Transformation

How financial service providers use Slack to elevate customer service

From external collaboration to rapid support resolution, Slack is helping these companies provide the best digital solutions for customers

Author: Devon MaloneyDecember 18th, 2019Illustration by Kelsey Wroten

With complex regulations baked into the business, the financial services sector has always required an exceptional amount of collaboration and process to serve its customers. Today that need has grown even more complex, as digital innovation revolutionizes financial services globally, diminishing foot traffic into branches and expanding consumer expectations.

Several business leaders have emerged when it comes to digital transformation in banking, and at the heart of their strategies: Slack. Here’s how three of them are using Slack to transform the way they collaborate and create a seamless digital banking experience for their customers.

Starling Bank: Expediting customer support and developer operations

As the first bank in the U.K. to offer mobile-only checking, Starling Bank has been a leader in the digital banking space from day one. Since customers have full control over their money using the Starling Bank app, delivering fast and efficient customer services while complying with banking regulations is crucial.

That’s why Starling Bank’s management portal—an operations and customer support web app that runs payment queues—feeds into private Slack channels, places for teams to share messages, tools and files. There, key reviewers can approve or reject sensitive actions with a single click. These actions are then archived in a neat pipeline that can be easily accessed for audits.

Reviewers also get help from Starbot, a custom Slack bot designed in-house to automate Starling Bank’s developer operations processes. It assigns less-senior developers temporarily escalated privileges to deploy releases or diagnose issues, including restarting servers and rebooting non-production-related services.

“The ability to do that all from Starbot is immensely useful for developers,” says Greg Hawkins, a senior technical advisor at Starling Bank. “It’s just become part of our toolbox.”

In Starbot’s Slack channel, senior-level staff can keep track of escalations, staying on top of audit requirements without having to attend to each individual privilege request. Because the bank deploys anywhere from two to five releases daily, Starbot frees up hours of managers’ time previously spent context switching.

Wealthsimple: Making algorithmic investing more human via Slack channels

To make investment accessible and provide simple, straightforward advice to more than 175,000 customers, Wealthsimple has virtually eliminated email and made Slack its hub for day-to-day operations. Although Wealthsimple’s online platform offers algorithm-driven investment, customers can engage with real investment advisors whenever they need assistance.

Customer requests get relayed through Slack from Wealthsimple’s customer success team, dramatically cutting down turnaround time for customers on even the most complex issues. Funds transfers can be expedited through the company’s #back-office-funding Slack channel, giving customers in Toronto’s fiercely competitive housing market a leg up on other buyers.

The customer success teams can also instantly relay feedback about everything from website typos to product requests via the companywide #feedback channel. This direct pipeline means new features are able to roll out more quickly, ensuring that customers feel like their concerns are being speedily addressed.

Intuit: Using Slack to foster unprecedented cross-functional collaboration

Slack was so well received by Intuit’s TurboTax, QuickBooks, Mint and Turbo teams that adoption quickly went viral internally. Intuit employees are collaborating across divisions like never before—including with external partners in Slack guest channels—creating brand-new cross-functional opportunities to serve customers better.

Slack has become the central hub for Intuit’s worldwide customer support team, which is scattered across the globe. The platform has made it easy for the large team to adopt simple workflows, get new teammates onboarded quickly, control permissions for seasonal contract hires, and quickly resolve customer support issues. Intuit employees can also access Learning Bot, a custom Slack app integration that acts as a concierge for ongoing education about the company’s internal workings, whether that’s who to ask about a certain process or what channel to join to learn more about employee benefits.

Slack has revolutionized how fast Intuit teams are able to work, creating more space for new products that help their customers work smarter. This year alone, Intuit reported a 15% year-over-year revenue boost, largely because it’s expanded its small-business and self-employment software products, a capability that might have been too costly for a siloed workforce that engages with contractors only via email.

Says Pam Whitmore, an IT group manager at Intuit, “Our teams tell us they’re working together and solving problems much faster, because although they are spread across the globe, Slack makes it like you’re in the same room.”

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