Best Practices for Slack Connect Channels

Content Writer
August 4, 2023

Slack Connect Channels have revolutionized B2B communication, empowering organizations and remote teams to collaborate in real time. These channels expedite communication and lead to 43% faster responses, resulting in a 3x quicker ticket resolution for customer support teams.

To fully harness the platform's potential, understanding best practices and overcoming potential blind spots is crucial.

In our article, we delve into these aspects, optimizing your experience with Slack Connect Channels and maximizing team efficiency.

What is a Slack Connect Channel?

Slack Connect Channels are an innovative feature offered by the popular communication platform, Slack. This feature allows companies to create shared channels with external clients and partners for smooth and efficient real-time collaboration and communication.

Unlike traditional communication methods such as emails or phone calls, Slack Connect Channels provide a dedicated space where users from different organizations can collaborate as easily as they do with their internal teams.

Best Practices for Using Slack Connect Channels

Decide on Your Goals and Use Case

Effectively using Slack Connect Channels requires strategizing. First and foremost, you need to set channel-specific goals. Decide what you aim to achieve from this collaboration, and how you will measure success.

When setting channel-specific goals, it is important to consider the overall objectives of your organization. Are you looking to streamline project management, enhance client collaboration or provide B2B customer support? By aligning your goals with the broader vision, you can ensure that Slack Connect Channels serve a purpose and contribute to the success of your team.

Onboard Your Customers

Now that you have decided the purpose of your Slack Connect Channels, it’s time to onboard your customers and/or partners. This involves sending an invitation to an external organization. Once the invitation is accepted, both you and the invited organization can start messaging each other.

It’s always a good idea to send a welcome message to the invited organization to lay the ground rules early on. However, remember that each organization retains control over its own data and can manage permissions, including the level of access and who can join the channel.

Implement Slack Channels’ Maintenance Routine

For businesses with over 20 Slack Connect Channels, maintaining cleanliness and organization is crucial for effective customer-facing interactions. Therefore, consider doing the following:

  • Implement a channel maintenance routine to keep the workspace clutter-free and organized.
  • Archive old and inactive channels to prevent confusion.
  • Use naming conventions to improve channel organization, including project names or team affiliations for easy identification.

Leverage Slack Apps and Additional Functionalities

Lastly, to enhance collaboration and keep everyone in sync, use Slack’s additional features or install extensions or third-party apps.

One example is Slackbot, which proves invaluable for automating repetitive tasks and offering useful information to channel members. Configure Slackbot to send regular updates and reminders for crucial deadlines and meetings.

For customer service via Slack Connect Channels, try Thena, a customer engagement platform designed for Slack. Thena effectively monitors shared Slack channels, identifies customer requests, and converts them into support tickets. This setup allows your support team to efficiently handle tickets within Slack, saving customers and staff from navigating away from the platform.

3 Blind Spots when Using Slack Connect Channels

Though Slack Connect Channels provide immense benefits, there can be some potential drawbacks if not managed adequately. Let's delve into these a bit further.

1. Important Information Falling Through the Cracks

Multiple clients, multiple channels, and rapid conversations… A perfect recipe to overlook important information. While Slack Connect is far superior to email, customer messages containing important information can get easily lost, too.

This challenge can be mitigated by pinning critical messages, maintaining a standard message format for key points, or delegating someone to oversee proper communication flow. Though, all of these efforts can be costly to implement while also requiring man-hours to work properly.

2. Messages and Customer Requests Getting Lost

Slack Connect Channels become the place for prospects and customers to get prompt answers about your product or service. But, if you manage lots of clients, their requests and specific messages can easily get lost in the clutter.

Poor customer service can make or break the relationship, as more than 65% of people have higher expectations for customer service than 5 years ago. And, although Slack undoubtedly facilitates fast and nearly instantaneous customer service for brands, the influx of critical messages in client workspaces can lead to noise and difficulty in identifying urgent requests.

