Organization : slack
Industry : Software Development – Collaboration
A few months ago , our operations team was tasked with looking at tools that could help achieve 3 key initiatives: knowledge sharing, collaboration & efficiency. I work for and accounting firm and it was the middle of tax season. Email inboxes were filling up, we weren’t having trouble communicating with each other, but were we doing it in the best way we could ? were we collaborative, efficient and sharing knowledge ?
This is a question all companies face and in the everyday cost/benefit analysis a manger or business owner goes through it is often decided that status quo will do just fine. When we were tasked at looking for alternatives, I was elated, knowing that nothing may come of it but still being happy change was a consideration.
Our research lead us to a new, relatively unknown messaging software. Slack describes itself as a platform for team communication: everything in one place, instantly searchable, available wherever you go. From the get go, we were impressed. In October 2014, Slack was granted the title of “fastest growing workplace software, EVER” and was valued at 1.12 billion, and today is valued at 2.8 billion. Oh, and did I mention you can use it for free ?
We weren’t the only ones who were impressed. Slack boasts the following customer base on their website:
….So Yeah, We Tried Slack
What does this have to do with social media ?
As a new customer of slack (paying or otherwise), the experience was seamless and one of the better consumer experiences I have ever had. The software and its features were well explained, very intuitive and easy to use. I didn’t (and still haven’t) spoken to anyone who works for the company, no sales people, no spam…nothing..and it’s great! When we started getting feedback from some test users, we had some questions though. We didn’t have a customer rep to email or call…so I thought I would send a tweet to @slackhq
The first questions was answered same day by a developer working on the windows app, the second, also received a someday reply! They had no idea I was looking to sign up 110 users, I was a random person, asking about their product and they were happy to engage with me. It was a great experience.
For me, the founders of slack GET IT. They know their audience and they certainly know how to engage with them. When have you ever heard the co-founder of a multi-billion dollar company say something like this :
“We’ve done a sh**ty job of telling people how to use Slack”
This quote was from an article I found at venturebeat.com and It spoke volumes to me about how this company is managed. The growth has been organic and based on merit, word of mouth and by engaging with its customers in a sincere and honest dialogue. They may not have done a great job at telling people how to use their product , but with any good tool, should you have to ? I just USE a hammer ….
Slack is a great example of how a company can use social media to engage its customers rather than using it to sell. Their twitter feed is full of tips & tricks, software updates and of course ready to reply to inquires in a public forum. There are no sales, prices are not mentioned, it is all about engaging with their customers.
For a more in-depth conversation on the merits of using slack for your business check this out :
Submitted by: Kyle Turriff – SMBP Student, University of Waterloo
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