Using Slack for Customer Support in B2B (Ultimate Guide)

Content Writer
April 27, 2023

In today's fast-paced business world, the days of relying solely on emails and phone calls to connect with B2B customers are long gone. The modern solution to efficient collaboration is Slack—a go-to tool for both internal and external communications.

However, if you plan to use Slack for B2B customer support, you must implement the best practices from the outset. That is why we have crafted this comprehensive guide to assist you in leveraging the full potential of Slack to efficiently manage your customers and foster a robust and lasting relationship with them.

How Slack Changed B2B SaaS Customer Support Forever

B2B customer support is a notoriously tricky area to crack. Demands are high, and the customers are difficult to please. The field has continuously evolved over the last decades, instantly adapting to the latest trends, gadgets, and the ever-changing expectations of the audience.

As B2B SaaS buyers are willing to spend up to 30% more for the perfect customer service, the industry is competitive and hard to keep up with. Recent changes in how we consume digital content and how we prefer to interact with organizations have skyrocketed Slack into one of the most popular B2B customer support solutions in the world.

5 Ways How Slack Has Changed Customer Support

1. Emptying Inboxes

Whether at work or in our personal lives, email inboxes are becoming more and more of a chore. Navigating subfolders, spam messages, and reply-all-s, users are less and less interested in lengthy email conversations.

B2B SaaS businesses are switching their communication platforms to messaging tools to build customer and supplier relationships. Slack enables companies to speed up decision-making and create more efficient and quicker user interaction. 

2. Creating Instant Communication

As life seems to be speeding up by the day, customers’ expectations of great service are also changing. With 66% of consumers expecting an immediate response when contacting a company, instant messaging has never been more important.

Slack allows buyers to resolve their issues as soon as possible. By integrating solutions such as Thena into Slack’s workspace, automated responses can create the illusion of immediate resolution, putting your customer’s mind at ease and helping your customer support agents to work more efficiently.

3. Making It More Personal

In B2B customer support, buyers increasingly expect a highly personalized tool that they can tailor to the exact needs of their customers. Personalized solutions can boost customer lifetime value (CLV), and raise customer retention rates and satisfaction. 

Slack supports organizations in creating a unified front for their clients. With 70% of B2B SaaS customers stating the importance of a smooth handover between departments, it is essential that businesses create an integrated platform where their support agents can easily access information.

Integrating Slack’s platform with third-party solutions such as CRM systems, ticketing tools, and shared knowledge bases creates a strong foundation to maximize personalization opportunities.

4. Putting Security First

When your system relies on email solutions, your business will be vulnerable to security breaches such as phishing or scams. This can be increasingly concerning when your clients are large enterprises.

Providing customer support via Slack creates a safer environment with additional layers of encryption, such as two-factor authentication and single sign-on. Slack can give business owners and customer support agents a piece of mind.

5. Helping to Scale at Speed

B2B SaaS companies can often grow at a speed that their communication platforms can’t follow. With Slack customer support solutions, business owners no longer have to constantly re-evaluate their customer service strategies as Slack workspaces and the wide range of integrations are fully flexible.

Whether you have to up your CRM system or add more customer support agents to your workforce, Slack’s unique nature can quickly accommodate every need of your organization.

Understanding the Importance of B2B Customer Support on Slack

Customer support is an essential component of any successful business. It is the backbone of customer satisfaction and loyalty. This is where Slack comes in as an excellent tool for customer support.

Benefits of Using Slack for Customer Support in B2B

  • Easy to Use: Slack is a platform that many employees are already familiar with. Using it for customer support requires less training than introducing a new tool.
  • Customizable: Slack is highly customizable and can be tailored to your specific support needs. You can create Slack channels for different support queries, set up automated responses, and integrate with other tools.

  • Collaborative: Slack enables easy collaboration between customer support agents, which can lead to faster and more accurate issue resolution. Agents can work together to solve complex queries, share knowledge, and provide better customer support.
  • Access to Customer Insights: Slack combined with Thena helps organizations to have unlimited access to valuable customer insights from trends to frequent issues and brand advocates. This data can help companies to tailor their customer service experiences to achieve maximum value.
  • Seamless: Slack workplaces can integrate all of your business needs into one seamless platform. From CRM solutions to conversational ticketing and video conferencing, Slack can provide a solution to organizations. All of this, ultimately saves you time and effort, creating more efficient B2B customer support.
  • Engaging: Slack can aid organizations in ending the era of soulless customer service. With the use of emojis, custom messages, and integrations of gifs and visuals, customers can have a unique customer experience.

How Slack Can Improve Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is crucial to business success. According to Forbes, customer satisfaction leads to brand loyalty in SaaS. After all, happy customers are more likely to become repeat customers and recommend your business to others.

