As much as we try to maximize efficiency, we’re only human. We’re inherently bad at multitasking; only 2% of the population can multitask effectively according to Psychology Today. When we jump from system to system or app to app, we have trouble maintaining focus due to context switching.
But imagine a world where you could use Slack as your work hub—where you could close a ticket in Zendesk by clicking a button in Slack, have your leads from Salesforce delivered right to your chatbox, create a new Trello card without leaving the channel you’re in, unfurl a Github URL so all the ticket details show up in Slack instead of navigating into Github, then back to Slack to continue the conversation. This functionality eliminates the need to straddle multiple apps at once and allows for better focus.
Every department can benefit from an unhindered workflow state inside of Slack. Yet, with so many possibilities, it can be difficult to sit down and jump start your imagination – especially after all those delicious holiday feasts. We’ll take you department by department to show you how some of the top companies are getting productive with Slack, Workbot, and Workato.
If you’re not already using Slack, the new year is a good time to start. Here’s a special $100 credit towards a new workspace so you can set your team up for success in the new year.
Table of Contents
- Human Resources
- Customer Service
- eCommerce Ops
- IT, Engineering, and Security Ops
- Bringing MixPanel Stats into Slack
- Humanizing Big Data Insights with Workbot for Slack
HR onboarding and offboarding Service Requests with approvals from Slack
One of the largest public financial apps has almost 8,000 employees, which means when they hire they need to have an easy way to request the items new employees need. They use ServiceNow to handle these service requests for a new laptop or provisioning to their business apps, but even beyond hiring, people are ordering things throughout the company all the time. They have 60,000 tickets a year that are all are being handled manually.
Then they had a brilliant idea: why not let people order things right from Slack? Now, you can ask Workbot to order something and enter your request right in Slack using drop-down menus, buttons, or typing commands. Workbot will create it in ServiceNow. The IT team or whoever provides the goods from the service request can also do their job from Slack. They will get a Slack notification from Workbot when the service request is created in ServiceNow and can securely approve it with the click of a button. Not navigating to ServiceNow to file a ticket 60,000 times makes everyone more productive, and it reduces the time spent on these requests by 20%. That’s huge savings!
HR Provisioning with Slack + Workday/Namely + ServiceNow/JIRA + Okta
A crucial aspect of employee onboarding is getting new employees set up in the other apps and systems they need. You want new hires to have access as soon as possible so so they can start being productive right away! But granting access to apps and systems (also known as provisioning) usually requires some manual input. You (or an IT staff member) must manually create credentials for a new employee across all the apps they’ll use.
Organizations frequently use an identity and access management (IAM) program like Okta to manage provisioning. Due to security concerns, these apps are often managed by the IT or Security Ops teams. That’s great for peace-of-mind, but it also means that HR can’t make changes as needed. This creates a time lag in the employee onboarding process because HR must wait for another department to provision all new employees.
Using an integrated employee onboarding workflow, you can securely create new users in your IAM app and kick off automatic provisioning. When a new employee signs their offer letter in an HR app like Workday or Namely, Workato will automatically create a new Okta user. Then the IAM app will provision that new user across all the applications they need access to. This automation eliminates the need to wait for IT to provision new hires; instead, the process happens automatically and securely.
Escalating Tickets Quickly
Something that truly sets Workbot for Slack apart from other chatbots is that you can seamlessly execute actions in other apps directly from the chat console. If a support issue is particularly urgent or serious, for example, you can easily escalate the ticket to another team—such as engineering or DevOps—right from Slack.
For example, a customer alerts you on Facebook to a very serious website issue and you need to create a support ticket in an app like Zendesk. You can create the ticket within Slack using Workbot. Workbot can notice things like when it’s an important customer or a product related issue, so in this case, Workbot will also ask whether you want to escalate the issue to the engineering team, who might work in an app like JIRA. Without leaving Slack, you can create a ticket in your customer service app, and escalate the ticket to engineering by creating a corresponding issue in the correct app.
If your engineers also use Slack or another party should be informed of the issue, Workbot can send a notification about the new JIRA issue to a channel of your choosing – say a dedicated Escalated Tickets channel in Slack.
