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Article 4 min read

Business-to-business messaging with Slack and Zendesk

Slack changed the way we work with productive workplace conversations and collaboration. Now Zendesk is helping us keep it all together.

By Jesse Martin, Staff Writer

Last updated December 13, 2022

There's something so old-fashioned about poring over email threads trying to find answers. Traditionally, business-to-business communication has been relegated to emails, video chats and phone calls. It left a lot to be desired—namely, convenience. We message our friends, family and colleagues on a variety of platforms and apps, so why can't businesses leverage the same kind of rich, intuitive communication when they interact with other businesses?

Zendesk messaging is changing the business-to-business communication landscape. We already know that messaging channels are a customer favourite, but until now, businesses have not been part of the conversation. With Slack Direct Messages in Zendesk, it's now possible for businesses to communicate seamlessly with their partners in Slack from Zendesk.

Slack Direct Messages in Zendesk

Slack and Zendesk solve a lot of similar problems.

In the past, workplace communication was a cacophony of “as per my last email,” incessant phone calls, and colleagues popping by your desk for a quick chat. At the same time, companies were jumbling together their customer conversations in on-premises, home-made ticketing systems, working out of shared inboxes, and plugging data into nightmarish spreadsheets.

Here’s the thing: Nobody wants to work that way anymore. We know that treating your customers like people instead of tickets leads to better CX, and we know that workplace instant messaging creates better company culture and heightens productivity–some journalists have pointed out that Slack “is probably the first enterprise software in history to convince people that it’s cool,” and it's easy to understand why. The ability to manage Slack conversations in Zendesk is the next step in creating better conversational experiences for your business partners and employees alike, thanks to rich features and integrations that create a seamless, unified experience.

  1. Staying within channels your business partners prefer


    Your business partners are already using Slack to manage workplace communications. Slack in Zendesk permits your partners to engage with you without leaving their favourite channel. Their conversations with you exist alongside all their other conversations–and everything stays together.
  2. Manage Slack Direct Messages directly from Zendesk


    Like conversations in Agent Workspace, your Slack DMs can be managed with all the tools that elevate the support experience, like macros, triggers, automation, intelligence and reporting.
  3. Deliver personalised and dedicated support for outstanding customer service


    Collaborating with partners over Slack means treating them to the sort of VIP customer support that’s hard to replicate on channels like email. Your partners do not need to look far to get great customer service.
Slack direct messages in Zendesk

Keeping it all together

When Slack Direct Messages are received in Zendesk, agents rely on a unified, conversational interface to track all their conversations–alongside conversations from other channels.

Armed with the customer context captured in the conversation, support teams can collaborate seamlessly behind the scenes on tickets, all the while benefiting from features like reporting, automation, triggers and macros.

On the other side of the conversation, customers aren’t forced to hop between their Slack DMs, their myriad workplace apps and their email inbox to get the help they need. Everything is managed together.

Slack in the Zendesk Suite also presents opportunities for teams to triage requests internally using systems that their organisation is already using. Rather than breaking down requests between departments into different apps or systems, employees can directly message different departments in their organisation (like IT or HR) to open a ticket and make sure their request is seen.

Growing with the customer journey

We’re in the era of conversational CRM, where the entire customer journey can live inside conversations. With every evolution in customer communication creating new touchpoints in an already sophisticated relationship, business-to-business messaging brings together disparate points in the customer journey

  • Sales outreach

    Between managing swaths of data, prospect outreach and lead status, sales teams have a lot on their plates. With the flexibility to manage it all in Zendesk, they get a unified, clear view of their conversations—this helps them close deals faster. On the other end, prospects are treated to the convenience of being able to reply quickly from Slack, keeping it strictly professional.
  • Customer onboarding

    It's imperative to offer specialised care to customers in the onboarding stage once you've closed the deal. It sets the stage for your future relationship. Creating Slack handles for different teams to engage with customers on specialised concerns or focus areas means everyone gets the personalised–and organised–care they deserve.
  • The white-glove treatment

    Over 70% of customers expect conversational support when interacting with brands. Leaning into channels like Slack allows businesses to connect with customers and partners on an ongoing, conversational basis with a VIP touch. Your partners can reach out to you via Slack Direct Messages at their convenience, without shifting between apps and websites.
  • Keep the conversation going

    Better conversations mean better relationships with your customers and partners. Messaging enables ongoing conversations with better outcomes, creating opportunities for agents to cross-sell and proactively solve customer problems, thanks to flexible conversational tools, channels and integrations.

Slack and Zendesk have changed the way we work and communicate. Don’t get stuck in a CX rut relying on a mishmash of systems to manage your customer relationships. Stay on top of your conversations with customers, your partners and your employees in Zendesk.

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