The price of poor customer service can run high, as 61% of customers suggest that they would likely change vendors or brands after even one bad experience. As the cost of attracting new customers can be especially high in the B2B SaaS environment, it is crucial that organizations get their customer service right.

Here are some ways Slack can help you improve customer satisfaction:

  • Faster Response Times: Slack enables real-time communication, allowing support agents to respond to queries quickly. This can lead to faster resolution times and happier customers.

  • Personalized Interactions: Slack allows you to have personalized interactions with customers. You can use their name, respond to their queries in a friendly tone, and make them feel valued.

  • More Control: Slack gives customers more control over their support experience. They can choose the channel they want to use, get updates on their query, and have a record of their conversation.
  • Simplicity: Slack’s workplace has a sleek and easy-to-use interface that is ideal even for customers with no or limited tech knowledge. Slack gives straightforward solutions to share messages and resolve problems with a few clicks of a button.
  • No Spam: Slack’s interface provides no distractions to customers. Unlike inboxes stacked with spam messages and websites rigged with countless pop-up windows, with the help of Slack, your customers can quickly get help without having to fight off unnecessary information.

Setting Up Your Slack Workspace for Customer Support with Thena

Setting up your Slack workspace for customer support can be a game-changer for your business. Not only can it improve response times, but it can also increase efficiency and improve the overall customer support experience.

As 90% of Americans use customer service as the deciding factor whether to do business with a company, getting this element of your business right is crucial.

Let us walk you through the steps to set up your Slack workspace for customer support.

Creating Dedicated Slack Connect Channels

Creating Slack Connect channels is the first step in setting up your Slack workspace for customer support. This ensures that customer conversations are not lost in other conversations, making it easier for support agents to prioritize tickets. If your channels are clearly separated by themes or business functions, you can invite critical contacts and relevant customer support agents to resolve issues best.

It's also important to set guidelines for how to use these channels. Be proactive in explaining how your customers can maximize Slack channels and log their issues with ease. This can be easily achieved with the help of automated welcome messages that include average response times and other relevant information.

Slack Connect can help you build a more transparent relationship with your customers and easily create a shared knowledge base for your customer support agents.

Integrating Essential Apps and Tools

Integrating essential apps and tools is the next step in setting up your Slack Connect workspace for customer support. With Slack’s astounding directory that counts over 2400+ apps, it’s guaranteed that you will find solutions that fit your business needs. Integrating your CRM, ticketing system, or other Slack apps can increase efficiency and improve the customer support experience.

Many CRM and ticketing systems offer a Slack integration, making it easy to link these systems together. Better, you can leverage Thena’s extensive integrations with tools such as  Intercom, Zendesk, Freshdesk, Salesforce, or HubSpot.

While Slack has great built-in capabilities, with integrations, your customers can ask questions directly in Slack, initiate video calls through Zoom, or watch pre-recorded video guides without having to switch between different systems.

At the same time with the help of solutions like Thena, your customer support agents will have access to a greater overview of outstanding tickets, customer insights, and automated responses to provide five-star B2B customer support.

Setting Up Automated Workflows

Setting up automated workflows is also essential to creating an effective Slack workspace for customer support. For example, our solution, Thena, can help you intelligently manage customer requests. You can automate repetitive tasks, such as sending automated responses, ultimately saving time and improving response times. 

Workflows can also help route complex inquiries to the appropriate agent or department. For instance, if a customer submits a technical support ticket, the workflow can automatically route the ticket to an agent with expertise in that area.

Another example is setting up a workflow that automatically sends a response to customers who submit a support ticket outside of business hours. This lets customers know that their ticket has been received and will be addressed when business hours resume.

Creating a Self-Service Knowledge Base

Shared knowledge bases are not just for your support agents! Research shows that 33% of consumers find it crucial to have a self-service help option available to attempt to resolve their issues. With the help of Slack, you can create a searchable depository of handy materials such as how-to videos, step-by-step guides, handy contacts, and more!

As Slack’s workplace is intuitive, you can upload or hyperlink your files from your website, providing alternative routes to access the same information. Due to Slack’s nature, you can instantly share new policies, product guidelines, or any updated data with your customers with ease.

Configure Your Slack Notifications

Slack notifications can provide critical information for your customer support agents. These can be personalized to the needs of your business, reducing response time and ensuring that problems get resolved efficiently.

Thena can help you monitor your service quality, triggering automated alerts whenever customer requests go unanswered longer than your agreed SLA response time. These alerts will push instant notifications to your relevant agents, ensuring that you don’t lose valuable customers.

Setting up a Conversational Ticketing System

It is easy to get lost between the countless messages ticking away in your Slack channels, potentially missing out on essential customer requests. Solutions like Thena can enable your business to track these pleas for help more efficiently, automatically converting requests into support tickets.