You can make this workflow intelligent by incorporating IBM’s Watson. When a new support ticket comes in from a customer, Watson can analyze the ticket’s sentiment and suggest escalation if necessary. Watson’s recommendation is pushed directly to the CS team’s Slack channel. Not only will they spend less time triaging tickets, but they’ll be better prepared to engage appropriately with customers!
Receiving Support Ticket Notifications Based on Threshold or Value
Managers need an easy way to see the status of their support teams and receive notifications when a threshold is exceeded. Workato can be used to give notifications from your customer service app rules, so you don’t get a firehose of notifications every time a ticket is created.
If you want to be notified every 20 tickets, you can easily set a Workato recipe up to do so by choosing 20 as the threshold and setting it to the correct channel. If your customer service team prefers a smaller threshold, you could install the recipe again and have it alert you every 3 tickets in a different channel.
Workbot can also provide data graphics right in Slack if you notice a spike in ticket number or any other indicator of change, as well as show which product, region, or support channel is responsible for the spike. Having all this information at your fingertips in Slack can dramatically increase response time!
You can also receive Slack notifications for support tickets based on value. Perhaps you only want to see Zendesk tickets that come from customers in the United States or you would only like to be notified of Zendesk tickets marked “priority.” When configuring the recipe in Workato, you can choose the data values such as ticket priority and customer location that you would like Workbot to show you. Another great way to use value notifications is to identify your VIP or high-value customers in your CRM and set a notification to only receive Zendesk notifications when a VIP customer has a new ticket. This will allow the customer service team to provide truly outstanding service to your important customers and help managers keep a close eye on any problems a high-value customer might have. Use this recipe >
Creating an Intelligent Helpdesk with Zendesk or ServiceNow
Most companies think of helpdesks as a customer-facing tool. But if you have distributed teams, employees frequently have questions and can waste a lot of time trying to find the right answers or waiting for someone to answer them. A leading creative agency wanted to make it easier for employees to get answers without creating a backlog of internal communication for questions that could often be answered in the helpdesk. Most employees know the helpdesk is there, but would rather just go straight to filing a ticket than navigating to the helpdesk page, searching for their questions, and then navigating to Zendesk or ServiceNow to file a ticket if they don’t find their answer. With intelligent automation, employees can access helpdesk material via Slack and file the ticket from Slack if they don’t find the answer.
Now, instead of emailing the IT department or creating a support ticket for their issue, the employee can simply ask Workbot their question in Slack. Workbot will search your support app, like Zendesk or ServiceNow, to see if a relevant help article exists. If it finds a related answer, Workbot sends the article back to the employee in Slack.
But what if Workbot can’t match the question with an existing answer or the article doesn’t provide enough information? Workbot will prompt the employee to create a new ticket in Zendesk or ServiceNow, which they can do within Slack in the same chat thread. This workflow promotes self-help, which means better resolution times and a lighter workload for the team who needs to handle these requests. By making the workflow easy and delightful, the employee has no reason to circumvent the system and make a ticket request without first checking the helpdesk resources.
Receiving Notifications for Customers Assigned to You
If you have Account Based Customer Service (AB-CS) or assign dedicated support agents to individual customer accounts, you need to notify each agent when a new customer is assigned to them or when activity occurs with one of their assigned customers.
First, the agent will receive a direct message via Slack, letting them know they’ve been assigned to an account. Then they will get Slack notifications anytime their customer reaches out to the company. The Slack message also includes any critical information about the customer.
You can also set up Slack notifications using Workbot for all of the other apps your customers have touchpoints in, so the agent is alerted whenever the customer reaches out no matter which platform it comes through. Whether it’s JIRA, Salesforce, and Zendesk, or Intercom and Marketo, the agent can truly stay on top of key customers and their activity.
Receiving Customer Churn Alerts
Being aware of when a customer will churn is important for any business. To better manage churn, you can build a “Customer Happiness Meter.” This involves moving customer information from apps like Intercom, FreshDesk, and Salesforce into Google Sheets, analyzing all the data together, and predicting which customers might churn based on that information.
