Response times are one of the most important factors in customer service. It’s an incredible way to build and nourish relationships, and an overall cause for happy customers. I mean hey, who doesn’t appreciate a quick response — especially on Twitter! To an extent, it’s even expected.

Back in 2010, Xbox received an Guinness’s World Record for its response times, getting back to customers on average in just over 2.5 seconds (Holy smokes!). Today, Apple is taking to Twitter to help its customers getting back to folks at the same speed 🚀

While we’ve certainly not mastered the 2-second Twitter reply (yet), we’re surely aspiring for it! And there’s one tool we’ve found can be a huge help in closing that gap, and getting back to customers fast: Slack.

Closing the gap as a small team

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Notice that this screenshot is a bit different? It’s a design we’re exploring for the new conversation view!

One thing we’ve found unbelievably useful is to keep engineers close to issues. It speeds up fixes and amplifies the empathy we, as a team, have towards the overall user experience.

When a user can contact us with a bug, and hear back directly from an engineer saying, “I just fixed this for you” it’s an unbelievably positive experience. It’s these conversations that can really connect a user to a brand and build trust.

Taking advantage of Slack Notifications

Slack has a bunch app integrations — there’s one for everything from finding gifs, to setting up meetings, to starting a video call.

For speed, we’ve found app notifications to really be a key feature we can take advantage of through Slack. Here are some of our favorites:

  • HelpScout: We use the HelpScout integration to bring any replies or new support requests right to our attention.
  • Buffer Reply: With it’s Slack integration you can get notified of every mention, DM, and even search query right from Slack.
  • Github: We have all our new Github issues flowing through Slack so we can be in-the-know on current issues others on the team create.
  • Intercom: When we’ve got campaigns running in Intercom, any user response is funneled through making it easy for us to jump over to Intercom and get back to ‘em.

Setting up a Notifications Room

When we originally started funneling our notifications into Slack, we first chose to have them flowing right into our General room, where we’d have most of our day-to-day chatter. As a small team, this felt like a great starting place as it ensured we’d see each message from a customer. This allowed us to jump in on urgent issues at the same speed we can reply to a message from a team member.

As the notification pace increased, we found ourselves drowning a bit in Slack messages and began to see the importance of a secondary room for these notifications. For this, we now have a #notifications room in Slack where we funnel them all through. It’s now our second most active Slack room we use, and one we try to keep a keen eye on throughout the day.

Using Push Notifications

Slack allows you to setup notifications specific to channels. This allows you to set both Desktop and Mobile notifications in different ways based on the importance of the channel.

For a #notifications channel, for example, you might want to set notifications for ‘Activity of any kind’ while for a more #general channel, you might just want it set to go off when you’ve been mentioned directly.

You can also setup a Do Not Disturb schedule where Slack won’t notify you between specific hours. Great for when you might want to mute notifications after business hours 😴

Getting Buffer Reply notifications setup

We’ve made it easy to get connected with Slack, and it’s a feature free on all our plans. Check out our guide here on getting things rockin’ with Slack notifications for you and your team!

We’re hoping this’ll help keep you and your team on top of your conversations and to be able to offer your customers the mind blowing experience they deserve.

And hey, it gives you more time to focus on other tasks, like learning to ride a unicycle, or perfecting your baked ziti 😄

Over to you

Is there something (a tool, integration, etc.) that helps speed you and your team up with support? Let us know over @GetRespond on Twitter — we’d love to hear about it!