Salesforce has been helping sales reps of all sorts of companies for more than twenty years now. Over time, it has successfully occupied the position of one of the most reliable and efficient CRM platforms in the world.
Salesforce is a pretty vast platform with several components. On getting Salesforce implemented, you will be provided with an array of different tools, platforms, add-ons, and applications. Each of these components has a specific function to perform and the users should be well aware of the same.
This vast and multi-layered nature of Salesforce may result in queries, confusion, and a variety of other issues faced by the customers. Salesforce users may require reliable support from the experts at different stages of implementation, which is provided by the Salesforce Customer Portal.
What Is Salesforce Customer Portal?
Salesforce Customer Portal is the platform where Salesforce customers/clients can share the issues faced by them and get the same resolved effectively. Here, they can submit their respective inquiries and get their cases resolved in an efficient and satisfactory manner. Salesforce Customer Portal extends the personalized nature of Salesforce services. Through this platform, every customer can obtain personalized solutions that are unique to their business and serve their unique requirements.
Customer Portal is one of three major Salesforce portals designed for the Salesforce community – Self-service Portal, Partner Portal, and Customer Portal. Self-service Portal, as the name suggests, is an interactive platform where different Salesforce customers can get together, share their queries, and get their issues resolved by themselves.
The Self-service Portal is suitable for solving nominal issues for which the customers are not willing to wait for a long time to get their cases considered and resolved by the experts. Salesforce Partner Portal is a platform designed for Salesforce Partners to have a common meeting ground and interact with each other regarding matters common to each other.
Out of all these Salesforce portals, the Customer Portal involves Salesforce support helping the customers solve their specific issues by providing them with an ideal interface with functionality that is similar to that of salesforce.com.
Features Of Salesforce Customer Portal
Salesforce Customer Portal comes with a variety of features that help the clients obtain quality assistance from the professionals.
The Customer Portal comes with a self-service functionality that readily integrates with your existing website or back-end system. The portal also allows you to integrate with Salesforce Service Cloud for the best management of customer cases.
With seamless case management and a provision for Salesforce Knowledge, Solutions, and Answers, Salesforce Customer Portal allows you to route your customer cases to the right agents and get them solves faster.
Running Customisable Reports
The portal allows Salesforce users to run extensive customized reports. This helps the users to keep a track of their activities, know the nature of their issues, and check the effectiveness of the solutions provided.
Access To CRM Content
As mentioned earlier, Salesforce Customer Portal helps you in providing personalized solutions to the issues faced by your customer. This is done by giving you access to the CRM content of the concerned customer.
These details help in getting a 360-degree view of a customer and a better understanding of their needs, preferences, and their engagement with the organization. This information further improves the quality of Salesforce support provided.
As the name suggests, Salesforce Ideas is an interactive platform where Salesforce users and clients can share creative ideas pertaining to any aspect revolving around Salesforce.
Customer Portal allows the customers to participate in this community for sharing innovative ideas that improve the functionality of the platform and the manner in which customer cases are handled. It is very likely that an idea provided by a customer for resolving a specific issue would help other users and clients in handling their own cases better.
Creating Customer Profiles
Salesforce Customer Portal allows you to create profiles having customizable layouts, list views, and reliable field-level security. Moreover, it provides access to custom Salesforce objects for displaying and collecting relevant information for custom applications.
Effective User Management
The portal facilitates automated and efficient user management with profiles, roles, and sharing rules. It also facilitates a more efficient login through a single sign-on feature.
Salesforce Customer Portal vs Salesforce Partner Portal
It is important to understand the difference between the Customer Portal and Partner Portal in Salesforce. While Salesforce Customer Portal is dedicated to resolving customer problems by the experts, Partner Portal is a platform developed for Salesforce partners to interact with each other.
Here is how Salesforce Customer Portal is different from the Partner Portal:
The primary purpose of the Salesforce Partner Portal is to show leads, opportunities, cases, and other relevant details to the Salesforce partners. On the other hand, the primary purpose of the Customer Portal is to provide personalized solutions to the problems faced by the clients.
As the name suggests, the Partner Portal is designed for different Salesforce partners (consultants, investors, and other third parties) to use and be a part of. On the other hand, Salesforce Customer Portal is designed for the end customers and clients availing of Salesforce services.
The Partner Portal is more expensive than the Customer Portal. This is primarily because the Partner Portal provides more CRM access to the users as compared to Salesforce Customer Portal.
The Partner Portal allows you to provide specific role-based access to other partners on the portal. On the other hand, no such access can be provided to other customers on the customer portal.
How To Enable Customer Portal In Salesforce?
If you are willing to offer personalized and wholesome customer support to the clients you cater to, you can enable Salesforce Customer Portal by following these simple steps:
Firstly, go to Setup and look for Customer Portal Settings in the Quick Find Box.
Once the Customer Portal Settings are displayed, click on the option of “Edit”, followed by clicking on “Enable Customer Portal”.
Now, click on “Save” and continue setting up your portal according to your specific requirements.
View the Customer Portal you set up in the previous step and confirm the changes you made. You have now enabled your Customer Portal.
How To Enable Customer Portal For Contacts
Follow these simple steps of you want to enable Salesforce Customer Portal for your contacts:
Firstly, ensure that an account owner is associated with a role for enabling Customer Portal or transferring portal users to the contacts of their account. Also, make sure that the Site.com Publisher user field is enabled on the User Details page.
Once you have met all the prerequisites, go to the Contact Details page and click on the option of “Manage External User”. Now, click on “Enable Customer User.”
After clicking on “Enable Customer User”, you will be required to verify the general information and locale settings. If there is any missing information, enter the same. Remember that the username of the concerned customer will be the same as their email address by default.
Now, you need to select a portal user license. It is important to choose a suitable license as it affects the user profile, permission sets, and the role hierarchy options you can select for the concerned customer.
Once you have chosen the portal user license, save your action. The concerned user will immediately receive an email on their registered id with their Customer Portal username and password.
Now, go back to the Contact Details page and click on “Manage External User.” Now, select the option of “Log in to Portal as a User.”
Your Salesforce Customer Portal is now enabled for the concerned contact. You can view the portal and confirm your setup.
Limits Of Salesforce Customer Portal
There are specific limitations pertaining to the Salesforce Customer Portal that are important for a Salesforce user to understand. These limits are mainly concerned with custom objects, portal roles, and Salesforce person accounts.
Here are some of the key limits to the Customer Portal, which are essentially the number of Customer Portal and user licenses that can be activated within salesforce.com:
1. Depending on the Salesforce edition you have subscribed to, you can include the maximum number of custom objects in your Customer Portal allowed in the said edition.
2. You cannot add more than 1,000 person account portal users to your Salesforce Customer Portal.
3. You cannot add more than 5,000 portal roles to your Customer Portal.
Salesforce Customer Portal is an essential platform for providing a meeting ground to different customers, share their problems, receive solutions, and provide innovative ideas on an interactive forum.
It extends the automated functionality of the CRM platform and provides personalized solutions to specific issues faced by the clients. With the help of the Customer Portal, your customer executives can streamline their services, leveraging the overall performance of the platform.