Automating messages in Slack
Productivity
slack on slack

Say hello to Success Bot, the voice of our customer success team

The bot sends updates to customers right in Slack, saving our CS team hundreds of hours and deepening customer relationships

Author: Sara YinOctober 2nd, 2020Illustration by Robert Samuel Hanson

From product and admin updates to best practices and thought-leadership content, there’s always information to share with customers. Managing that load fell on the plate of each customer success manager (CSM), which reduced their bandwidth for more strategic, personalized conversations with customers in channels shared through Slack Connect. Until our CS team collectively asked, How could we give our CSMs a bigger plate?

Enter the CS team’s new best friend: Success Bot. Success Bot is a custom Slack app that lets the CS team share updates with hundreds of customers at once and track the engagement of these messages.

A monthly newsletter from Success Bot

Success Bot delivers three key benefits to our CS team:

  1. Time savings: Our CS team saves approximately 200 hours a month
  2. Customer engagement: On average we see a 22% click-through rate of messages! It also sparks conversations and upsell opportunities in channels shared with customers
  3. Voice and tone consistency: It helps the team present information consistently and regularly

More important, Success Bot has greatly simplified the communications we send our customers. All updates are centralized in Slack, making it easier for admins to stay informed or follow up with questions.

“Success Bot allows us to automate key communications and meaningfully engage with more customers more frequently,” says Kelly Bray, a senior director of customer success at Slack. “By providing relevant updates at scale, Success Bot takes the logistical burden off CSMs, who now have more time to focus on specific customer questions and value realization efforts—a really amazing upside for the team.”

Here’s a breakdown of how Success Bot works, and how we built it with a few out-of-the-box Slack tools.

How Success Bot messages come to life

Anyone at Slack can submit messages or content ideas for the CS team to share with customers by filling out a form created in Workflow Builder. For instance, a product marketer might submit release notes, or a fellow CSM might want to promote an upcoming webinar. Submissions are collected in a dedicated channel, #cs-proj-success-bot.

From there, a core project team reviews all submissions and develops a content calendar for the quarter. If there’s a lot to communicate, they group messages into a newsletter-like bundle featuring multiple product updates and tips.

Once a message is approved, the core team takes it to Block Kit, our Slack app UI framework that lets you create richly formatted messages that include call-to-action buttons and visuals. After the message is built, we send it to a staging channel to preview the formatted message. We can then send messages to specific segments, thanks to a nifty integration with Salesforce. For example, when organizations first went remote due to the pandemic, we were able to send ideas for distance learning to our education customers.

A Success Bot message being built in Block Kit

After the message is sent, we can check stats such as click-through rates. On average, our messages have seen 22% or higher click-through rates, more than 10 times that of most B2B emails.

Sparking conversations that open new doors

The impact of Success Bot goes beyond vanity metrics. When we first rolled out the bot, we expected a streamlined experience for our customers and time savings for our CS team. What we didn’t expect was increased engagement from the customers’ side, leading to more opportunities for our sales team.

A Slack tip from Success Bot

For instance, we recently shared a lighthearted tip through Success Bot about using Slack for executive Ask Me Anything sessions as a way to boost company engagement. One of our finance customers replied immediately, and even added her colleagues to the channel so they could collectively discuss applying this at their company. Before Success Bot, we might not have shared that tip at all, given that there’s usually lots to cover in calls and emails.

Our CS teammates also take advantage of threads and @mentions to highlight specific updates to customers. For example, when Success Bot posts product announcements, a CSM might tag a customer who asked for the feature in the past. When we announced our customer conference, Frontiers, Success Bot communicated that registrations were open and our CSMs highlighted sessions of interest to their customers. In a way, you could say the bot does all the tactical heavy lifting by acting as the unified voice of CS, while teammates add a more personalized touch to the customer relationship. See why it’s our best friend?

And we’re already dreaming up ways for Success Bot to have even more impact. For starters, we’re working on deepening our integration with Salesforce to create more sophisticated, tracked campaigns. We’re hoping for more granular segmentation. The sky’s the limit, really.

Build your own Success Bot

Itching to use a Success Bot for your team? If you’re in sales or customer success, get in touch!

Part of a technical team? Learn more about creating custom apps on our platform with the additional resources below.

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