Every week, Workbot can send a direct message in Slack to each CS agent with a list of the CS agent’s customer accounts and any churn indicators. These alerts are key because CS agents are often busy, so it’s unrealistic for them to routinely manually check the key metrics of all of their assigned customer accounts, especially when the number of key metrics and customer accounts keeps increasing. This Happiness Meter allows them to take preemptive action—before the customer reaches out for help.
Approving Customer Service Requests in Slack
Approvals happen across every department and are time-consuming as they often require back-and-forth correspondence and app hopping. Workbot is the only bot that allows you to execute secure approval workflows from Slack.
Let’s say your business offers tiered support packages that include a certain number of hours of support. If a customer needs an extra hour of help, a support agent can request approval for that additional support via their ticketing app, like ServiceNow or Zendesk. The approval message then posts to the correct Slack channel – one that the support managers are in or whoever would be in charge of approval. Once they’ve approved the request, it’s automatically marked as such in the support app. The agent never has to leave their service app and the manager never has to leave Slack.
Streamlining Order Fulfillment and Approvals with NetSuite and Salesforce
If your business sells products to customers, their satisfaction is paramount. You want to get them the right product, on time—with minimal hassle on the back end. But if you routinely offer custom products or prices, there may be a lot of people involved in the process of selling and delivering the goods.
You can minimize the human work needed with an automated workflow across your CRM, ERP, and Collaboration tool. Let’s say you use Salesforce, NetSuite, and Slack. When a Salesforce opportunity is marked as Closed Won, the Workato automatically enters the information into NetSuite as a pending order. Then the recipe sends an approval message to the correct person via Slack, who can securely approve or reject it from Slack. Their approval is automatically recorded in NetSuite, kicking off the order fulfillment process.
IT, Engineering, and Security Ops
Keeping Tabs On Security Ops with Workbot and Okta
With some creativity and our recently released Okta connector, you can use Slack as your main base of operations for IT and Security Ops workflows. One great use case is automating security issue escalation. Whenever there’s a new security notification from Okta (e.g. for an unusual login pattern), Workato can automatically create a new ticket in ServiceNow, send it to PagerDuty, and post a notification in the right Slack channel. You can also build a Slack-based workflow for multi-channel notifications. When a user account is deactivated in Okta, for example, that user’s manager receives a Slack message notifying them of the change.
Additionally, you can view, activate, deactivate, create, and delete users directly from Workbot. You can also fetch a list of all logins from an IP address or a list of all active logins of a user across devices. Most importantly, you can receive actionable notifications from Workbot. If there’s an anomalous login pattern, for example, you can be notified via a dedicated Slack channel. You can then respond to the notification—without ever leaving Slack.
Approving IT Requests from Slack
Businesses are increasingly high-tech. But technology still relies on physical equipment and parts, and waiting for them can be the worst aspect of resolving IT problems. They have to be requested, ordered, delivered, and set up—a process that can drag on for weeks or months. Waiting is never ideal, but it’s especially bad when you’re trying to fix an IT issue that impacts hundreds or thousands of employees.
You can speed up the process by executing IT request approvals using Slack and ServiceNow. A user simply initiates a request using the “Create Request” command, which will open a new request in ServiceNow. From there, they can add items to the request and submit the request for approval. Once submitted, the designated approver or channel will receive a message containing the relevant request information in Slack.
They can then choose to view the requester’s history using the command “Request History,” or they can simply approve or reject the request with the click of a button. Once approved (or rejected), the requester will receive a DM notifying them of the request’s outcome. Then the order can go to a procurement app, like Coupa, for purchasing. Using Workbot, the entire request and approval process can be done securely through Slack.
Displaying Github Issues Inside of Slack
Engineering teams and those who work with them on the product team frequently use Slack as a place to discuss Github issues. However, it’s tedious to post the link, click on it, log into Github, view the ticket, navigate back to Slack, and finally, respond. When users post a Github URL, Workbot can automatically unfurl Github tickets inside of Slack so you can see key details without navigating away.
