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Why automating these tasks will unleash creativity and collaboration

Slack provides solutions that streamline onboarding and operations, customer service, and more

Why automating these tasks will unleash creativity and collaboration
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Our workdays are filled with manual, mundane, and unnecessary tasks that slow everything down and invite errors. Competing in this new era of hybrid work requires new automations that reserve our human capital for uniquely human work—the more creative, collaborative, sometimes messy, and often enjoyable tasks.

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That’s why leaders are on the lookout for new automations to integrate into their digital headquarters, making the work and processes smarter and more accurate while freeing people to do what they do best.

Here are four examples of tasks that can be automated with Slack:

HR/Onboarding

We all know DoorDash as the convenient customer delivery app, but it’s also the nation’s leading last-mile logistics platform. The demand for it has never been greater, and as a result, DoorDash is onboarding hundreds of new employees every month.

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One of the biggest challenges companies face with onboarding during explosive growth is called “access provisioning” which is basically getting employees connected to all the apps and systems so they can do their jobs. In most companies, allocating usernames and passwords takes days or weeks. But with the power of Slack and Okta together, DoorDash can automate the process and get it done within a matter of minutes.

Slack and Okta integrations also reduce the need for other manual onboarding tasks, like grouping employees into teams so they can work with the same apps and on the same projects. Instead of manually creating all of those buckets and layers, the process is automated, saving hours of time that is better spent focusing on challenging onboarding problems that require a human solution.

Customer experience

As the largest public transportation agency in North America, Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) New York City Transit (NYCT) had perfected the tall task of funneling 5.5 million people daily through its vast network of subway, rail, and bus lines. But when Covid-19 hit in early 2020, New York City’s transit needs changed in a matter of days, forcing the agency to adapt on the fly.

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NYCT responded by retooling its processes to ensure rider safety. Fortunately, the systems were already in place to coordinate these changes and communicate them to riders. Sarah Meyer, NYCT’s chief customer officer, had introduced Slack in October 2017 to encourage collaboration among the agency’s 50,000 employees. “What we’d been doing for 67 years wasn’t working in today’s environment,” she says.

NYCT even created a custom workflow with Workflow Builder to automatically remind direct reports to fill out a form with their daily priorities. The form auto-posts in the right channel so everyone has visibility into the team’s daily focus areas.

Customer service

Oscar Health, a direct-to-consumer health insurance company, provides a dedicated Concierge team of customer service representatives, or Care Guides, for every 8,000 – 10,000 Oscar members. The guides, in turn, are supported by a regionalized team of clinical experts and case managers, including nurses and social workers. “We are focused on creating the easiest, simplest, best service engagements possible,” says Sebastian Burzacchi, the VP of service operations.

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The Concierge team uses Workflow Builder to standardize help requests in the expert channels. The workflow prompts Care Guides to fill out a form with critical information, such as the state or policy involved. “Before there was a lot of back-and-forth in the channel,” Burzacchi says. “The form gave us a standardized submission process so supervisors receive all the information necessary to solve the issue.”

Operations

Today, buying groceries and other household essentials online is as common as applying hand sanitizer. But that wasn’t always the case. As Americans’ shopping habits evolved with the COVID-19 pandemic, orders with the same-day-delivery service Shipt nearly tripled during those first few months.

In just a matter of weeks, Shipt launched contactless delivery for customers, distributed personal protective equipment for Shipt Shoppers fulfilling in-store orders, and scaled its shopper network to meet growing demand. At the heart of this growth operation was Slack.

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More than 500 employees are using one of Shipt’s 100 workflows in Slack created with Workflow Builder; workflows are custom-built for each department’s needs.

“Our team uses Slack to bring in cross-functional partners, such as product or market operations, who we work with to implement shopper feedback as quickly as possible,” says Jake Shackelford, Operations Lead at Shipt. When a question is better suited to another department, his team adds a corresponding emoji, and the Successor bot automatically redirects users to the right team and channel, tagging the user. “The bot we created with Workflow Builder has been a huge time-saver for us,” Shackelford says.

If you know Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, and Marie Claire, then you know Hearst Magazines, the publisher behind the iconic titles you’ll spy on every magazine rack. The challenge: Each time a Hearst employee requested access to a new software tool—Jira, GitHub, Datadog, etc.—the company’s DevOps team found itself asking the same tedious follow-up questions over and over again. What’s your email? What’s your username? What level of access do you need?

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The workflow solution: To ensure that the DevOps team has all the information it needs to provision tools quickly and confidently, requests are now made and approved entirely in Slack. The workflow first serves up a quick request form. Completed answers are then delivered to a DevOps team member via direct message, where he or she can approve with a click. From there, a custom Slack app picks up the approval and completes the task.

The impact: These automated workflows save the Hearst DevOps team 52 hours a year—hours that the team can put into vetting new tools and finding more ways to streamline operations.

Interested in saving time with automation so you can do the best work of your life? Find out more here.

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Robert Frati is the chief sales & success officer at Slack.