4 Slack Tips & Tricks for Support Teams (2021)

From general messaging to project-specific queries to official announcements, Slack is where employees synchronously communicate and get things done in no time. 

But can Slack be used for customer support?

Well, Yes and No. While Slack is not necessarily cut out for customer-facing interactions, it can potentially become an excellent tool for providing internal support (Supporting employees with IT/HR/Ops Queries). As more companies continue to use Slack to communicate, the experience of switching to another app to report issues can seem like a time-waster. 

In this post, we’ll look at several ingenious ways of using Slack to improve your internal support.

Tip #1: Use Dedicated Slack Channels for Support

Anyone who uses Slack is familiar with Slack Channels. A channel is a single place for your employees to share messages, files, and tools. Dedicated channels for #it-help or #hr-help can help save both end-users and support agents’ time. 

For example, let’s say you are all set for a client demo, and some software issue creeps up in your system. Logging a ticket or mailing your IT support team would be the last resort. However, a Slack channel lets any available team member respond instantly.

Here are some tips to utilize channels effectively:

1. Message Threads

Threads are essential in support. Imagine a Slack support channel full of queries by various participants, and support agents are replying to them in no particular order. Here’s where they badly need threads to respond to a question on a person-to-person basis. Threads also help in tracking history for other agents to pitch in if needed.

2. @mentions

If you are an extensive support team, then @agent-name can be a useful option to notify the concerned person and not disturb others.

3. Private Channels

If focussed support is a priority, Slack provides private channels that are visible only to the team members who are a part of that channel.

4. Shared Channels

If you need to communicate with any vendor or third party, then Slack has a provision for that as well.

5. Use of Emojis

Who doesn’t like emojis?😛 Emojis convey significant meaning and make Slack an interactive platform for employees. One good use case of emojis is to use red🔴 , yellow🟡 , green🟢 emojis to mark an issue’s severity.

6. Pin Important Messages

In HR, the same questions get asked many times over. Creating an FAQ document and pinning them to the relevant channels helps people answer their questions. With Slack channels, your team knows where to look for answers.

7. The Slash(/) Command

Whether you want to invite a member to a channel or just /shrug ( ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ) Slack provides keyboard shortcuts with (/) command. If you want to know about the shortcuts available, just hit (Ctrl + /) on Windows, or (Command + /) on Slack. You can also type /keys or /shortcuts in any channel.

Tip #2: Slack Integration with Customer Support Apps

Want to make Slack App a full-blown internal support solution for your team? Power it up with integrations. Slack offers a wide range of apps on the Slack workspace. 

Here are a bunch of integrations that can help boost agent productivity:

1. Help Desk

For smaller teams, Slack is enough for support requests. But if you are very specific about tracing and troubleshooting issues, integrating your help desk with Slack is the best bet. Help Desk lets you track, manage and report issues better as it’s designed for customer support. It additionally provides asset management, task management, automation, workflows and so on. With Slack – Help Desk integration, your employees get notified about any new ticket and update it within Slack.

2. HR Apps

Slack amplifies your HR software platform’s power and integrates with HR and productivity apps like Workday, PeopleSoft, ADP, Oracle, and SuccessFactors. Finding immediate answers to things like payroll, holiday lists, the status of leave requests can all be found in Slack.

3. Knowledge Base Software

Another productivity hack for your agents would be to integrate with your Knowledge base. Promote a culture of self-service via Slack.

4. Feedback and Rewards Platforms

Great internal support is incomplete without feedback and appreciation. While a help desk has surveys built-in, Slack can integrate with tools like Typeform and Officevibes to conduct surveys and send responses to a designated slack channel. Pat support agents on their backs with integrations like UltiPro and Bonusly, thereby building a culture of appreciation and rewards.

Tip #3: Use Slackbot for Handling Repetitive Questions

At work, all of us would’ve come across situations where we could not recall something that should be obvious. Maybe it was the wifi password or accessing the shared printer. Having someone to tap on the shoulder isn’t always a possibility, especially when teams are remote. That’s why Slack has a native bot – Slackbot.

Slack users know of Slackbot as a helpful and friendly character that sits in always-on mode, occasionally popping up to give you reminders and notifications. Slackbot is programmed to support users with any slack-related queries and feedback.

It’s possible to turn Slackbot into a full-fledged knowledge base with custom responses, but it’s not the absolute best way. 

If that’s not enough, you can easily create custom bots too. Make a document, start a call, log records—you name it, custom slack bots can do it all.

Tip #4: Conversational Ticketing in Slack Powered by AI

In the tips mentioned above, we discussed Slack channels, support integrations, and bots. Slack is great for spontaneous communication, but it’s ad-hoc nature makes it vulnerable to proper tracking and accountability. Help desks are cumbersome to handle, especially for smaller teams, and bots can’t be the end-all and be-all of support without human help.

These tools alone have their own set of weaknesses. What we need is the right mix of features from all three.

Can this trio come together as a tool to empower your support team? Luckily yes.  

Customers don’t think of their problems as tickets. They think of them as conversations.

James Scott, SuccessHacker

Enter Conversational ticketing – where support issues are handled in the form of real-time conversations in your favorite team collaboration app. Want to experience conversational ticketing? Meet HappyFox Assist AI.

As you type in your query on Slack, Assist AI understands the intent and automatically queries your internal Knowledge Base to come up with answers, like a chatbot inside slack. Even better, it learns and improves with a feedback mechanism letting your agents step in only when there is something it cannot answer.

Assist AI also creates and updates tickets in your help desk, keeping both the systems in sync. Assist AI connects with help desks and KB softwares like HappyFox help desk, Zendesk, Freshservice, and Confluence.

With Assist AI, faster response times and ticket deflection is just the beginning. Want to know more?

Get a free demo from our product specialists.

Conclusion

Slack has become a staple in the business world. We live in the age of “now,” and communication tools like Slack make instant gratification possible. Your employees spend most of their time collaborating on Slack. Adding a new dimension – Slack for support can only boost their performance.  More importantly, Slack makes support more engaging, interactive, and interesting with wordless communication powered by GIFs, emojis, and memes.

To get Slack to level-up in the support game, we shared some tips that can be kept in mind. Using Slack for internal support is a great way to save cost, improve responsiveness and your team’s performance.