If you want to reference a specific Github ticket in Slack and you know the ticket number, Workbot can list Github issues with a single command. This recipe allows the development team to quickly pull a Github issues into Slack for everyone to see.
Instead of having to navigate out of Slack to Github, search for the issue, and post it in Slack, it now takes 5 seconds for the user to retrieve an issue from Github and view all relevant information. This saves everyone time and propels the discussion forward.
Displaying JIRA Issues Inside of Slack
While problem-solving, the engineering team may often need to access information in JIRA regarding an issue. You can use a Workbot recipe to bring all the data from the JIRA issue right into the Slack channel or private message when triggered by a command in Slack. This gives both teams a quick way to retrieve issue data without having to access JIRA in another window and lose context in the messaging thread. The recipe is triggered when a user enters the command in Slack with the title of the issue in JIRA. It then goes into JIRA, retrieves key information on the issue such as the issue status, and displays it to the user requesting it.
You can also view a count of all issues in JIRA by assignee. Simply command Workbot to list all issues assigned to a particular employee; the bot then pulls the data and creates a pie chart right inside of Slack.
Streamlining Engineering and DevOps with Slack, JIRA, and Confluence
By connecting JIRA to Slack with Workato, you can receive automatic notifications whenever a JIRA issue is created or updated. So if you’re waiting for a bug fix, you’ll instantly know the issue’s status when anything changes. These updates can go to any channel you want, so the most appropriate team members are always in the loop.
You can also configure the recipe to use interest-based distribution. When a team member says, “Hey Workbot, I want to know about Issue X,” Workbot will display the issue in Slack and allow the team member to take action directly from the chat app, such as claiming the issue.
This integration works with many apps in the development lifecycle, from Remedy to BitBucket and Jenkins. You can even use it as a replacement for Confluence’s notification emails when watching a space. Normally, you would need to log in to Confluence and express interest in the space before receiving notification emails. With this workflow, you can simply subscribe to the Slack channel for that space. Whenever changes in Confluence happen, they’ll be pushed to that channel.
Bringing MixPanel Stats into Slack
MixPanel funnel data helps with making marketing decisions like creating new campaigns, but it’s tedious to share MixPanel information during discussions in Slack. Especially with remote workers, it’s not as simple as pulling it up on a person’s screen for all to see. Instead, the employee must leave Slack, log into Mixpanel, take a screenshot and upload it to Slack. This is tedious and inefficient.
Workbot for Slack can trigger when a user requests to see a funnel in Slack. The recipe then prompts the user to specify the funnel, queries Mixpanel for the data in that funnel and creates a column chart with the data right in Slack. Since Workbot can be called within shared Slack channels, teams that used to share screenshots in those channels can now call on Workbot to produce a chart simply by typing the command. This allows the conversation to keep flowing, eliminates context switching and makes it easy for the marketing team to measure impact.
Humanizing Big Data Insights with Workbot for Slack
Although analytics technologies make data more accessible to business users, deriving insights from raw data is still challenging and requires manual work. Having a solid understanding of this data, however, is crucial to strategic planning across marketing and sales. Lines-of-business users need a straightforward way to access data and mine it for key insights.
Workato’s intelligent automation platform can make these insights accessible directly from Slack. You can construct a workflow, for example, that allows users to ask Workbot for key data and trends. To make it user-friendly, the integration can use a Natural Language Generation (NLG) engine to retrieve the raw data from a virtualized database like Denodo and a cloud-based data warehouse such as Snowflake. This workflow is used by one of the largest public providers of computer and mobile accessories.
To trigger the recipe, a business user (such as a sales rep) simply asks Workbot a question, like, “What are the Q3 sales trends for Product A in North America?”. The question can be written in everyday, conversational English; the rep will receive an answer with data insights that are completely humanized. For example, the answer to the above question about Product A might look like: “The total Q3 sales for Product A in North America totaled $200 million, a 15% increase from Q3 last year, but only a 5% increase from last quarter.” With this integration in place, businesses users can receive answers to important questions in a familiar interface.