Building Real-Life Communities with Salesforce Lightning Communities

Acts Retirement-Life Communities is constantly striving to create an exceptional and unique ‘Acts Signature Experience’ for its Residents. This experience is the driving force behind the technologies employed at Acts, and shapes the way CRM Science helps Acts to build and customize Salesforce to meet their needs.

CRM Science began working with Acts in 2013. We’ve built a lot of solutions together, both internal and external, that have enhanced the Resident Experience greatly. One of our earliest projects was a Visualforce Resident Community to help Residents manage Requests (Cases). This community served its purpose, Residents could create Requests, check on the status of their Request, search for other Residents, and communicate via Case Comments with staff.

The Visualforce community greatly enhanced the Resident Experience, and brought speed and transparency to the relationship between Residents and Staff.

But we knew there could be so much more. So looking at Acts’ strategic goals, we began planning a Lightning Community. This new Lightning Community would retain all the functionality of the original community, but add features that would truly make it a daily part of Resident’s lives, and a pivotal part of Life at Acts.

The Lightning Community was designed to serve as so much more than a simple entry and case management scenario, it was designed to be a tool for Residents to communicate with each other, gain knowledge, and truly build their own communities.

We’ve leveraged Knowledge and Topics to bring Residents news about their individual communities, as well as information about Acts as a whole. We’ve used groups to facilitate Resident-Staff communication, and cross-community communication to allow Residents that live halfway across the country from one another to have discussions and search out others that share their interests. Finally, we’ve built out custom Lightning Components to deliver a more-inclusive customized experience to each Resident.

Resident’s are immediately greeted with their recent activity so they can continue their conversations right where they left off. They’re also gently guided to any recommended information they should be seeing. Last we created a custom Lightning banner that greets them by name, and shows them a random image of an Acts Community.

Next we’ve created a full page Lightning Component that allows Residents to navigate to any Community they wish, or to groups that are specific to those Communities.

We were able to save time and money, as well as keep functionality, by taking the best parts of the old Visualforce Community and modifying them for use in the Lightning Community as well.

We’ve created a custom redirect component and added it to the Groups page to make navigating to any Communities groups much easier for the Resident.

The Topics page is the information hub for all things Acts related. This provides Resident’s a centralized location to start their search for Knowledge Articles.

The Discussions page works differently than groups, as it lets Residents start a general discussion that can be seen by any other Resident or Staff member.

On the Resident’s home community pages, we’ve done a lot of work to customize the experience. Some Communities may have multiple campuses, so the custom Lightning Components we’ve created can take that into account and display one, or multiple campuses. We’ve created a custom Lightning Component to track Knowledge Articles that are specific the Community and styled it to look exactly like the Standard Trending Articles component. We’ve also created components to handle displaying of iFrames, images, and other sources of dynamic information on the page.

“Acts Retirement-Life Communities is leveraging a variety of technologies to enable its ‘ACTS Signature Experience’. We have been building real-time service management tools (request/response) on the service cloud and leveraging lightning communities as an engagement container for customer profiles, preferences, interactions, and conversations. We are now beginning to leverage Einstein and Marketing cloud to enrich and intensify the engagement experience. We have partnered with CRM Science as we leverage the evolving platform to provide best of class hospitality and wellness experiences for our residents.” - Peter Kress, VP & CIO

Acts and CRM Science take Acts Resident-Life’s goal of the ‘Acts Signature Experience’ very seriously, and are constantly updating, creating, and monitoring the Lightning Community for feedback. We use CRM Science AI Lab to keep track of the Sentiment of the community and strive improve at every turn.

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CRM Science is a Salesforce Gold Consulting Partner and a Registered Partner. Our strategic consulting services were recognized by Salesforce in four consecutive Salesforce Partner Innovation Awards, an annual recognition for partners that deliver outstanding client success. 

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