How to Turn Slack into a Ticketing System for Your Service Team

Happy Das
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How to Turn Slack into a Ticketing System for Your Service Team

Happy Das
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Slack is super cool, and many businesses worldwide use it! It helps everyone in a team, whether developers or others, to talk to each other and stay updated on what's going on. Even though people mainly use Slack to work together, it's also great for handling internal and external customer support requests, like a ticketing system.

If you want to know how Slack can better manage customer requests, help you work on those support requests faster, and make your service team more effective, you've come to the right place. In this article, we'll show you how to use Slack to help customers who ask for help in a channel, giving them personal attention.

Can Slack Be Used as a Ticketing System?

Even though Slack doesn't have built-in ticketing features — it's not a ticketing system straight out of the box — you can still make it act like one. Slack can help you create, discuss, and resolve tickets, almost like you would normally in a ticketing application, while just chatting in Slack. 

Turning Slack into a ticketing system makes handling tickets easier and improves customer and employee experience, especially since your team (including your customers) already knows how to use it.

Who Uses Slack as a Ticketing System?

Slack is utilized across a variety of teams and businesses. This system particularly suits IT, sales, and customer support teams seeking a chat-based collaborative workspace for interfacing with their customers. Here is a brief overview of the use cases:

1. IT Team: Slack simplifies task execution and team connection by acting as a hub for IT support. It integrates with apps like Zendesk, JSM, or FreshService, empowering teams to handle, create, update, and resolve technical support tickets within Slack's user-friendly interface.

“Slack and its plug-and-play integrations have made our employee experience better by masking the complexity of where to go to have conversations, get approvals and find answers.”

- Apsara Sivamurthy, Vice President, End User Technologies and Experience, Paramount (Src)

2. Sales Team: For salespersons frequently managing multiple customer dialogues, Slack helps the sales team respond to customer needs rapidly and efficiently while understanding their business objectives. This organizational tool allows sales teams to maintain a comprehensive customer data repository, promptly addressing follow-up inquiries or concerns.

“Slack Sales Elevate brings CRM to a system that Sales already knows and loves: Slack. It weaves all their work within a user-friendly platform, making pipeline management and actionable business insights infinitely more accessible and efficient.”

- Lauren Farber, Director, Business Operations, Roku (Src)

3. Customer Support Team: With Slack, customer support teams can manage and track customer projects proficiently. Tickets can monitor each task's progress, delegate duties, and register potential issues or client-requested modifications.

Related Read: Learn how Chronosphere, a cloud-native observability platform, streamlined customer support operations by leveraging Slack as a ticketing platform with ClearFeed

4. Engineering Team: Slack, utilized as a ticketing system, accelerates product development by streamlining DevOps workflows, automating incident responses, and minimizing context switching for developers — resulting in enhanced productivity and efficient deployment.

“Our Slack integrations empower developers to deploy from development machines to test environments to production environments in a very short period of time”

- Paul Whyte, Head of Systems Engineering, Vodafone U.K. (Src)

How to Use Slack as a Ticketing System?

Slack provides a powerful tool for team collaboration with its features and integrations. You can use Slack as a makeshift ticketing system to maximize its potential. Here’s how:

1. Setup Dedicated Channels: Create specific channels for distinct issues, departments, or teams. Each channel serves as a separate line for communication and ticket resolution so that the conversations remain organized and context-focused. It can also reflect the structure of your organization or the nature of commonly received customer requests.

2. Use One Slack Thread for Each Ticket/Issue: By dedicating a single thread to each issue, you can keep the related discussion, updates, and resolution steps in one place. This improves the communication's clarity and helps track the status or pending actions about a ticket.

3. Using Emojis to Signal Status: Visual cues can significantly enhance your ticket management process. Emojis are a fun and efficient way to represent ticket status. For instance, a green tick ✅ emoji can indicate a ticket's successful resolution, and a red button 🔴 emoji can flag high-priority issues.

4. Using Slack Workflows and Its Form Interface for Structured Requests: Slack's in-built workflows can automate routine interactions and processes such as ticket intake. The form interface feature allows users to submit detailed information about their issues or requests, ensuring that all necessary data is captured immediately, minimizing extensive back-and-forths.

