In June of 2020, Slack introduced Slack Connect, a new facet to Slack that allows companies to connect with their customers, partners, and vendors. Through Slack Connect, teams are able to personalize their business communication and streamline collaboration with clients.
When you are connected with customers via Slack, you can say goodbye to spammy email communication, and build one team spirit between you and your customers. Everything is done in real-time, which means answers are provided faster and work is completed more efficiently. Businesses that use Slack for client communication say that customer relationships have become more friendly and responsive in nature. However, they are all concerned about meeting their customers' expectations in a timely fashion. Which in some cases, led companies to revert back to using the classical ticketing and service management solutions.
TL;DR Using classical ticketing services to support Slack connection with customers - breaks the conversation flow and the community spirit that Slack helps you to establish.
It is essential to use a Slack native app that can help you handle the long tail of the requests and keep a vibrant conversation. Complex issues should be escalated to your ticketing system like Zendesk, Salesforce or Jira.
In the graphic shown above, we have illustrated the break in communication flow that occurs when teams using Slack switch over to Zendesk or Salesforce to continue support. Zendesk and Salesforce are more one-on-one with their support, so one member from the customer team has to break off and file a ticket. This removes the ability to solve problems collaboratively across vendor and customer teams, and keeps the resolution “hidden” from all team members.
The advantage of ticketing systems
Zendesk and Salesforce Service Cloud share the following principles:
One user explicitly opens a ticket via email, form or an in-app experience. Their team is not part of it.
A service agent is assigned to the ticket and uses their experience and knowledge base to reply.
There could be few iterations via email until the ticket is resolved.
The main advantage to this approach is the clear ownership and orderly process management set forth.
However, because one agent is assigned to one ticket, there is no room for other team members on both the vendor and customer side to jump in and assist. Also, the team conversation flow is broken by asking people to switch environments and open a ticket via email or form.
Benefits of using Slack Connect
There are several benefits to using Slack Connect for client communication. Here are a few key benefits worth noting:
1. Quick Turnaround on issues - small or big
SaaS companies and clients have the ability to get things done faster than ever before with the help of Slack. Key decisions can be made quicker and with ease, issues can be resolved more efficiently, and meetings can be held at a moment’s notice.
2. The Power of Collaboration
According to our data, over 20% of the issues that were raised by customers were resolved entirely by the customer team. Another 55% of the issues raised by customers were resolved by both the SaaS vendor company and customer teams, and about 25% of the issues were addressed exclusively by the vendor. That 55% goes to show that the true magic lies in solving problems through collaboration, with Slack Connect facilitating this form of customer support.
3. Great for Remote Work Environments
If you have a full or partial remote team, Slack can be a great all-in-one solution for business communication. Additionally, in-person meetings with clients are not necessary, as meetings can be held right in the platform via video. In these uncertain times with a looming virus, this is needed more than ever.
4. Dedicated Channels
One enticing benefit to working in Slack Connect is that you can communicate with each of your customers through their own secure channel for communication. All communication including files are kept in one place and can easily be found and used.
One of the best features of Slack, and a personal favorite of ours, is the integrations. This enables users to bring even more features in to enhance the workspace experience, and limits the amount of external programs used outside of Slack. The most relevant ones are Zendesk, JIra, and Salesforce service cloud. When a customer request needs additional control, you can easily escalate it to one of these ticketing systems.
Recommended best practices
If you are fairly new to working with customers using Slack, we have some basic principles you should follow to make the most of your workspace:
Build your methods around Slack’s main strength to support asynchronous team collaboration (many-to-many). Think of each Slack channel as a micro-community and invest in nurturing it and keeping it active.
Never break the conversation flow. Keep it going even when you need help from people that are not in the channel.
Leverage Slack native ability to keep records of all conversations inside channels to support knowledge reuse.
Measure service metrics like average response time and time to resolution, as well as customer success measures like number of touch points and engagement levels.
Take advantage of Slack native gestures. For example, Eyes emoji to take ownership or Checkmark to indicate that a request is closed.
When an issue requires a ticketing management workflow, escalate it to your ticketing system; but bring the answer back to the channel to keep continuity.
Slack Connect is introducing an opportunity to fundamentally change the way that intercompany collaboration with customers is done. Slack has truly changed the face of project management and client communication. However, it is important to note that neither Slack nor the existing tools offer a solution to support customer relationships natively. We believe that you need a specialized Slack app to ensure that the Slack connection is a success.
Want to automate your Slack channels and boost customer engagement to new levels? Worknet can help you ensure no issue is left unresolved, and provides you with helpful customer insights to improve your overall quality of support. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org