Community Cloud Winter 19 Updates Are Here

10/17/2018 by Crystal Saetern
An overview of new features for Community Cloud that have been rolled out from the Winter ‘19 release.

Winter is here! It may not seem like it for those in sunny California like myself, but for Salesforce orgs, Winter ‘19 updates are very much here and thriving. Salesforce completed their winter rollouts on October 12th, so many of you have already seen the awesomeness of the new features, especially for Community Cloud. Let’s take a look at some of my favorite features for Community Cloud that have already proven useful and some other features that I definitely plan to use in the future. Favorite features are grouped by options for more sharing, options for being more organized, and options for more fun.

Options for More Sharing

Use Sharing Sets with All Customer and Partner Licenses

Orgs with Customer Community Licenses no longer have to contemplate how they would replicate their record-sharing requirements if they ended up upgrading to a different community license type. Prior to this release, sharing sets were only available to Customer Community License types, so upgrading to any other license type would mean losing all of those sharing sets.

Now there is no more wondering how to reproduce those specific record-sharing needs that were so well satisfied with sharing sets. This is also a win for Customer Community Plus and Partner Community licenses because sharing sets can expand their record access to more than what sharing rules or roles could do. Sharing Sets allow you to give community users access to records that have a lookup to their community user’s Contact record within the desired record.

An example would be if a caseworker is a community user and wanted to follow the trajectory of their client but cannot be the owner of their client’s Account or Contact records because they need to be owned by someone from a host organization. This rules out owner-based sharing rules for the caseworker and criteria-based sharing wouldn’t fit the requirement for this caseworker. In this scenario, we put a Contact lookup field for the caseworker on the client’s Account record, added some automation for filling in that Contact lookup field, used a sharing set to open up access to the caseworker, and voilà, access is granted. The pandora box for sharing records in the community have now been unleashed.

Use Sharing Sets with Campaigns, Opportunities, and Orders (Beta)

But wait, there is even more to be said about Winter ‘19 sharing sets. You can now give community users access to their Campaigns, Opportunities, and Orders using sharing sets. Prior to this release, the main objects you could give community users access to via sharing sets were Accounts, Assets, Cases, and Custom Objects. This is currently still in beta phase, so you’ll have to reach out to Salesforce Customer Support to enable this feature.

Options for Being More Organized

Filter Search Results in Communities

This feature allows community users to narrow their search results based on specific objects and on knowledge articles. To my surprise, this option was not previously available. This is particularly useful if you want your search bar to only filter out articles, or if you want your users to have a better search experience. With knowledge and self-service being such a huge reason organizations want to have Communities for their external users, this ability to focus search results will definitely make user adoption easier.

Enjoy the Give and Take of Discussions in Your Feed

Threaded discussions for the win! This is a great new feature that helps better organize the many questions and conversations that take place in the community feeds, and make it much more sustainable. This feature also updated the notifications; when you click on the link in an email to a thread, it takes you directly to the answer rather than to the top of the thread which would require you to scroll back through the many responses to find the targeted answer you were looking for.

Display Related lists with More Precision

External users who come into a Community want a targeted and quick way to find what they’re looking for. This updated feature to display a Related List - Single component to an object page addresses that issue so you can target what related list records you show to the community user. Instead of the long list of Related records that can clutter the page layout, the community user can find what they’re looking for with fewer clicks.

All the Community Content Features in One Workspace Location

This updated Content Management tile in the Community Workspace has been particularly helpful for me, as it made it easy to find everything needed for content and topic management. All the tabs needed for managing content, your topics and recommendations, and CMS connect feeds are all in one place. This may seem small, but having this centralized space made it easier for learning and training others on how to manage their content in the community, especially with managing their topics and recommendations.

Options for More Fun

Keep Members Engaged with Recognition Badges (Generally Available) 

Keeping in line with the fun and gamification options that the Salesforce ecosystem offers, badges are now also an option for communities. Recognition Badges are now available for community members. Community Managers can turn on Recognition Badges to encourage engagement by thanking users, welcoming them, giving them positive affirmations, and creating custom messages.

Award Recognition Badges with the New Give Badge Button

To keep the positive affirmation train going, you are also now able to give community users the ability to Give Badges to other community users by enabling that on their user profile.

Suggest Actions and Offers to Community Members (Pilot)

And last but not least, there is a new Suggested Actions component that you can add to your community. I have this last because it’s a fun tool but not necessarily available for everyone just yet, as it is part of the Einstein Next Best Action pilot. It is only available for those invited to be part of the Pilot, but I still think it is interesting enough to highlight. This feature provides suggestions or propositions, such as providing a common action or a special offer to something related to your community. So for example, if you have a special promo on seasonal coffee and a community user has been looking up a lot of coffee options in your community, this Suggested Action component can pop up that special promo you want to highlight for the seasonal coffee. It  launches a flow, and if the user accepts the suggested offer, it takes them through the next steps of the flow. I put this in the “more fun” category since there has been so much energy around Einstein and I believe this is another feature to fuel that excitement.

To see the full list of releases for Communities, see the Salesforce Winter ‘19 Release Notes.

What are you favorite features for Community Cloud from the Winter ‘19 release? Let me hear your thoughts in the comments below, in the Trailblazer Community, or tweet @ArkusInc or directly at me on Twitter @CrystalSaetern.




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