5. Employing Slack Workflows for Notification: Notifications can alert the responsible teams or individuals when creating a new ticket. This ensures immediate attention is drawn towards the task at hand. With Slack workflows, you can automate these notifications, speeding up the ticketing process and response time.

6. Integrating with Third-party Applications: Through Slack's integrations with ticketing systems like ClearFeed, Zendesk, Freshdesk, or Jira, you can manage notifications, assign tickets, adjust priorities, and help resolve issues, all directly from Slack. This integration provides a seamless and effective ticketing system within your team's communication platform.

The Shortcomings of Slack as a Ticketing System

Slack is an incredibly useful tool for communication and collaboration. But it has limitations. If you're using Slack as a ticketing system, here are some things to keep in mind:

1. Lack of Query Options for Ticket Status: There's no native feature in Slack to search specifically for tickets by their status, such as finding all open tickets. Users may rely on emoji statuses or keywords as a workaround to filter relevant tickets, but the process can become cumbersome.

2. Inability to Manage Assignees, Priority, or Shifts: Slack doesn't offer built-in features to manage ticket assignments, priority levels, or shift scheduling. Teams must find workarounds through conventions, integrations, or manual updates.

3. Limited Analytics: While Slack provides some analytics data, it's too high-level to offer meaningful insights into metrics like responsiveness, ticket resolution time, or agent performance in the context of ticket management.

4. Inadequate SLA Management and Alerts: Slack lacks native support for managing Service Level Agreements (SLAs) or creating SLA alerts. This absence can impact an organization's ability to uphold service standards and monitor service quality.

5. Restricted Private Collaboration Among Agents: Slack agents cannot privately collaborate on a ticket without creating separate channels or direct messages, leading to fragmented communication. This limitation may hinder efficient ticket resolution.

6. Absence of a Customer Portal: Slack doesn't provide a 'Customer Portal' where employees or customers can review and check the status of their submitted tickets. This narrows down visibility and makes it difficult for users to stay on top of their requests.

While Slack is certainly a great team communications tool, using it strictly as a ticketing system could pose several challenges. Read on to find out how to effectively deal with these shortcomings by pairing Slack with ClearFeed.

ClearFeed’s Slack Ticketing System

ClearFeed is a Slack ticketing system that transforms Slack channels into Helpdesks, allowing you to create, respond to, and close tickets directly from Slack. The solution streamlines workflow, ensures quick responses, and resolves queries faster with AI-powered features, such as ticket creation with just 1-click. Some of ClearFeed's key features include:

  1. Manual or automatic ticket creation from Slack messages. You can create tickets manually by selecting a Slack message and using 🎫emoji or automatically create tickets in response by enabling the feature in ClearFeed’s web app.
  1. Private collaboration on tickets within Slack. Once a ticket has been created from a Slack message, team members can start a private thread linked to that ticket by using 🔒 emoji. This allows you to discuss, share updates, brainstorm solutions, or seek approvals without divulging sensitive information to the whole channel or cluttering it with ongoing ticket discussions.
  1. AI-powered answers using GPT integration. You can integrate Slack with your existing Knowledge Base, automatically suggest relevant KB articles for new questions, save Slack discussions into the KB with a single click, and generate automatic responses to customer inquiries, creating a seamless, efficient, and automated support process within the app.
  1. SLA alerts and Slack insights about response times and other service metrics. When a ticket risks violating service agreements, detailed analysis of response times, and metrics on overall service performance, you can enable automatic reminders on Slack to ensure that the necessary attention and resources are allocated promptly to meet the SLA.
  1. Automation, like out-of-office responses and CSAT surveys upon ticket closure. ClearFeed's auto response feature provides out-of-office responses to manage customer expectations during non-business hours or staff unavailability. You can also automate the delivery of Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) surveys after ticket resolution, ensuring smooth customer interactions and valuable feedback for service improvement.

                Related Read: Learn how ClearFeed helps manage customer expectations with Automated OOO replies

  1. Bi-directional integration with other support and engineering tools. You can enable a bi-directional integration with your Slack workspace and other ticketing systems (Zendesk, Freshdesk, etc.), CRMs (Salesforce, Hubspot, etc.), and engineering tools (Jira, Github, etc.) to synchronize data exchange and improve cross-functional collaboration.

Interested in discovering how ClearFeed can improve your customer help service by using Slack for help requests and growing your support team? We're just one phone call away, ready to help you make this change.

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