools digitize processes in line with today’s contactless alternatives. For instance, the Experience Builder creates and delivers personalized content, websites, portals, mobile applications, and storefronts that are crucial in engaging and retaining customers and partners.

Experience Cloud enables businesses to build client communities and:

  • strengthen business-to-client relationships
  • immediately respond to inquiries
  • increase the level of customer service personalization.

You can link up independent agents or partners inside the Salesforce Experience Cloud. The Customer 360 platform serves as its foundation and guarantees easy integration with every Salesforce ecosystem product.

Due to its adaptability, Experience Cloud can be integrated with a website, a Salesforce product (such as Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, or Slack), or a third-party system. As a result, data flow becomes much more centralized, which boosts productivity.

Salesforce Community Cloud vs. Salesforce Experience Cloud

In 2010, Salesforce introduced Chatter, a brand-new tool enabling effective platform-wide collaboration. Four years later, the company launched Community Cloud, a full-featured product suite that included Chatter and the ability to develop knowledge centers, websites, and portals (formerly Salesforce Portals).

Salesforce later changed the name of Community Cloud to Experience Cloud in 2021. It clarified that it has outgrown the idea of “a platform for communities” and is now more concerned with improving the online experience.

III. Key Features of Experience Cloud

To start creating digital experiences, leverage the many features of the platform.

  • Customized Digital Experiences are a crucial feature of the Experience Cloud, allowing businesses to develop personalized portals, forums, and sites tailored to their customers' and employees' needs. This helps deliver targeted and relevant content, greatly enhancing engagement and satisfaction.
  • The Mobile Optimization feature is designed to offer seamless UX across all devices, including mobile. Businesses can deliver a consistent and responsive experience to their customers and employees, regardless of their preferred device.
  • The Integration feature is perhaps one of the most powerful features of the Salesforce Experience Cloud. It allows businesses to connect and share data across all Salesforce Clouds to leverage the power of customer data to drive strategic business decisions.
  • AI-driven Insights provides businesses with personalized UX based on data analytics. It uses advanced AI algorithms to analyze customer behavior patterns and preferences, allowing companies to tailor their offerings to specific customer requirements.
  • Content Management is designed to create, manage, and publish content across all their digital channels. This way, businesses produce engaging content with easy-to-use tools tailored to their needs.

IV. Benefits of Using Salesforce Experience Cloud

This innovative platform provides enhanced engagement opportunities for businesses of all sizes. Let’s go over its benefits in detail.

  • It enhances engagement with customers and partners through personalized experiences tailored to each individual's unique needs and preferences. This improved engagement can strengthen relationships and increase loyalty, brand advocacy, and, ultimately, higher revenue.
  • It streamlines operations through a unified platform that integrates multiple external interfaces. Thus, businesses can reduce overhead and improve efficiency by managing all customer and partner interactions in a single, centralized location. This helps simplify and streamline processes, reduce errors, and improve overall performance.
  • Scalability is another key advantage of Salesforce Experience Cloud. This platform is designed to grow and adapt as your business needs change, whether that's through expanding digital experiences to new channels or adding new capabilities and services over time. This flexibility allows companies to predict and respond to changing market conditions, stay ahead of the competition, and drive growth and revenue.
  • Security is a major consideration when managing customer and partner data. Experience Cloud provides a range of robust security features that ensure data safety and privacy, including multi-factor authentication, encryption, and advanced access controls. These measures help protect sensitive information and safeguard against data breaches, giving businesses the peace of mind to focus on building relationships and driving growth.
  • Finally, businesses can expect an increase in ROI when they use Salesforce Experience Cloud. This is partly due to improved user experiences and engagement, leading to higher conversion rates, increased sales, and greater customer retention. Additionally, by streamlining operational efficiencies and leveraging advanced security measures, businesses can reduce costs and improve overall performance, further driving ROI and contributing to long-term success.

V. Use Cases and Implementation Scenarios

The platform provides a range of use cases and implementation scenarios.

Partner Portals

Partner portals are a way to create a streamlined and collaborative relationship with external partners. Users can easily view and manage their partner-specific data, share files, and access the latest product and service information. This streamlines the collaboration process and enhances the overall customer experience.

Customer Forums

Customer Forums offer an opportunity to create vast self-help communities where customers can engage with each other and the company, forming an environment for support, feedback, and contributing to the community's growth. This improves customer loyalty and helps businesses gather insight into customer needs.

Employee Interfaces

Employee Interfaces streamline employee onboarding and training processes. Businesses can easily onboard new hires, provide access to training materials, and track progress. This helps improve the overall engagement and skill development processes of the staff.

VI. Integrating Experience Cloud with Other Salesforce Solutions

Experience Cloud can serve as a central hub for businesses when integrated with other Salesforce products.

Integrating Experience Cloud with Sales and Service Cloud delivers a seamless data flow across the platforms. Customer service representatives and sales teams access crucial client information from a single source, enabling them to personalize interactions across touchpoints. The integration also facilitates the effective tracking of customer interactions through various channels, which is critical in giving customers the relevant information and personalized experience they desire.

In combination with Einstein Analytics, the platform delivers more profound insights into customer behavior. Einstein Analytics can analyze data from multiple sources, including social media, to provide valuable insights to help businesses optimize their customer experiences to align with customer preferences and better meet their needs.

Integrating the Experience Cloud with Marketing Cloud enables businesses to create data-driven, targeted marketing campaigns for their customers due to detailed insights into customer behavior. Thus, companies can create highly personalized experiences and deliver relevant content that speaks directly to their target audience. This approach results in improved customer loyalty, increased customer satisfaction, and a better return on investment for marketing efforts.

