There is no doubt that Slack has changed the game when it comes to intra-company communications. Companies using Slack are seeing a major drop in the use of internal emails, and many of these same companies also report a drop in the time spent in meetings due to the unique ability of Slack to support asynchronous team (many to many) conversations. There is still a slew of myths and misconceptions floating around in regards to working with customers using Slack, and we would like to take a moment to address them.
Slack for Communicating with customers
Before diving into some of the myths, it is important to go over how Slack is used in business communications with clients. Slack Connect has been shown to improve the dynamics of business relationships with customers. Vendors can take advantage of Slack when communicating with their customers, and it creates a one team spirit where people from both ends try to help each other troubleshoot and brainstorm. Opening the opportunity to discover unique insights like:
Potential champions - when seeing Slack messages like “the product is awesome”
Challenges and opponents - “I’m frustrated with this new feature”
Success stories - “The product helped me win the deal with ACME”
Expansion opportunities - “We are planning to grow our team”
Churn risk - “We are evaluating product x (a competitor)”
Information provided via Slack by customers act as highly valuable insights that allow you to take action in identifying supporters and opponents, potential success stories, expansion opportunities, and churn risks.
Companies that consider using Slack for communicating with their customers have some concerns. The most common concerns that we hear from our customers are:
Clients may abuse it and turn it into a support channel
We do not want to turn our customer success people to support agents
It introduces yet another support environment on top of our service/ticketing solution
Setting wrong expectations - customer may expect a reply in minutes and not hours or days
We do not want to have an SLA for Slack
You can easily miss customer requests and get them frustrated
Common Slack Myths
We’d like to address each of these concerns in the following myths:
Myth #1: Customers may abuse Slack and turn it into a support channel.
Reality: In most cases, we are seeing more customer channels that go dormant than those that become too active. Furthermore, no sales person has ever said, “My customers are communicating with me too much.” Every sales person knows that active and multithreaded communication is a strong indicator for the likelihood of winning a deal and retaining customers.
Myth #2: We don’t want our customer success people to turn into support agents.
Reality: Healthy customer channels have active participation by both teams (vendor and customer). On average, a substantial number of topics posted are addressed by the customer team. When this happens, it boosts the customer team's commitment and dedication to the product.. In addition, the quality of customer’s team answers is higher, since they better understand the context. And it builds champions and evangelists on the customer side.
Myth #3: Slack introduces yet another support environment on top of our service/ticketing solution.
Reality: This one depends. Using the right Slack app can help you easily manage many of the topics natively inside Slack. The right Slack app can also measure service metrics like average time to reply or time to resolution as well as customer success metrics like last connection and number of touch points. When a topic requires involvement of a few teams, or requires some engineering work, it should be escalated to a ticketing system like Zendesk or Salesforce service cloud, or an engineering tasks system like Jira or GitHub.
Myth #4: Setting wrong expectations - the customer may expect a reply in minutes and not hours or days.
Reality: This is definitely an important area. We believe that it is important to align expectations with the customer and even discuss SLA. Overall managing to provide quick replies would have a major impact on the overall customer satisfaction. So with the right Slack app, it should be possible to provide answers in not more than a couple of hours. Which is expected to boost their experience and satisfaction.
Myth #5: You can easily miss customer requests and get them frustrated.
Reality: If you are using the right Slack app, like Worknet, this issue is addressed. Worknet helps you organize and automate your Slack channels. This ensures that no issue is left behind, and issues are resolved proactively through personalized help content.
An additional benefit of using Slack channels to communicate with your customers is visibility. All topics discussed are all part of one channel, and all issues can be found in one place; not spread out amongst ticketing services.
Do you want to ignite customer engagement and ensure that no customer issue falls by the wayside? Worknet can help with both, while providing you with conversation insights to improve your overall quality of support. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the path to winning with your customers.