A New Era for the B2B Extranet: The B2B Community

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The B2B Community

Why use B2B Communities? Times have changed. As projects intended to improve internal business processes have matured, companies are beginning to look at ways they can improve interactions with their external relationships. Our favorite software vendors, like Salesforce, have been quick to answer the call. They offer a wide variety of contemporary tools, built on powerful cloud platforms that integrate to existing ecosystems. But how do these new tools actually benefit us?

Internets, Intranets, and Extranets, “oh my!”

First, businesses must understand the difference between the internet, the intranet, and the community (formerly known as the extranet), in order to maximize the way they use these systems. Said simply, they are distinct types of information-sharing networks; the greatest differences being the user’s role, their unique use of the network, and the security that drives their experience.  

In B2B terms, the internet is designed to attract and educate via a public website. It imposes no restriction on access, and any visitor may have the same experience. Both intranets and communities limit access to visitors and may provide a unique engagement designed for that visitor’s role. Intranets typically serve all or a subset of internal company employees, while a community creates a bridge between internal company employees, and their customers or partners. Most importantly, the community is designed to drive customer engagement.

Building in a B2B Community?

Building a B2B Community begins with understanding the attributes of your user base and creating an inventory of their interactions (or use-cases) with your company. There are three core types of users that use B2B Communities: customers, partners (or vendors), employees.

 In a B2B relationship, your Community can act as an extension of a well-orchestrated employee- customer experience by continuing your brand interactions in a controlled environment. When selecting which interactions to address, you will need to consider both value and expectations. Value is bidirectional - Look for ways to reduce routine tasks while increasing customer satisfaction. By identifying interactions and needs shared across each user persona, you can prioritize use-cases that bring value to all stakeholders.

Here, we take a look at some of the most common interactions:

 

The Value Is in the Interaction

The value of this technology lies in the interactions you select to extend via the B2B Community. Begin your design with 3 use-cases per user role, and concentrate on these core interactions, creating rich, personalized self-serve experiences.

You will quickly see the advantages in a variety of cost-reducing results, and in the flexibility and adeptness needed to evolve your external engagement strategy. Vendors like Salesforce support these agile communities which serve your customers, partners and employees - with Kredo Solutions your business can harness the tremendous value of a Salesforce Community, personalized to your solve your business challenges.

 We Are Here to Help!

B2B Communities, like Salesforce Community Cloud, provide tangible value by increasing productivity, and reducing cost of overhead and time-to-market. Even greater, Communities provide flexibility, speed, and ease of use - extending and enhancing your premium customer and partner experience. At Kredo Solutions, we have vast knowledge of the core use-cases that impact a B2B relationship and how extend them via a Community.

Are you ready to explore the possibilities of a Salesforce Communities for your business? Contact us for a free limited-time offer assessment.