Skip to main content


Organizational Change Management for Salesforce Communities

The Need for Change Management

When implementing Salesforce Community Cloud for external users, companies don’t always implement the same Organizational Change Management (OCM) related activities as they do for their internal users. By applying OCM techniques to any aspect of the customer or partner journey, project stakeholders can better achieve their vision for building a customer or partner community.

OCM Approach

Communities membership can range from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands members. Regardless of size, there are a number of factors that can influence the successful launch of a new community. Humans by nature, are resistant to change. Managing that change and the technology impacts on the user experience is critical, and hence the need for OCM as part of your community strategy. One of the most important aspects of OCM is communication. What is the most appropriate way to identify key messages and their timing? What delivery channels should I use to inform customers or partners of the coming changes?

Step 1

Start with your marketing organization. Seek help from the group that typically communicates on behalf of your brand across multiple channels and at events, both in-person and online. They will suggest ways to stimulate online conversations and interact effectively with your users to increase awareness and engagement in the community.

Step 2

Develop an OCM approach for your organization if you don’t have one already.  First determine an overall business rationale for the new community initiative. This will serve as the foundation for OCM themes and activities moving forward.

Step 3

Identify external stakeholder groups for the purposes of targeting specific communications and goals to support the project implementation.  This includes assessing stakeholders’ current understanding, impact, and desired disposition of the new solution.

Based on the previous steps, you will be ready to develop and execute a plan to support the launch of your new community.

OCM Best Practices Applied

NextGen Healthcare, a leading provider of integrated electronic health records (EHR) and practice management systems, was looking to reduce overall operating costs and enhance its support operations as part of its growth plan.  The company chose to implement Salesforce Customer Community in order to bring transparency, self-service and collaboration to its customers.

The Change Management group teamed-up early on with the marketing department.  They developed a focused communication plan to prepare their 20,000 customers for the change. The team initially surveyed their top-tier customers, which uncovered the importance of maintaining realistic expectations and helped create the framework for an educational campaign.

NextGen provided an entire pathway to the new Success Community complete with resources to enable users. The marketing-led campaign involved:

  • Enhancements to the company website to centralize communications and access to readiness resources about the new community
  • Short training videos were recorded and hosted on the site
  • A webinar schedule was published and key documentation was posted
  • A marketing email campaign sent scheduled communications to steer customers to this site and to the wealth of resources being organized to support their transition
  • Open web conference lines were set-up to allow customers to call in and get immediate answers to their questions (during the week prior/after the launch)

Key to NextGen’s campaign was to reiterate to customers how the new Success Community would benefit them by:

  1. Enhancing their access to relevant, critical information about product releases, known issues, and help articles
  2. Receiving quicker communication on and resolution of their support issues
  3. Adding the ability to collaborate with other customers
  4. Providing a one-stop shop for all their support needs

The campaign, and the new Success Community itself, demonstrated that the company was looking out for their customers’ best interests and sought to put their needs front and center.

By centralizing knowledge and adding self-service support to its customer service arsenal, we helped NextGen reduce case resolution times by 50 percent, increased case deflection by 14 percent, and increased customer satisfaction scores by 31 percent.  An effective OCM program was key to realizing these business outcomes.


For Salesforce Community Cloud projects, it is critical to provide OCM activities for both internal and external users.  Through some modifications to the approach for a customer or partner-facing community, you can properly set expectations about your new initiative.  By doing so, you will create and drive user awareness, desire, and engagement for your project.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Dave Carreon

More from this Author

Follow Us