Jan 28, 20163m read
How we Use #Slack to Flourish Together with Our Partners
At Spot.IM, we share the same goals as our clients, since we believe their success is our success. Spot.IM turns any website into a social network. This way, we help publishers decrease their reliance on social media and tech giants. We take pride in being the publishers’ partner, rather than just another vendor, which is why we take communication so seriously.
We aim to give publishers the communication tools they need to strengthen their relationships with their readers. We understand the threats they face, and are always there to work with them every step of the way, in order to ensure their communities thrive.
That’s why, to improve our communications overall, it was critical to implement a wide range of communication tools that are flexible and easy to use.
It was in my previous venture, where we created an instant messaging SDK for mobile apps, when I truly understood the importance of intimate communication as a means of building a lasting partnership.
I discovered that communication should always be open, accessible, and natural. I brought this insight with me when I began working at Spot.IM.
As we started to deepen our engagement with Time Inc., we had an abundance of email threads about different subjects with different people, making it hard for everyone to follow the conversation.
We realized then that basic communication tools are just not enough to build a genuine partnership. Such a partnership requires trust and daily communication with the ability to share insights as well as issues that each side faces.
Standard communication tools, or even customer service tools such as Intercom (which works tremendously for us in different cases) — fell short of this goal — making it difficult to adequately understand the partner’s needs and work together to ensure they receive the best experience possible.
Knowing we both use Slack for internal communication, it was an easy option for us to take it a step further–to help our team members keep in touch. It started small, just with our executive team, but started to grow quickly. Eventually, more people from the two companies joined and new channels were opened. From that point, we stopped using emails and never looked back.
We found Slack to be superior in three main aspects:
- Trust – Although our partners often span across several continents, by using Slack, it feels as though we’re all on the same team. We can instantly share information for specific projects and ideas simultaneously, so everyone can give their input. This way, we convey a message of real partnership, so it feels as though we are in the same place.
- Sync – By using Slack, we were able to keep all departments including Marketing, QA, Product, and Success, in the loop. No matter what new methods our partners want to discuss, they can easily alert us of it in real-time, and we can address it through natural conversation.
- Intuitive & Fast – As a result of our Slack communications, situations that we would never heard of are coming above the surface, making it easy for us to solve all issues. Although it definitely increased our workload, it enabled us to improve our product significantly.
Having such incredible success with our existing partners made it a no-brainer for us to structure the same type of workflow for any new partner coming on board.
Today, we give each new partner the option to communicate via Slack. It works as simple as this:
- We ask our partner to invite our team to its Slack team.
- We make sure to include a representative from each department: Product, R&D, QA, Marketing, CTO, COO, CEO.
- Then, if needed, we open different dedicated channels.
This is how my Slack app looks:
When communication is easy, it is possible to achieve a high engagement and transparency with our partners. Not only does this make our partners feel more comfortable, but it truly makes us feel that we are all working together to achieve the same goal–making our work all the more fulfilling.