How Slack is central to how we work

Tracking everything that is going on all the time related to what you do in any given business is huge pain. Even on a personal level I tend to mute a few of the WhatsApp chats I’m in simply because it can all get to a bit too much. Slack can be a distraction machine like that, however on the balance of things it’s been invaluable to how we work here at Gophr.

It’s no exaggeration to say it’s underpins everything we do. Enabling everyone in the company to understand exactly what’s going on at all times.

I thought it might be useful to share some insight into how we use Slack here at Gophr. How it drives feedback loops and spark off ideas that affect and improve our product development cycles.

We’re still a relatively small team (8 strong) so not all of these approaches may apply to your company. However I think our approach is broad enough that any organisation should find something useful in here.

We’re very lucky in that when we started the company some 2.5 years back when Slack was starting to hit everyone’s radar.  The inherent genius of making a chat platform easy to integrate with other platforms has been well covered elsewhere, contributing to their meteoric success and record-breaking growth.

The timing of Slacks emergence couldn’t have been better for us. It’s become central to Gophr’s company culture since our inception (as I’m sure it has for many others!). I’ll share how our channels are set up, what they are for and list out integrations where relevant. Some of these will be self-evident by the names 

  1. #bugs: tracks bugs or blockers that may reported by couriers and customers alike
  2. #competitors: competitor and industry news, posted by the team
  3. #copy-requests: where the team can request copy to be written. Or they can drop existing copy in here to have it reviewed, proof-read  and signed-off
  4. #customerservice: Intercom integration, gives everyone an oversight as to what’s going on our customer service channels. Also enables us to discuss customer service issues without having to delve into Intercom itself
  5. #design: similar to copy, but for designs. Anything from UI to header images  
  6. #dev: this is very specific to our dev teams conversations. Could be anything from solving a problem to sharing updates
  7. #feedback: gathering customer feedback. This includes customer NPS, customer ratings of couriers and/or apps, feedback delivered via email or over the phone which we keep for posterity along with any courier feedback we receive.
  8. #goodreads: good articles on the industry sector, new tech, internal processes or just generally random stuff that we read and liked
  9. #growth: tracking growth stats for the business. Also good for sharing relevant articles pertaining to growth hacking
  10. #ideas: submitting ideas on improvements. Generally sparked by some sort of interaction with customers, couriers, the back end or other team members
  11. #jobs: this is specific to us and tracks the number of bookings we get in a given day.  Backend integration.
  12. #leads: Pipedrive integration. Keeps track of all our sales leads and what stage they are at in our pipeline
  13. #progress: specific to work, and how much of it is getting done on any given day. Plugged into Asana
  14. #warnings: Back end integration. Server outages, failed customer requests and payment requests and other assorted random stuff. It enables us to make sure we can deal with any situations that may arise

This leads to the entire team understanding what’s going on with the business right across the board. Giving the team a deep understanding of which areas need improvement. And the context to understand where those improvements should sit within our list of priorities. The two channels that are the most valuable from this point of view are #feedback and #ideas.

Everything we’ve shared in those channels has formed the basis for our customer and courier facing product roadmaps, as well as how we see the long-term vision of Gophr playing out. It gives everyone  in the company an opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way.

There’s not one us who has yet to share some thought on how to improve our product, current systems and processes for the greater good.

How did this first kick off? We were inspired by a blog post we read on Kissmetrics and latterly Freshdesk and as a result we insisted that everyone in the team including developers should be get involved in solving customer and courier issues so which drive solutions that will save us time in the long-run.

These ideas (and a lot of hard work) have led us to develop a platform that has a level of depth that we don’t believe is rivalled by anyone else in our space (more on that here).

If you have any other suggestions for using Slack let us know in the comments section, email (yo@gophr.com) or Intercom. And if you have any other interesting things to add please share in the comments.