How to Use Slack for Client Communication

All, Client Experience, Tech Tips

You’re here because you’re looking to set boundaries with your clients and utilize a communication tool that keeps ALL of your client messages in one place.

I got to a place in my business where trying to organize client projects and communicate back and forth was out of control: messy email threads, terrible subject lines, a million email signatures…etc etc.

After some trial-and-error trying to figure out what clients could use – without feeling overwhelmed or burdened – I landed on Slack for client & team communication!

Why use Slack?

A few reasons I choose to use Slack over other communication platforms:

  • It separates my leads from my clients – All of the communication with my leads is handled in Gmail. All of my client management communication is done via Slack. Keeping this separate allowed me to support my clients better, respond quicker, and keep my inbox from being overrun with random thoughts.
  • It allows conversations to be organized based on specific topics – Within Slack, I can create different channels for each of my clients. Then, within those channels, I can create threads based on how I work with them. For example, if I am working with a client on both their Dubsado set-up as well as revamping their website, I can create a thread for each of those topics. Then any website-related conversations stay in one thread while CRM questions stay in the Dubsado thread! This makes searching for previous information MUCH easier.
  • It allows me to set my own office hours – I am able to choose the office hours that I’d like to be notified when a client reaches out, and Slack will only notify me when I WANT to be notified. 🎉 That means my phone isn’t pinging at 2AM because one of my clients is a night owl…we’ve all been there!
  • It integrates with my project management platform – If a client makes a request for something additional to happen in one of our Slack convos, I can create a task directly in my PM tool. The client doesn’t see that part, and I now have their request on my radar so it doesn’t get lost in my brain or our conversation.

Organizing Your Slack Workspace

So now you’re probably wondering – “WELL, HOW DO I ORGANIZE MY SLACK WORKSPACE?!”

Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Customize your workspace URL – For example, mine is creativeblissco.slack.com – I add this URL to my client portal so the client can access Slack with a click of a button.
  • Add your Team Members as “Full Members” – This allows you to provide access to any client channels your Team Members need so they understand the context behind different tasks! 
  • Create a Private Channel for every new client and Add your Clients as “Single Channel Guests” – By doing this, your clients will ONLY see and direct message the members in the channel they are invited to, which keeps it completely private. *Note – You will need to upgrade your Slack account to do this. For every “Full Member” you get 5 single-channel guests.
  • Create Sections to Organize Your Channels – I currently have two sections: a Team Section and a Client Section. Obviously, all of my team channels are within the Team section and my client channels are in the other. This keeps everything streamlined and organized!

Transitioning Clients to Slack

Now that you have everything setup – you’re probably wondering, “WILL MY CLIENTS ACTUALLY USE THIS, AND HOW CAN I GET EVERYONE ON HERE?”

I’m very firm with my boundaries for communication, I even add it into my contract that the clients sign. I state exactly how we communicate and when we communicate. My clients can message at any time, but I make it clear that I will respond within 24 business hours – and I’m also very clear as to what my business hours are!

I reemphasize this information in their client portal/welcome guide so they can see it again, as well see the links to Slack. I remind them this is for THEIR benefit:

  • They receive top priority when they have a question or concern as all of their communication is in one place.
  • They will receive a quicker response by messaging via Slack than email
  • Our conversations and topics are well-organized and we eliminate the problem of sifting through our own email inboxes to find information

*If a client sends a message to me via email – I respond in Slack to remind them of proper communication channels.

Once you set these boundaries on communication, you will feel much better about your organizational practices, and you will be able to best serve your clients as well as yourself! Setting clear communication standards will allow you to have more time to take on new projects and/or focus on scaling other areas of your business!

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