Image for the article

Is Slack support like Chat?

Vlad Shlosberg
April 10, 2023

One of the top misconceptions we hear about Slack support falls into one of these buckets:

  • We can’t staff enough people for Chat, so we can’t staff this.
  • We can’t handle that type of load.
  • Or my favorite — “Our product is too technical for Chat.”

All of these hint at the misconception that Slack is like chat support. Meaning quick response times, quick resolution, big staffing demands. A recent study published “84% of customers will abandon a chat if they haven’t received a response within 2 minutes.” But why are people dropping after 2 minutes? Because customers don’t want to constantly monitor your website or support portal for the response from the agent. Customers are simply not always on your website.

In comparison, users spend an average of 9 hours per workday connected to Slack and 90 minutes per day engaging with it. No matter when your agents respond, customers are highly likely to see it and follow up.

So should we treat Slack support like email? Can we give customers an 8 hour first response time and 2 weeks to a resolution? Well no, that's not great either. The goal is to set expectations and meet those. But to set expectations, you first need to respond. For this reason, we recommend optimizing 2 metrics —decreased time to first response and a frequent update.

“We recommend 2 metrics — decreased time to first response and a frequent update”

When a customer asks a question, triage quickly. Understand the issue and the perceived severity right away. Measure your time to first (human) response and reduce this as much as possible.

Once you understand the issue, your resolution might take 5 minutes or a few days. Either way, communicate the time you expect for the issue to be resolved and update frequently until that time. If the resolution is expected within a day and the severity is perceived high, update the customer every 2 hours. If the severity is low and resolution is expected within 5 days, maybe give a quick update on day 2 and at resolution.

The point is you don’t need to respond to every message within 2 minutes. You need to respond to the first message quickly, understand the issue, and update accordingly until the problem is resolved.

Need help with this?

We recently launched an SLA feature helping you with exactly this. With Agent, you can now set up your SLA’s to help you triage quickly and update frequently. Get notifications when you are nearing an SLA and run reports on met and unmet SLA’s.

Ready to learn more?

Want to learn about using Slack for Customer Support,
Helpdesk, or success? Want to see how we can help?
Book a Demo