Last updated on February 18th, 2016 at 12:34 pm
At two years old, Slack is the official darling of productivity tools on this side of the world. The service has redefined the way people communicate within corporations, and the numbers don’t lie: its daily users is now at 2.3 million users, from 1.1 million in August 2015, and the company generating more than $64 million in annual recurring revenue
B2B firms have been particularly quick to adopt Slack, and not just because it allows teams to connect remotely from one convenient digital spot. From integration with third-party apps to private channels and customer care, Slack has many applications for friends aiming to take advantage of its powerful features in creative ways.
So, how do B2B companies use Slack? Check out these five examples below.
App integration for a centralized experience
One of the best things about Slack is the ability to connect your team domain to dozens of third-party apps. These include Skype, Google Drive and Calendar, and Help Scout.
TaraSpan, a multinational company serving prominent technology firms, has been doing a great job with this functionality for a while. In a post on the company’s blog, CEO and Co-founder Mike Manson explains the importance of app integrations.
Trello, for example, is the tool of choice for project management: “Trello cards are posted in different channels on slack, such as ‘Office Move’ where at a glance everyone in the company can see how the office move down the hall is progressing.”
IT Infrastructure alerts are relayed in a specific channel via the Nagios app. The same goes for Twitter mentions and messages from customers, with the Twitter app.
As a paying customer, TaraSpan has also been able to develop its own integrations and hence customize the team experience.
Dedicated channels for improved workflow
For DigitalOcean, integrations with third-party apps such as Google Hangouts, Twitter, and GitHub also help keep everything organized. However, the New York-based cloud hosting provider for developers also relies on dedicated channels for specific needs, tasks, and teams.
For example, all company-wide news, announcements, and events are shared in #announcement. The web team members can also interact with one another and see what is going on in some of their repositories in the #web channel. And there is a forum for illustrators and critiques called #illustration.
— Joel Califa (@notdetails) November 7, 2014
Finally, the DigitalOcean team uses Slack for fun and games, with channels like #pingpong, #catpix, and #seamless.
Social sharing simplified
Every day sees the publication of millions of pieces of content. Companies that wish to remain competitive need to keep an eye on key trends in their industries. The best way to achieve that is to subscribe to blogs or follow their RSS feeds.
Many of you probably use Feedly for that purpose. But did you know that Slack offers a similar feature?
For a good example, let’s have a quick look at OneSpaceMedia.
The U.K.-based digital creative agency aggregates the greatest content in the industry directly in their #social channel “and get [it] queued up for sharing via our social media channels. The social media team makes use of the IFTTT integration to remind people to post any interesting articles into the channel,” says Daniel Samuels on the official blog of the company. Imagine if you can apply this lesson to your B2B firm, in order to stay updated on major moves and releases related to your industry.
Customer care redefined
It’s now pretty obvious that Slack rocks for internal communications. But what if I told you that your firm can use the service to make the customer experience more personable and authentic? Not everyone is interested in communicating via tickets or emails, after all.
Crispy Mountain is a notable example to follow. The custom-tailored software builder is taking things up a notch by inviting customers to join all its channels. When they become “a part” of the team, they can see everything staff are working on at any stage. Transparency can breed trust.
By laying out some rules, the company has been able to counter any unrealistic expectations from customers: “So far, […] the feedback is overwhelmingly positive,” says Christian Weyer in a blog post.
Towards inbox zero
What do you do when you have to receive and deal with several dozens emails from your team every day? You try to get rid of them all.
That’s exactly what idfive, an integrated marketing firm, did last year. Shortly after switching to Slack for internal communications, the company noticed “a considerable improvement in communication efficiency and a better prioritization of messages and notifications across all of our project management tools.”
idfive also relies on Slack for all after-hour messaging activity. Everyone must use one platform to text and collaborate, which effectively removes the decentralized experience stemming from multiple app usage.
How does your firm use Slack?