3. Chaos and Difficulty in Prioritizing Important Messages

Finally, in the event of receiving several messages at once, managing and prioritizing them can become daunting. After all, you want to use your Slack for customer support as productively as you can, right? That said, Slack Connect doesn’t have a built-in ticketing system; therefore, it can be challenging to track, prioritize, escalate, and assign tasks efficiently.

How Does Thena Help Optimize Slack Connect Channels?

1. Use AI to Pull Customer Requests from All External Slack Channels

Thena's AI capabilities bring order to chaotic Slack Connect Channels by effortlessly consolidating customer requests into a single timeline. It automatically detects requests, measures sentiment, monitors trends, and tracks service metrics from Slack conversations. 

Handling customer inquiries becomes effortless, no matter the number of customers or departments involved. Even if inquiries are scattered across channels, Thena promptly identifies and converts them into actionable requests for swift resolution by the right staff member.

2. Remove Silos Between External Systems

Furthermore, Thena streamlines external system integration for effortless customer request management in Slack. You can manage, assign, and resolve requests without leaving the platform, eliminating the need to switch between platforms.

If your team already uses a customer support tool, Thena seamlessly integrates it with Slack. Customers can report issues via Slack, while agents continue using their familiar system. Thena also works with popular tools such as Notion, Clickup, and Jira. This creates a comfortable environment for your team and clients.

How to Use Slack Connect Effectively

Slack has become one of the most used collaboration tools in the market over the last few years. With 750,000 organizations using it worldwide, it is clear that it’s an effective medium.

While it’s easy to think of Slack as an internal communication channel, the platform launched Slack Connect in 2020 to enable companies to build smooth conversations with their partners, vendors, and customers.

Slack Connect allows sharing channels with other organizations, creating an integrated platform for customer success.

So, how can you Use Slack Connect effectively? We teach you in this blog.

Benefits of Slack Connect

Using Slack for customer service might be one of many things that come to mind. But the software proves itself to be a customer journey powerhouse with many handy features and tools embedded.

As emails become increasingly obsolete, overtaken by endless spam messages and difficult-to-navigate user interfaces, Slack provides an efficient and easy-to-use all-in-one software for your organization. As 43% of Fortune 100 businesses are using Slack enterprise licenses, it is easy to recognize that Slack has the potential to be utilized as a number one B2B customer experience platform.

One of the many reasons for its popularity is its interconnected nature. Slack is not a standalone tool but can benefit from thousands of integrated apps and solutions across its workspaces.

Slack has something to meet every need, from CRMs to video conferencing, project managing, and conversational ticketing options. Why drag your clients from their existing communication channels? Maximize organizational efficiency and meet them where they operate daily already.

Moreover, with 90% of data breaches caused by phishing emails, Slack’s security was built to tackle cyber attacks. It focuses on user privacy and enterprise-grade security, ensuring its platform complies with the most common data regulations, such as GDPR and CCPA. Organizations even can encrypt their conversational data with their security keys to fully secure customer data.

4 Slack Connect Best Practices

1. Tailor Your Invitations

One of the greatest things Slack Connect brings to the table is the ability to invite your clients and partners from other organizations and engage with them directly. As a standard, Slack Connect invitations are sent via direct emails to recipients who need to accept invitations to join your workspace manually.

The invitation requests can be monitored by an authorized admin, ensuring the right customers are joining. Remember that only paid customers can fully participate in Slack Connect channels, and users registering without a license will trigger a 90-day trial period. Ensure you invite your stakeholders to relevant channels to avoid confusion and unnecessary back and forth.

2. Set Guidelines

While it’s great that you can get all your customers in one place, setting out some ground rules for your users with a welcome post is essential. This will help to set clear expectations with your clients and pre-address frequently asked questions such as typical response times and appropriate sub-channels.

Your Slack Connect guidelines should also include communication norms. Most corporate workspaces have a common ‘language’ (e.g., eyeball emoji means someone saw your request, a tick that it has been addressed) that can help to decode conversations. Attach relevant files and guidelines to your welcome message and ensure that you trigger a workflow that can automatically send a copy of this to any users who join at a later date.

