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Feb 27, 2017 · 4 min read

Why we made Slack a part of our every day process

Integrating slack into our everyday process has increased company communication, training and celebrating and congratulating the wins.

Here at Commission Factory (and like any other company) we receive a lot of emails from our clients every day. Wading through that inbox each morning takes longer and longer and internal communications, requests and announcements would get lost amongst the crowd. As our business has grown, we’ve found that our team communications were becoming increasingly cluttered and hard to keep track of in our email inboxes.

We wanted to find a better way to communicate internally, whether it be for announcements, taking lunch orders, discussing as a group the best way to tackle a problem and the most important of all — sharing memes.

If you’re wondering what Slack is, their company website spells it out succinctly:

Slack is a platform for team communication: everything in one place, instantly searchable, available wherever you go. Put another way: Slack is the best of every communication medium combined in a beautiful design and intuitive interface that works across every major platform.

Internally we have moved all communications to Slack and have reserved email for client communications only. For us this means no more trying to find an internal request somewhere in the Inbox or finding the latest sales presentation because all files have been shared and saved within Slack.

How it is all organised

Communication within Slack is organized into 3 main categories:

  • Channels
  • Direct messages
  • Private Groups

We have channels designated for the individual departments of the company so that Account Managers can all talk within a channel, we have a sales channel where our sales reps discuss prospecting or any history associated with an account. This means certain departments are not privvy to ALL discussions that are not relevant to them and is less of a distraction. Private groups within the company have been designated to upper management to discuss high level issues, staffing requirements and individual performance.

The General channel is company-wide and where is you will find us poking fun at someone for passing out at an industry event due to alcohol excess, memes and general “watercooler” chat.

Recognition

Part of our culture is to recognise great work within the company and because of familiar features such as hashtags, @mentions, emojis, links, favorites, etc that are so widely used within social media, we can recognise an individual company-wide for their amazing effort or hard earned wins.

Sometimes our colleagues can go a bit red in the face when recognised so publicly but we have always felt it important that their efforts don’t go unnoticed and we appreciate everything they do.

Notifications

Notifications can be a tricky one. Too many and you start ignoring them; too few and something might slip through the cracks. This is likely the main reason we have yet to integrate any bots into Slack — to avoid notification overload. By default we limit the notifications only to certain channels or @mentions. The things we as an affiliate network need to know every day differ from other businesses so in all likelihood we will create our own integrations that reflect the things we need to know and what is important to our teams.

In conclusion

Whilst some have called Slack an email “killer” we believe that email is still vital and not going anywhere anytime soon, in this age though we see many emails that are only a few lines — we have been trained by the likes of Twitter and other social media platforms to keep our communications short and to the point. Gone are the days picking up the phone because gone are the days too where we have enough hours in the day to make those calls.

By removing internal communications from the Inbox we have been better able to sort our inboxes into coherent action lists for our clients instead and archiving as we complete tasks or action an email.

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