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Here are five practical ways to use Slack to work smarter, not harder

Technology today has become synonymous with automation. As we move further away from workdays filled with manual, mundane and unnecessary tasks — that aren’t just slow but also prone to error — we are replacing those moments with automated actions. 

The intended outcome is to have technology take the wheel reserve our human capital for uniquely human work — the more creative, collaborative, sometimes messy and often enjoyable tasks. 

Business leaders need to understand the right automation to integrate into their digital headquarters to ensure they are doing work and processes smarter and more accurate while freeing people to do what they do best. 

Here are five tasks that can be easily automated with Slack and some of the brands that are doing it best:

HR and Onboarding

Airwallex leaned into automating its HR and onboarding processes to streamline the interview process and welcome new starters to keep up with its rapid growth. 

Interviewers use the Lever app for Slack to officially record applicant information before syncing up with the hiring group in the channel, allowing the team to follow a candidate through the pipeline until they find the right fit for a position.

Key Slack apps such as JumpCloud and BambooHR have also helped Airwallex roll out new offices and onboard at record speed. JumpCloud connects Airwallex’s HR department with IT to automatically align every new employee with relevant Slack channels, skipping past the tedious task of manually adding them to each one. One such channel is the all-important #onboarding, which has everything a newbie needs to hit the ground running (including a best practices handbook on how to utilise all their workplace tech).

Team Updates

Finding a way to automate team updates helps cut unnecessary processes and is a great time saver for teams. Canva’s 45-person finance team spent an average of 1.5 hours per week in stand-ups – a total of 67.5 hours per week. For a rapidly growing team juggling multiple priorities and time zones, time was essential to Canva. The team needed to find a way to have more asynchronous conversations to shift their time and focus on more impactful work and reaching their “crazy big goals”.

Using Slack’s Workflow Builder, the Finance team now spends five minutes per week updating their status in Slack – a total weekly time saving of 63.75 hours.

Customer Experience

Customers’ expectations continue to grow, and businesses need to look for ways to improve customer experiences constantly. Automation is a great way to pull together information and resources to ensure businesses can make decisions that position customer experiences as a top priority. New Zealand-based point-of-sale and retail management software company, Vend recognised the power of reviews, and the business realised it was taking too long to resolve negative reviews and requests for customer service online.

Harnessing the Trustpilot platform, Vend introduced Slack as a means to streamline its response to customer reviews. Trustpilot reviews are now automatically added to Vend’s #reviews Slack channel. A team of customer support and product specialists then work collaboratively to quickly address the customer’s review or request. In Slack, the right person can respond in the fastest amount of time, accelerating their turnaround time from three days – to one day or even just a couple of hours in some cases.

Customer Service

In line with the expectations on customer experience is customer service – with speed playing a big part in the makeup of positive customer service experiences. The speed of automation is a great way to ensure businesses are able to react and act at important customer service moments. Up, Australia’s highest-rated banking app uses Slack’s AppFollow integration to pull in every public review instantly. If customers are having a hard time, everyone in the team can see it, discuss it, and then solve it together.

Slack gives customer support eyes into every corner of the business, and with a robust search function, customer support agents can tap into a shared knowledge base without ever having to open another application. Keeping track of customer metrics – from new customer sign-ups to marketing campaign performance and website performance – has become easier with daily insights into customer behaviour and sentiment.

Operations

Automation is a vital tool to keep large, dispersed workforces aligned and working as one unit. The Jacky Winter Group is a creative production and representation studio with offices in Melbourne, London and New York – and as the conduit between artist and client – agility is a core function. For a global agency, it’s critical to speed up approvals, remove human error and choose documentation over guesswork. 

Slack channels help triage client requests and enlist the right cross-functional experts to help manage issues or build teams for the right project. Within Slack, the team builds templates and can implement automated systems and processes to run their creative projects. Leaning into automating these processes means that The Jacky Winter team of agent producers can listen better and respond faster to artist or client needs as they come up. 

Automation is there to make life easier. It helps businesses work smarter, not harder – so that time and resources can be rerouted to other areas that need strategic thinking and creative flair – the all-important human touch. Starting with Workflow Builder in Slack, you can look at the processes weighing employees down and find ways to automate and change the way you work for the better.

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Arturo Arrarte

Arturo Arrarte

Arturo Arrarte joined Slack in 2017 as Head of Growth for the Asia Pacific region. Arturo works with transformational leaders across APAC to help drive innovation and agility across large enterprises, he’s spoken publicly to the need for large enterprise organisations to reduce organisational drag and drive transparency in order remain relevant as the competitive environment becomes more global. Having contributed to driving growth at Salesforce, KPMG and IBM, Arturo has first-hand experience of guiding companies through periods of rapid growth and scale.

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