Experience Cloud
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Authenticated vs. unauthenticated experiences

Salesforce Experience Cloud, previously known as Salesforce Community Cloud, offers a platform for creating connected digital experiences for customers, partners, and employees. These experiences can be either authenticated or unauthenticated, depending on the use case and the required level of access and personalization.

This blog will cover authenticated, unauthenticated, and blended experiences and show you when to use them.

What are authenticated experiences?

Authenticated experiences in Salesforce Experience Cloud require users to log in with credentials. Logins are essential for use cases where personalization, security, and access to specific data are needed. 

Use cases for authenticated experiences

Below, we cover how organizations can use different types of authenticated experiences. 

Customer support portals: You can use Salesforce Experience Cloud to create a customer support portal. It allows your customers to log in and access support for tailored products they own. They can also view their case history, interact with support agents, and find knowledge articles to help them. 

Partner relationship management: You can create a dedicated portal for partners to access sales tools, leads, and opportunities. Partner portals can also find training materials and collaborate on deals within a secure environment. 

Employee communities: Salesforce Experience Cloud can be a hub where employees can access internal resources, collaborate with colleagues, manage tasks, and find personalized HR information, including benefits and payroll details.

Learning Management Systems (LMS): While Salesforce Experience Cloud is not typically known as a Learning Management System, some organizations customize it for educational purposes. Some companies use it to provide training modules to employees or partners, track their progress, and offer certifications. 

B2B Ecommerce: Salesforce Experience Cloud is not primarily an eCommerce platform. However, Salesforce users often use it to enhance their eCommerce experience in combination with Commerce Cloud. Your company can view order histories, track shipments, and more with a customized portal. 

What are unauthenticated experiences?

Unauthenticated experiences do not require users to log in. These Salesforce Experience Cloud sites are accessible to a broader audience. Unauthenticated experiences are ideal when information is general and does not need to be user-specific. 

Use cases for unauthenticated experiences.

Public knowledge bases: Unauthenticated experiences are great for using FAQs, articles, and how-tos on products and services. Public knowledge bases can serve as a centralized place where your users can search for solutions to common issues, learn about product features, and follow step-by-step guides without needing to sign in or contact customer support.

Event information: Create a platform for event organizers to build pages detailing their upcoming events. These pages include essential information such as event schedules, speaker profiles, location details, and ticket purchasing options. Attendees can find events relevant to their interests and access all necessary information in one place.

Product catalogs: Showcase your products in Experience Cloud. Each product page can contain detailed descriptions, pricing information, customer reviews, and shipping details. Customers can browse and compare products and make informed purchasing decisions.

Marketing website: Unauthenticated Experience Cloud sites are easy to update. They create awareness and match your brand’s look and feel. And you don’t need an IT squad to make quick changes to content or replace imagery. 

Community forums: Create a space where users can read content, participate in discussions, and learn from other members. These spaces provide a sense of community and serve as a destination for peer-to-peer support and knowledge sharing.

Navigating authenticated and unauthenticated experiences

How do you chart your course through these options? Start with the unauthenticated experience, casting a wide net to engage and inform. When the time is right, invite your audience into the authenticated world for a more personalized experience and access to exclusive content. In many cases, blending these worlds creates a seamless journey, evolving from general awareness to intimate engagement, deepening the user’s bond with your brand.

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