Building better relationships in the age of all-remote work
How Stripe, Xero and ModSquad work with external partners and customers in Slack channels to build stronger, lasting relationships.
Every business leader knows you can learn the most about your customers and partners by meeting them face-to-face. But in the wake of Covid-19, the kinds of conversations that were taking place over coffee, meals and in company halls are now relegated to video conferences—which can be less effective for nurturing relationships—and email.
Email inboxes, with hard-to-search threads and siloed messages, not only slow down communication but are also an easy target for scammers. Earlier this year, Google reported more than 18 million daily malware and phishing emails related to Covid-19 scams in just one week and more than 240 million daily spam messages.
To keep the lines of communication wide open in this new reality, organizations are adopting new cloud solutions at a rate CIOs expected to see years from now. In fact, 79% of CIOs agree that the pandemic will force their organizations to digitally transform faster than planned, according to J.P. Morgan.
But executive leaders know it takes more than just adopting a communication platform or software bundle to build relationships remotely. You have to find the right solution that meets both your internal and external collaboration needs. That's why competitive businesses today are turning to Slack, the channel-based messaging platform, to close communication gaps with partners and customers in the age of remote work. Companies can securely collaborate with external parties using Slack channels, a single place to share files and messages, in the same Slack workspace through Slack Connect.
With Slack Connect, organizations can build stronger customer and partner relationships through real-time communication. And unlike email—which leaves users open to the risk of spam and phishing—companies and external parties receive communications only from verified members in Slack channels. Plus, Slack workspace administrators can maintain control over data and monitor external access.
Here's a closer look at how teams at Stripe, Xero and ModSquad are using Slack Connect to engage customers, prospects and partners in real-time and close deals faster.
Stripe: Expediting sales deals while building lasting relationships with customers
Stripe is an online payment provider with a mission to support e-commerce. The Stripe sales team works with early-stage startups all the way through global Fortune 500 companies, and uses Slack Connect to engage with customers, keep communication organized and teams in sync, and jump on sales opportunities.
Jeanne DeWitt Grosser, head of Americas revenue and growth at Stripe, says communicating with prospective customers in Slack has been instrumental in maintaining engagement and closing deals.
"Historically, the gold standard of a deep relationship in sales was getting the person on text," says DeWitt Grosser. "Now the gold standard is getting them into a Slack channel."
Usually at the beginning of a sale, DeWitt Grosser explains, reps used to double down on communication using the "law of 2x." Essentially, you start with a meeting and then follow up a week later. But this strategy no longer makes the cut: A lot could change in a week, and Slack is more in line with the tempo of the digital workplace.
"In Slack channels, the dialogue with the prospect happens in real time, as opposed to the next time you align your schedules," DeWitt Grosser says. "This kind of personal, persistent connection grows customer loyalty and retention."
Often sales reps have to communicate with a variety of departments to seal the deal. Instead of emailing them separately and creating silos, Stripe's account executives and solution architects set up a Slack channel with key customer stakeholders, like developers, the head of payments and a finance representative.
"When you need to move quickly, email is not the right format: It's more formal and responses take longer," says James Dyett, Stripe's head of global product sales and payments optimizations. "Slack has super powers. It's a much better experience."
Xero: Working with external partners like they're on the same team
If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it's that relationships matter. Whether it's launching a marketing campaign with a partner or hiring contractors to complete a specific project, we can't—and shouldn't—try to do everything ourselves.
When it comes to nurturing partnerships in the midst of the pandemic, Xero, a cloud-based accounting software company, affirms that working in Slack Connect has been a game changer. Justine Wallendorf, New Zealand partner marketing manager at Xero, says Slack Connect helped her team launch a joint online marketing campaign with partners, Figured and Paysauce.
The three companies were offering a complete software solution for farmers looking to manage their business digitally. By coming together in one Slack channel, #xero-partners, the sales and marketing teams across all three businesses could connect and ensure alignment on:
- Immediate universal access to all campaign details
- Consistent messaging across sales enablement deliverables, such as one pagers and slide decks
- Quick feedback and turnaround times for deliverables
- Clear leadership signoffs
"Working in Slack Connect guaranteed that everyone was beating the same drum and speaking the same language, positioning our partnership as best as possible in the market," Wallendorf says.
ModSquad: Winning customer loyalty with exceptional customer support
With so much uncertainty in the world, efficient and reliable customer support is akin to a safe harbor in a storm. That's why Slack customer, ModSquad has its support teams troubleshoot customer issues in real time with Slack Connect.
As a customer experience outsourcer, ModSquad knows good customer service. Each day, ModSquad's global crew of experts—the Mods—help their customers engage with their audiences online through customer support, content moderation, community management and social media.
ModSquad works with its clients in Slack Connect to set up service level agreements and incorporate support dashboards. With the Geckoboard Slack integration, ModSquad monitors clients' incoming calls and chats—without ever leaving Slack. Whenever the team sees an uptick in activity or service impacting issues, they can quickly alert clients and internal teams for quick resolution. The team also relies on a Zendesk Slack integration to track service desk tickets, troubleshoot and resolve issues.
According to Steve Henry, senior vice president, client services at ModSquad, Slack channels also help build a culture of transparent communication and trust with clients.
"Establishing trust with our clients is very important, and Slack provides a crucial component for all of our efforts" Henry says. "With Slack, we can provide world-class support solutions and improvements for our clients, driving efficiencies while growing their business in the process."
In an all-remote world, Slack Connect builds strong partnerships
Slack Connect is available for all paid plans. If you're already a customer but new to Slack Connect, feel free to reach out or learn more on how to get started. And if you want to see how others are using Slack Connect to work with external partners, check out a few of our recent customer stories.