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How We Deliver Salesforce Communities Without Giving Up Vacation

Delivering on a project like this is one that makes the whole team feel good. But how do you do this while still maintaining your sanity, let alone a life outside of work?

Obstacle: Faced with a Super-Tight Deadline but it’s a Great Opportunity

OpenTable heard about our community expertise and came to us in a tight spot. If they didn’t get their two new communities up and running within twelve weeks, they risked a major financial and technical setback.

The reason that they were in such a rush was that their user licenses were expiring on both of their live Lithium communities. They’d either have to renew or extend their community licensing, both of which would have been extremely cost prohibitive. Setting up just one customer community within this timeframe weeks is already ambitious, and we had another variable to deal with: Family Vacation.

Biggest Variable: Vacation in the Middle

We are all human and pre-planned vacations are part of the work/life balance. Since Perficient is a company that respects our right to a personal life and family time, we seamlessly covered the absence with a (complimentary) resource without missing a beat. Instead of feeling guilty for leaving, we feel supported during that time off and confident in our colleagues the work will be done to our high standards.

When the primary resource came back, the torch was passed smoothly and with a minimal knowledge transfer. (I can include a stat sheet for monetary benefits of happy employees. Tweet us at @PRFTSalesforce if you’d like it!) OpenTable was floored by this transition and how smooth it went.

Because time away with your family is important, too.

Keys to Delivering Projects Without Losing Your Mind

Deep Customer Education and Explicit Brand Alignment

Gaining full understanding of the OpenTable branding standards and guidelines were paramount in not only gaining the trust of their branding team but also to keep us moving forward when presenting the various stages of the UI mockups. By respectfully leveraging OpenTable’s stock photos, font-stack, color palette, spacing, and iconography, we were able to gain the trust of the primary stakeholders, as well as their branding department.

A Large Inventory of Options Up Front Enabled Quicker Sign Off

With that momentum, we created several iterations of the community mockups for all key pages (in both desktop and mobile) and made modifications based on client feedback, branding collaboration, best practices, and usability. After a few rounds of mockups, each bringing us closer to the final look and feel, the user interface (UI) was signed off giving us a clear visual roadmap to confidently build each community within the Salesforce Customer Service Template.

“Working Smarter, Not Harder” Explained

We started by building the diner community first. The layout for this was a bit simpler than the restaurant community. This allowed us to work through the technical and styling kinks (yes, these things do naturally happen, but you fix them) while establishing a base theme in Salesforce Customer Service Template before moving into the more complex UI for restaurateurs.

Click to see the diner community live: help.opentable.com

Unique Theme Cuts Down on Styling Conflicts

We also decided to build a unique theme per Salesforce Community to allow for a custom look and feel, tailor assets, and community-specific theme types. All this culminated in an easy-to-maintain solution and significantly reduced the risk of styling and Lighting Component conflicts within each Salesforce Community.

Out-of-the-Box Lightning Components

We always recommend utilizing out-of-the-box Lightning Components vs. custom Lightning Components when possible. That way there’s less long-term maintenance and, like OpenTable, businesses can benefit from new releases. Therefore, the majority of the Lightning Components are standard but made to look custom buy modifying it with CSS.

Putting the Salesforce Community Builder to Work — Ooh La La!

Oh yeah, did we mention that each community was available in five languages? This was achieved with translations workbench, custom labels, and component attributes within the Salesforce Community Builder. This process was optimized by OpenTable and Perficient keeping a careful list of all the translations needed, what their statuses were in the process, and what modality they were implemented in to ensure every language was in place when we went live. Whew, try and say that in five languages. 🙂

Click here to see the live restaurant community: support.opentable.com

The Surprising Outcome

The great news is that we went live with both Salesforce Communities ahead of schedule! This accomplishment of two communities in record time was cause for a little internal celebration.

But wait, there’s more…

Due to our amazing teams (on both sides), we had some additional bandwidth to add a few wish list items to each community that came up during the build. This was a huge plus since it made each community that much more robust, engaging, and intuitive to use.

Connections 2018, Here We Come!

These communities were such a hit we were invited to two different Community Cloud-focused panels at Connections 2018 in Chicago (#CNX18). Make sure to check in with us at our sessions if you are there!

Making the Community Even Better

Since our initial launch, we’ve been working continuously with OpenTable to improve the diner and restaurant community with Lightning Components, pages, and integrating new release features. In fact, we recently built and added custom components such as a deflection modal, variable contact phone number per region, product specific pages, custom alerts, and much more.

The Biggest Takeaway: Active Listening

The success of this project was achieved by truly listening to the branding needs and standards and then finding the “sweet spot” between the custom OpenTable friendly UI and what Salesforce Communities does best. We were happy to facilitate!

Have you tried the Salesforce Customer Community Builder yet? Let us know what you think.

 

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