Remote working one year on: How teams can unlock better customer experience with technology

The way we work will never be the same again—to stay connected and bolster customer experience, businesses must move away from legacy systems like email and towards messaging apps.


Never has the importance of keeping teams connected been more apparent than at the end of March 2020, when widespread lockdown orders came into force and office-based employees had to turn their homes into workspaces.

In a world where workers have become accustomed to ‘water cooler moments’, organisations have had to find new ways of replicating that important but often overlooked facet of office life. In fact, a recent survey carried out by Wakefield Research on behalf of Slack, a messaging app for business which lets you organise conversations into channels, found that a third of UK workers began using a collaboration platform as their primary communication tool within a week of working from home. Unsurprisingly, 85% of UK respondents also said that business communication platforms are very or extremely important in allowing them to carry out their work.

Collaboration hubs have often sat alongside email in the workplace, offering employees a faster and more efficient way of communicating with their colleagues. However, they have now started to replace many internal email threads, providing workers (tech and developer teams in particular) with a more collaborative and streamlined way to work on complex campaigns, deal with customer issues, and finalise simultaneous deals. Additionally, the pandemic has seen many businesses in the consumer space swap physical customers for digital ones. As a result, opportunities for in-person interactions have dwindled, forcing organisations to find new ways to communicate with their customers and meet ever-rising surges in demand.

The end of an email era: using technology to improve customer experience

Businesses are increasingly realising that email chains keep knowledge locked in silos, by creating information vacuums and excluding some stakeholders from important conversations. Many of these businesses are turning to Slack to bring conversations out of email threads and into one place. Gaining in popularity is Slack Connect, a Slack feature which allows businesses to achieve seamless and secure external collaboration with partners, vendors, and/or customers. Slack Connect ensures that no one—including those you work with outside of your company—has to worry that the right people have been cc’d on an email. Each message in Slack Connect becomes a part of the single source of truth on that relationship: open for everyone on the team to see. That means better relationships, faster responses, and happier customers.

One company embracing the benefits of a collaboration hub to help with customer experience is Starling Bank. The first bank in the UK to offer mobile-only checking, Starling delivers efficient customer service whilst ensuring all compliance with banking regulations is still met. To deliver on these innovations and more, Starling’s management portal, an operations and customer support web app which runs payment queues, feeds relevant information into private Slack channels. Within these channels, sensitive requests can be approved or rejected with one click before being archived in an accessible location for future audits. Those reviewing the requests also get extra automated help from a bespoke Slack bot, Starbot. It assigns junior developers temporary escalated privileges to deploy releases or diagnose issues, helping to automate the company’s developer operations processes.

While the end of the pandemic is in sight, there’s no going back to old ways of working for most employees. Our recent survey also illustrated that 100% of respondents who currently use Slack want to continue doing so even after the pandemic, highlighting the transparency and streamlined collaboration that such tools provide. As we move into a hybrid working world, it’s vital that business leaders continue arming their tech and developer teams with the right tools to keep providing a heightened customer experience, regardless of where employees are based.

Slack is for all kinds of teams and companies. Learn how leading businesses are reimagining what's possible in the workplace and how to chart the strongest path forward for your organisation here.


Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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