Optimizing Slack for support desks to maximize ticket deflection

slack laptop screen
After surveying hundreds of IT and  HR service desks, Spoke found that when employees are given the option, people will submit 70% of their requests through Slack.

If you, as an IT Manager, People-ops professional or Customer Support Manager in a Slack-powered organization are surprised by this statistic, it could be time to conduct a review of your support platform.

Slack is a dream come true for most organizations with an IT helpdesk and Customer Success teams. It allows for fast and organized communication, which leads to solving problems efficiently. If your support team is using Slack to handle and manage service requests, consider acknowledging that trend and codifying your Slack workspace to be optimized for this usage pattern.

It’s time to Hack your Slack

time to hack Slack

With Slack being the platform of choice for your organization, there are a number of opportunities to improve your Slack workspace to be optimized for support teams or consumers. Here are a few that we at Obie.ai have seen work time and time again.

Pinning

“Pin” common docs for easier reference through Slack. If you are seeing a frequently asked question in a particular channel, pin it to the channel to make it featured prominently and instantly accessible without having to search.

Dedicated Slack Channels

Leverage Slack channels to create central hubs. Here are a few that we’ve seen effectively used time and time again:
• #help-it – a dedicated space for requesting IT help
• #triage-it – sort out urgent issues and resolution with IT and
technical teams
• #announcements-it – broadcast announcements about
updates/maintenance and anything tech-related (pro-tip: large
orgs can use location specific channels)

Thread Comments

Use threads to consolidate comments. Encourage employees to use Slack’s threading capability to capture conversations rather than to just fill a channel with random replies. This will keep your channels tidier and more organized.

Use Emojis to communicate status

Train support teams to utilize specific/custom emoji’s to define communication and triage structure, prioritize and tag requests. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • 👀 to denote that a request has been by a support team member
  • ✔ to denote a problem was resolved
  • ❗ (or multiples) to denote levels of issue urgency

Readme files

Document FAQs after issues are resolved and pin to channel in a readme for the future. A readme is a great way to store keep all of your most important and repeated issues at the forefront of a Slack channel.

Organize your Knowledge Base

Organize your KB appropriately. This item is a little more complicated and is deserving of a full post or a series. Taking a cursory look at organizing your knowledge base, consider the following items.

  • Consider the types of knowledge you have and how they will be consumed
  • Sort knowledge by size (snippets, videos, longform, etc) and group them together to facilitate searching
  • Push frequently asked questions into snippets and deeper knowledge into videos or longform articles

So there you have it. These are a list of strategies, that we at Obie.ai, use in-house and have seen our Slack-centric customers use specifically to maximize ticket deflection.