VII. Comparing Experience Cloud with Other Digital Experience Platforms

Let’s highlight some of the critical differences between Salesforce Experience Cloud and other digital experience platforms to help you decide which is best suited for your organization.

Salesforce Experience Cloud is built on Salesforce's extensive ecosystem, which includes sales, marketing, service, and commerce clouds. This makes it easier for organizations to integrate and unify customer data from different departments and channels. It also supports third-party integrations through the Salesforce AppExchange, making it easier for businesses to extend its functionality.

Salesforce Experience Cloud vs. Oracle Advertising and Customer Experience (CX)

Oracle Advertising and Customer Experience (CX) is an enterprise-level software suite that includes tools that allow businesses to target and engage with customers across multiple channels, including social, email, and mobile. It is a comprehensive solution that offers analytics, personalization, and automation capabilities to help businesses deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time.

When comparing Salesforce Experience Cloud to Oracle Advertising and Customer Experience (CX), several key differences exist to consider. First, Salesforce Experience Cloud focuses on enabling businesses to offer exceptional digital customer experiences. Its features are built around self-service portals, social media engagement, and e-commerce functionality, to name a few. Meanwhile, Oracle Advertising and Customer Experience (CX) focuses on enabling businesses to deliver personalized customer experiences across all channels. Its features include targeted advertising, customer data management, and sophisticated analytics capabilities.

Another key difference between the two platforms is pricing. Salesforce Experience Cloud is known for its scalable pricing model, which makes it a popular choice for businesses of all sizes. Meanwhile, Oracle Advertising and Customer Experience (CX) is generally considered a more expensive option, making it better suited for larger enterprises.

The choice between the two ultimately depends on your business's unique needs and goals. If you're primarily interested in offering digital self-service and e-commerce experiences, then Salesforce Experience Cloud is likely the better option. However, if you're focused on delivering personalized experiences across all channels, then Oracle Advertising and Customer Experience (CX) may be the better choice.

Salesforce Experience Cloud vs. Adobe Experience Manager

Adobe Experience Manager is a content management system to help create, manage, and deliver digital content across multiple channels. It offers various tools and functionalities for content creation, management, and delivery, including content workflow management, digital asset management, and content delivery network services. It allows businesses to create and deliver personalized experiences based on customer analytics and insights.

One significant difference between Salesforce Experience Cloud and Adobe Experience Manager is that Salesforce is a SaaS (Software as a Service) product, while Adobe Experience Manager is an on-premise software solution (although Adobe does offer a cloud-based version called Adobe Experience Manager as a Cloud Service). Businesses that choose Salesforce can benefit from automatic updates, lower implementation costs, and an easy-to-use platform requiring less technical expertise. On the other hand, companies that go with Adobe Experience Manager will need an IT team to manage the software and ensure that it is up-to-date and running smoothly.

Adobe Experience Manager relies on its integration with Adobe's Creative Cloud, allowing organizations to create and manage content consistent with their brand while delivering a visually engaging customer experience across all channels. Adobe Experience Manager also features built-in analytics and optimization tools, enabling organizations to track digital marketing performance and optimize campaigns. It allows creating, managing, and delivering digital experiences across all channels, including websites, mobile apps, email campaigns, and social media.

Salesforce Experience Cloud vs. Progress Sitefinity

Progress Sitefinity is a modern CMS offering web content management, marketing automation, and e-commerce capabilities in one platform. The solution empowers businesses to create and deliver engaging digital experiences to their customers while simplifying the process of managing and optimizing content.

In terms of ease of use and flexibility, Salesforce Experience Cloud provides a user-friendly interface that allows users to quickly create and deploy personalized experiences without requiring extensive coding skills. It also offers a range of pre-built templates that businesses can use to launch portals and sites rapidly. On the other hand, Progress Sitefinity provides a more customizable experience for developers, enabling them to create highly personalized experiences through deep integrations and custom coding.

Regarding pricing and scalability, both Salesforce Experience Cloud and Progress Sitefinity offer flexible pricing models that allow businesses to customize their usage based on their needs. Salesforce Experience Cloud provides a range of pricing options based on the number of users and features required. At the same time, Progress Sitefinity offers a range of subscription plans based on the number of sites and pages needed.

VIII. The Future Outlook for Salesforce Experience Cloud

With the rise of digital transformation, many companies have turned to Experience Cloud to offer seamless digital experiences to their stakeholders. So, what does the future hold for Salesforce Experience Cloud?

Based on current digital experience platform trends, it is safe to predict that Experience Cloud will continue to grow in popularity. The COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated the adoption of digital solutions, and businesses are now realizing the importance of providing a cohesive and engaging digital experience to their customers and employees. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2025, 70% of organizations will use digital experience platforms to provide a personalized experience to their stakeholders.

One tred likely to shape the future of digital experience platforms, including Experience Cloud, is the use of AI and machine learning (ML) technologies. These technologies can help businesses personalize content and recommend actions to users based on their behavior and preferences. Experience Cloud already offers AI-powered features, such as Einstein Recommendations, but we can expect to see even more advanced AI capabilities in the coming years.

Another trend is the convergence of digital experience platforms with other enterprise systems, such as CRM and marketing automation. This convergence allows businesses to provide a seamless end-to-end experience for their customers and employees. Thanks to its integration with the broader Salesforce ecosystem, Salesforce Experience Cloud is well-positioned to take advantage of this trend.

In terms of how Experience Cloud might evolve in the coming years, we expect to see a continued focus on personalization, mobile optimization, and integrations with other enterprise systems. Additionally, we can expect to see more advanced AI and ML capabilities and more sophisticated analytics and reporting features.

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