3. Integrate and Automate

Slack’s directory has over 2400+ apps in its repertoire to make your customer journey more complete. Although clear communication is vital with your client, it is often simply not enough. Through Slack Connect, you can initiate video calls through Zoom and help your team to stay on top of projects with Trello or Monday integrations.

Furthermore, with the help of tools such as Thena, you can quickly triage customer issues without forcing them to fill out lengthy self-service forms or wait in a phone cue for hours. 63% of service agents struggle to balance speed and quality when responding to customer problems. Thena’s conversational ticketing can streamline your client journey and radically reduce daily response time.

Tickets can be converted into quick requests and assigned to relevant team members to address without ever having to leave Slack. Utilizing Slack Connect for customer service can bring a 64% decrease in backlog tickets for your support team and incredible value to your customers.

4. Keep an Eye on Metrics

Slack Connect is a fantastic way to stay close to valuable customer data at your fingertips. There are a wide variety of metrics that you can track through Slack channels (with the help of Thena), such as Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSAT), Average Response, and Resolution times, that can help you to optimize your customer journey.

You can also access valuable information such as user behavior and engagement analytics. Enabling you to get notified when users perform particular actions, such as joining channels or aborting processes.

Leveraging Slack Connect Channels with for B2B Success Advantage
Streamlined Communication:Connect with external teams in real-time within dedicated channels.Breaks down communication silos, fosters collaboration, and simplifies project management across can translate messages in real-time, ensuring seamless communication regardless of language barriers.
Centralized Information Sharing:Share files, documents, and knowledge base articles directly within Slack Connect channels.Improves information accessibility for all participants, reduces duplicate efforts, and centralizes project can automatically surface relevant knowledge base articles or internal documents based on conversation topics within the channel.
Enhanced Visibility:Gain real-time visibility into project progress and task updates across partner teams.Improves transparency, facilitates proactive problem-solving, and ensures everyone stays on the same can generate automated reports or dashboards summarizing key project metrics and milestones directly within Slack Connect channels.
Automated Workflows:Set up automated workflows with to trigger actions based on specific events within Slack Connect channels.Streamlines repetitive tasks, improves efficiency, and reduces manual workload for all teams can automatically send notifications, assign tasks, or trigger approvals based on keywords or pre-defined criteria within the channel conversations.
Improved Security & Compliance:Leverage's access controls and data encryption features to ensure secure information sharing within Slack Connect channels.Maintains data privacy and adheres to compliance regulations across can monitor activity within Slack Connect channels, identify potential security risks, and alert relevant personnel for prompt action.
Guest User Management:Simplify guest user management with by automating access provisioning and permission levels for external participants within Slack Connect channels.Simplifies onboarding for external collaborators and ensures appropriate access controls are in can automatically grant or revoke access to specific channels or information based on pre-defined guest user profiles or project requirements.
Contextual AI Assistance:Utilize's AI capabilities to provide contextually relevant insights and suggestions within Slack Connect conversations.Improves decision-making, facilitates knowledge sharing, and streamlines collaboration can analyze conversation history, identify key topics, and suggest relevant action items, resources, or internal experts to contribute to the discussion.
Sentiment Analysis:Leverage's sentiment analysis to gauge project sentiment and identify potential roadblocks or communication gaps within Slack Connect channels.Proactively address potential issues, fosters positive collaboration, and ensures all parties feel heard and can analyze conversation tone and identify potential areas of concern, allowing teams to address them before they escalate and hinder project progress.

2 Easy Steps to Launch Slack Connect and Onboard Your Customer

Slack is the perfect tool to communicate with internal team members—t's instant, transparent and powerful. That being said, most companies still use emails to communicate with customers and external partners including prospects, consultants, and independent contractors. The best way to bring everyone together is by using Slack Connect.

Slack Connect allows a company to onboard B2B customers for better collaboration and transparency.

Here's how you can use Slack Connect to onboard external teams:

If you want to onboard just one customer from another organization, you can use Slack Connect DMs.

