It’s 12:20 pm on Sunday afternoon. I reach into my purse to take my cell phone off vibrating mode as I walk out of church, and my home screen is sporting a new notification from Slack. If your immediate question is, “What is Slack?” here’s the Cliff’s notes version:
Slack is a messaging app for groups that boasts some features we’ve all come to love, like photo & file uploads, hashtags, emojis, and a whole lot of integrations. If you would like to learn more about it, check out slack.com or this handy post by Pocket-lint.com
We have been using Slack in our distributed office for about a month and we love it. We have a channel for each client, and this has eliminated a significant amount of e-mails. As an added plus, it is a more comfortable form of communication, comparable to texting or Facebook messaging. I believe that this “social” factor is what has contributed to improved office communications: we’re all on the same page…. and that’s an amazing feeling!
In the last month we signed up a new client, and as we were getting to know one another we learned that they also use Slack. Why not use it together? So we did.
Back to my Sunday afternoon… The notification on my phone is from Ryan, the new client, who had sent me a message requesting a few changes on an e-book we’ve been working on. I respond with my suggestions and how we can best achieve his end goal.
He responds with: LOVE IT!
I was ecstatic! My client just sent me a party emoji, and I felt like having a party. My excitement was coming from the fact that I could feel his reaction when he sent me the message.
This reminded me about a very helpful blog I read by Patrick Schock, “4 Principles to Achieve Customer Delight.”
One of the points Schock emphasizes is the difference between satisfaction and delight. In the advertising business, I’ve learned all too well the importance of managing client expectations. We preach “under-promise and over-deliver”. Satisfying a client is achieving the bare minimum, but delight is only measurable above and beyond. Delight is .
What is an ideal solution is one where you meet your client in their element with speed, convenience and relativity. - Ashley Quintana
In my Sunday afternoon tid-bit, the standard expectation goes like this:
- Send e-mail with file on Friday afternoon.
- Client reviews file, makes notes and sends back an e-mail over the weekend.
- Check e-mails on Monday morning and respond.
So what is it about Slack that is helping me delight my new customer Ryan?
- Speed. In today’s world, everything is fast. In many cases, it’s instant. Part of the delight, was that my response to Ryan was fast. It was delivered within 30 minutes of when he sent it.
- Convenience. I’m communicating with my client in a way that’s convenient. It’s convenient because it’s on our phone, tablet or desktop. Slack eliminates the need for 20 back and forth e-mails, at the risk of losing someone in the conversation. At any point in time, you can add a team member to the conversation; they can scroll through to read the conversation and catch up on the project or topic at hand easily. Slack makes it very simple to bring in another opinion (whether you’re the client or the agency) without having to repeat the entire conversation or search for which e-mail was sent where.
- Relativity. Slack is a more effective means of communication because it’s like the social media we use every day with our friends and family. The Internet has taught us to relate in a different way, and Slack lets us apply it to business: I can upload a PDF file and Ryan can give it a “like” or a “thumbs up.”
I'm a huge fan of Slack, but that does not necessarily mean that it's the ideal solution for you or your client. What is an ideal solution is one where you meet your client in their element with speed, convenience and relativity.
About the Author
Ashley Quintana, M.S., B.A.
Ashley Quintana is the co-founder and managing partner at Bridges Strategies. A graduate of Oklahoma State University's media management master's program, Ashley co-founded Bridges Strategies with a $10,000 investment. Two years later, the bootstrapped company grossed almost one million dollars and grew to a team of eight. In her role, she develops, leads and executes digital marketing strategies for the company's growing client base.