Updated: 12/12/19

Slack has become central to our company culture here at Gophr. As it’s integral to our day-to-day communication, we thought we’d share some insight into how we use it. We’ll talk about how our channels are set up, what they’re for, a list of our integrations, and how it drives feedback loops and sparks off ideas that affect and improve our product development cycles. 

 

 

Tracking every area of a business can be a nightmare. So, finding a platform where you can communicate on all aspects of the business is gold dust. For those of you living under a rock, Slack is a direct messaging platform with multiple channels to help workplaces and teams communicate effectively. 

The timing of Slack’s emergence couldn’t have been better for us. When we started the company some 5 years back, 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. 

It’s no exaggeration to say Slack underpins everything we do at Gophr. It keeps everyone in the company up-to-date and creates a smooth(ish) channel of communication between every section of the business.

 

Our channels

We’re still a relatively small team (20 strong) and work within the tech and logistics sector, so not all of this may apply to your company. However, we hope this channel list can spark inspiration for startups of any size:

  1. #bugs: tracks bugs or blockers that couriers and customers report
  2. #competitors: competitors and industry news posted by the team
  3. #copy-requests: where the team can request copy to be written, or drop existing copy in to have it reviewed, proof-read and signed-off
  4. #customerservice: an Intercom integration. This gives everyone an oversight as to what’s going on in our customer service channels. It also enables us to discuss customer service issues without having to delve into Intercom itself
  5. #deals: a Pipedrive integration. Let’s everyone know when the sales team have won a client 
  6. #design: similar to copy, but for designs. Anything from UI to header images  
  7. #dev: this is very specific to our dev team conversations. Could be anything from solving a problem to sharing updates
  8. #feedback: gathering customer feedback. This includes customer NPS, Trustpilot reviews, 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
  9. #general: anything we want to discuss with the whole team that isn’t specific to any of the other channels (standard channel)
  10. #goodreads: good articles on the industry sector, new tech, internal processes or just generally random stuff that we read and liked
  11. #ideas: submitting ideas on improvements. Generally sparked by some sort of interaction with customers, couriers, the back end or other team members
  12. #jobs: a backend integration. This is specific to us and tracks the number of bookings we get in a given day
  13. #leads: another integration that highlights new warm business leads as they come through.
  14. #learnings: valuable information on what we’ve learnt from a situation that we think is worth sharing to the team
  15. #metrics: daily, weekly and monthly KPI’s on business operations and sales
  16. #ops: where the Ops team discuss Ops things. Also; handovers  
  17. #random: exactly this. Mainly football, current affairs and memes (standard channel)
  18. #twitter: a Twitter integration. This allows us to see mentions, posts and activity on our Twitter account so we can respond within minutes
  19. #warnings: another backend 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 urgent situations that may arise

 

Our integrations

If you can take one thing away from this blog post, it would be to integrate your business platforms. The integration tool is there to make life that little bit easier.

We’ve integrated Intercom, Pipedrive, AskNicely, Asana, Google Docs, Twitter and our own system’s backend so every aspect of the business is streamlined. These integrations transform Slack from a direct messaging tool to a central location where all aspects of the business are tied in one neat bow.

 

Using these channels for innovation and development

These channels allow the entire team to understand what’s going on with the business right across the board. It gives everyone a deep understanding of which areas need improvement and 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.

“Slack gives everyone in the company an opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way.” Click To Tweet

Everything we’ve shared in these channels has formed the basis for the 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 of us who has yet to share some thoughts on how to improve our product, current systems and processes for the greater good.

We were inspired by a blog post we read on Kissmetrics and latterly Freshdesk. As a result, we insisted that everyone in the team should get involved in solving customer and courier issues to drive solutions that will save us time in the long-run. 

Any messaging platform can become a distraction. Having multiple channels going off at once can seem pretty overwhelming, but regulating your usage can ensure you’re using the platform most effectively. More on that over on Wired’s article on how to use Slack like a pro.

The ideas that we generate from Slack (and a lot of hard work) have led us to constantly develop a platform that has a level of depth that we don’t believe is rivalled by anyone else in our space (see here). 

 

If you have any other suggestions on how to work effectively through the app, let us know in the comments section, email yo@gophr.com or Tweet us. And, if you have any other interesting things to add please share in the comments.