Your customer support agents can then pick these tickets up through internal channels. Tickets can be assigned to relevant team members and marked with the current resolution status without ever having to leave Slack’s interface. Customer tickets can even be viewed in handy Kanban boards, ensuring your team provides the best possible customer service for your clients.

Now that we’ve taught you the ropes of Thena’s app, it’s time to address a few other areas that can help you make the most of using Slack for customer support.

Building a Customer Support Team on Slack

The success of providing a first-class customer experience on Slack is also dependent on other factors. These include your staff, systems, processes, and company culture. 

Let’s take a look at each of these factors below.

Hiring and Onboarding Customer Support Agents

The success of any customer support team depends on hiring and onboarding the right agents. When hiring, look for individuals who have experience working in a collaborative environment, are proactive problem solvers, and have excellent communication skills. When onboarding, be sure to provide thorough training on your support processes and procedures.

Defining Roles and Responsibilities

Defining clear roles and responsibilities is crucial to building an effective customer support team on Slack. Assigning responsibilities based on agent skills and expertise and establishing escalation paths can ensure that support tickets are resolved promptly and efficiently.

Get Your CRM Right

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are at the heart of your customer service team’s success. A comprehensive CRM system should hold all the necessary information to make any interaction as seamless as possible. From previous conversations to contact information, statistics, and more, your CRM should hold anything your customer support agents could ever need.

Slack integrations allow your team to access all this vital information straight from your Slack workspace, offering flexibility and speed.

Empower Your Team

No matter how many processes and tools you build into your customer service process, a happy and enthusiastic service agent is one of the most valuable weapons in your arsenal.

Ensure you acknowledge achievements and allow them to express creativity in their daily roles. Empower your employees through upskilling and positive feedback to help to develop their decision-making and problem-solving skills. Use Slack to acknowledge team members of the week or run fun competitions between your agents to promote collaboration. A motivated customer service agent can easily make a difference in achieving five-star service!

Establishing a Team Culture and Communication Guidelines

Establishing a team culture and communication guidelines can help promote collaboration and ensure that all agents are aligned in their approach to customer support. Creating a team charter or list of core values can help instill a sense of purpose and focus on customer satisfaction.

Moreover, establishing communication guidelines, such as response time expectations and standard escalation protocols, can help customer support agents work together more effectively.

Developing Effective Customer Support Processes

So, what does an effective customer support process entail? It’s all about these crucial steps.

Streamlining Support Ticket Management

Streamlining support ticket management is essential to delivering fast and efficient customer support. Using Thena’s analytics, tracking metrics such as response times and resolution rates, and regularly reviewing support processes can help identify areas for improvement.

Implementing Response Time Standards

Response time standards can help set customer expectations and help agents prioritize support tickets. Establishing clear response time goals, such as responding to support tickets within 24 hours or less, can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Creating a Knowledge Base for Common Issues

Creating a knowledge base for common issues can reduce support ticket volume and provide customers with self-service options. A knowledge base can also empower customers to resolve their own problems, leading to higher satisfaction rates.

Picking the Right Channels

Spend time identifying what channels your target audience uses and make sure you focus on the right ones. It is unrealistic to expect your support team to cover every single option. Prioritize your resources to create a truly unique experience with the right tools. Slack can help your clients create instant connections with your agents, getting their tickets resolved with speed.

Establishing a Customer-First Strategy

Attracting new customers can be 6-7 times more expensive than retaining the existing ones. Ensure your customer is at the heart of all your processes and solutions. Proactively encourage your clients to provide feedback on your service. Their opinions can be a great source to create an even more robust product and brand.

If your customers feel like you genuinely care about them, they will be more likely to share their positive experiences externally, becoming active advocates for your organization.

Integrating the Right Technology

To achieve maximum efficiency, you must identify the right technology that fits the exact need of your business. Your customer support agents can create an even more significant difference if you equip them with the right tools.

Solutions like Thena can make your customer service process more efficient, increasing the speed of issue resolution, streamlining ticket allocation, and providing a greater overview of the status of outstanding tickets.

Conclusion: Maximize the Use of Slack for Customer Support

Long gone is the era of blanket emails and countless hours spent on hold on the phone, Slack revolutionized customer experience to its core. While B2B SaaS customer support can be a tricky field to navigate, Slack and its integrations can easily help any organization achieve five-star customer service. Every time.

With the support of strategically structured Slack channels and workspaces tailored to your audience’s specific needs, you can connect with your clients faster and more effectively than ever. But Slack is not just for your customers; it can also provide a better platform for your customer support agents.

With solutions like Thena, your team will have access to a customized tool that helps them achieve maximum productivity and focus on the work that matters the most while creating a seamless environment for your clients. 

Ready to see how Thena can automate your customer service on Slack? Book a free demo today!

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