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How To Set Up Customer Communities in Salesforce

Customers often share ideas on their own, but an online customer community can provide a powerful mechanism for inviting your customers to proactively weigh in, and yield more powerful results.  

We harnessed the power of Salesforce and the flexibility of Lightning Communities, components, custom page layouts, and themes to easily customize the experience in a community to surface the most relevant and innovative ideas from customers — and you can, too!

Introducing Customer Communities

Get started with IdeaCentral for Customers

IdeaCentral for Customers Top Features

Lightning-Quick Setup

Deploying the Lightning Bolt-powered solution is as simple as enabling Salesforce Ideas, installing and configuring Idea Zone, and applying the template to your community. Beyond that, you have access to robust custom branding abilities which go above and beyond the Salesforce Community Builder’s standard Branding Editor features. You can also modify any of the Idea Zone components to meet your specific needs. All that’s left to do then is publish!

User Experience

Easily create a customer community that is idea-centric, yet flexible enough to add other functionality to meet your users’ needs. Adding discussions, articles or cases is as simple as creating a new standard or custom object pages, and applying the theme to a community page.

Community Pages

Included is a pre-built, idea-centric homepage complete with functionality designed to accelerate customer engagement and provide valuable product and services feedback or valuable business insights in your community. The idea detail page provides ways for users to comment and vote on the idea. All other pages are left as-is for you to customize as you see fit. With our custom theme, you can apply the same theme to any page for a consistent user experience across the entire community.


In addition to the complete set of widgets (components) baked directly into the community template, we added the Idea Zone Styles feature. This is where you will make additional community branding enhancements like change the background color or image, the header and footer color and opacity, and even the tab colors of a standard component. We’ve also given you the ability to hide or show the global community search. What’s the best part? No knowledge of coding or CSS is required so users can make design adjustments on the fly!

Community Experts

Out of the box, Salesforce Ideas historically allowed users to select a group of people to be identified as the subject-matter experts for a given idea “zone.” Before, experts were identified by a small uneditable “expert” icon next to their profile image in the community. With our app, we’ve updated the pixelated icon to a be a modern banner and customizable label to identify experts (Hero, Pro, etc.). Experts also now have the ability to edit the status of ideas that fall into their zone from inside a Lightning Community.

Are you ready to tap into your customer-base to see what ideas they have to improve your business? We are here to answer all of your questions.

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Marisa Lather, Marketing Manager

Marisa Lather is the Employment Branding Marketing Manager at Perficient and is proudly dedicated to developing the Perficient culture. Known as @MarketerMarisa, she is a data-driven design thinker who specializes in creating aesthetic brand experiences that delight. With an inbound marketing specialization in multimedia content creation and engagement, she develops and executes omnichannel campaigns, blending online and offline worlds to create data-informed content and affinity-building experiences for brands. She is actively engaged in the national marketing community, blogs about modern business, personal development, marketing, and more at, and speaks at conferences around the country. Connect with Marisa on LinkedIn and follow @MarketerMarisa on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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