1. Click on the Slack Connect in the left sidebar

2. Click on Start a DM

3. Enter the email address of the person you want to interact with and hit Send Invitation

Your job ends here. The recipient can find the invitation in the left sidebar, and review the invitation details. Once accepted, both of you can start using Slack DMs. If you're facing issues in sending or receiving a Slack Connect invitation, get in touch with your admin to change permissions.

But rarely will you need to talk to just one person from your customer organization. When multiple contacts from two companies need to come together to discuss things, a shared channel is the way to go.

Here's how you can use Slack Connect to create shared channels for customers:

1. Tap on the + icon next to Channels in the left sidebar

2. Name your channel. It's a good idea to clarify this channel will be shared externally. Add a description to make the goals clear

3. Click on Share outside [your company name] and then Next

4. Now, enter the email address of the recipient, fill out the channel goals in the description box, and hit Send

The invitation will be emailed to your customer and after accepting, they'll be able to message you in the same channel.

If your customer doesn't use emails or your conversations largely take place on WhatsApp or other platforms, you can simply copy the share link from the same window and share it with them.

If the Slack Connect permissions are restricted,  both admins will need to review and approve the requests first.

If you want to onboard customers to an existing channel, it's even simpler!

1. Open the channel and click on the profile pictures in the top right.

2. Click on Add people.

3. Now, enter the name or email address of the person you’d like to invite to the channel and click Add.

4. Select From another company, and then click Next.

5. Click on Got it to confirm you've read the message.

6. We recommend you include the optional note for clarity and click on Send invitation.

Why should teams use Slack Connect?

Slack Connect declutters threads by bringing all fragmented conversations into one platform.

1. Slack Connect fosters transparency and it's an instant mode of communication. According to Slack, it decreases turnaround time for reviews and approvals by half.

2. It helps businesses improve relationships with customers. For example, with the help of Thena, customer messages in Slack Connect can be turned into Thena requests. You now have better visibility in customer queries and can save time in follow-ups.

3. By documenting all the important conversations in Slack Connect, businesses follow security and compliance metrics

Customer onboarding best practices via Slack Connect

While onboarding people from external organizations, it's important to do these three things:

1. Add contexts to email invitations by using an introductory email template to explain Slack Connect and its goals

2. Use a kickoff message to lay the ground rules in the Slack channel

3. Use the Workflow Builder to automate repetitive messages for new members

Remember that Slack Connect for Slack channels is a premium feature. If your customers are using a free Slack plan, they'll be automatically upgraded to the Pro plan with a 90-day free trial when they accept your invitation. If you're on Enterprise Grid, your recipients can join for free.

4 Examples of Companies Using Slack Connect for Customer Success

More than building and shipping special software is needed in a competitive business environment. From individuals to enterprises, customers expect next-level customer service.

Innovating software-as-a-service companies have already set the standard in this area using tools such as Slack Connect, which lets multiple organizations collaborate in Slack so they can share messages and files. In this article, I highlighted how four SaaS companies use Slack Connect to provide speedy customer support.


Building stronger customer relationships for distributed teams

The Hugo app identifies notes that are related to your upcoming meetings automatically. You can compare them side-by-side or import them into your agenda.

This sharable, actionable software connects teams through sharable meeting notes as part of Hugo's mission to redefine meeting culture. According to Darren Chait, Hugo's co-founder and chief operating officer, Slack was an obvious choice for an organization that builds products to enhance collaboration and communication.

Through Slack Connect, Hugo employees can collaborate with partners, contractors, and agencies as they do with in-house colleagues.

Hugo's distributed team members have also collaborated more effectively through channels, which allows them to focus on building stronger relationships with their customers. The Hugo team shares notes from customer meetings via Slack with contractors and agency partners, enabling partners to understand the customer like in-house employees do.


How Branch uses Slack to Optimize Customer Experience

Branch enables brands to build and measure engaging and relevant end-user experiences across all platforms, devices, and channels.

In the first six months after a deal is closed, the implementation phase is the most significant factor in whether the company will be successful with your product. As SaaS is a recurring revenue model, you usually need to keep customers for 2-3 years to break even, so you need to onboard them well to burn cash due to high churn.

Slack comes into play here. Take advantage of the customer's eagerness right after signing the deal. To do this, the Branch Customer Succes team creates a Shared Slack Channel with the customer, invites the teammates (sales, CS, Implementation team, Managers, Executive Sponsor, etc.), and has their customer champion invite their teammates. This gives Branch CSMs real-time access to the customer's team members who will be instrumental in getting your Branch adopted, and it provides their engineers quick access to Branch teams to keep the implementation running.


Enhancing the speed and efficiency of customer service and response times

SpotDraft streamlines the contract lifecycle in organizations worldwide— saving customers hundreds of hours reviewing contracts and doing other mundane work. It is an end-to-end contract management solution under one platform.

SpotDraft's rapid growth has led to a growing team, an evolving product, and a growing customer base interacting primarily through Slack. Furthermore, Slack's high volume of customer channels can negatively impact customer experience and productivity.

Customer success and support teams manually tracked and responded to requests before Thena, with limited visibility into the overall customer experience for leadership.

Through Thena and Slack Shared channels, SpotDraft has streamlined customer communication, reduced customer response times, and enabled cross-departmental collaboration.

“Thena bridges the gap between Slack threads and support queries seamlessly by letting us assign queries and create tickets within the thread” - Chalormee Basu CSM, SpotDraft

With Thena, SpotDraft connected Hubspot with Slack to automatically generate tickets from Slack conversations, which helps the SpotDraft CS team eliminate the back-and-forth when creating a ticket this way.


Bringing customers and partners together for next-level collaboration

The Zendesk sales team uses Slack's shared channels to match partners with customers. Companies like Zendesk can build credibility by recommending the best partner to their customer base and giving the partner a business opportunity at the same time by speeding this process up with Shared Slack channels.

For SaaS organizations, striving for the best customer service has benefits, including improved communication between businesses and customers and internal communication between teams. Through Slack Connect, organizations and customers can connect in the same Slack workspace, eliminating information silos and increasing efficiency.


What is Slack Connect?

Slack Connect is a feature that allows you to create shared channels with external organizations. This can be helpful for collaborating with customers, partners, or vendors.

What are the benefits of using Slack Connect?

There are several benefits to using Slack Connect, including:

  • Improved communication and transparency: When you create a shared channel with another organization, everyone in the channel can see the same messages and files. This can help to improve communication and transparency between organizations.
  • Saved time: Slack Connect can help you to save time by eliminating the need to switch between different communication channels. For example, you can use Slack Connect to communicate with customers directly, rather than having to email them back and forth.
  • Improved customer relationships: Slack Connect can help you to improve customer relationships by providing a more direct and convenient way to communicate with customers.

Is Slack Connect free?

Slack Connect is a premium feature, and free Slack plans will be upgraded to the Pro plan with a 90-day free trial.

How do I get started with Slack Connect?

To get started with Slack Connect, you will need to have a paid Slack plan. Once you have a paid plan, you can follow these steps:

  1. Go to the "Administration" section of your Slack workspace.
  2. Click on "Connected apps."
  3. Click on "Create an app."
  4. Give your app a name and description.
  5. Click on the "Features" tab.
  6. Enable the "Slack Connect" feature.
  7. Click on the "Install app" button.
  8. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the installation process.

How do I onboard a customer to Slack Connect?

Once you have created a shared channel, you can invite your customers to join the channel by sharing the channel invitation link with them. I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

It’s a Wrap

With these practices in place, Slack Connect Channels can be a highly effective tool for inter-organizational communication and collaboration. Being aware of potential pitfalls and adopting strategies to avoid them can greatly enhance your channel use.

For a hassle-free experience without the risk of losing customer messages, consider using Thena. This comprehensive solution not only automatically detects and converts customer requests into tickets but also offers valuable data insights, allowing you to track trends over time and at scale.

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