B23 Data Platform — Six Steps to Improve Customer Engagement via Slack

April 19th, 2016 Here at B23, we use Slack, a popular messaging app, for inter-team communication surrounding the B23 Data Platform. We have individual channels set up for general communication, technical topics, and project-specific discussions. We also use the direct messaging feature to discuss certain matters one-on-one. This may sound like a typical messaging tool, but Slack differentiates itself from other messaging apps by providing integrations with a large number of third party services. We have taken advantage of popular third party integrations like GitHub and ZenHub to keep track of our development process. These integrations support product development, but they aren’t part of the product itself. More recently we have started building custom Slack integrations directly into our product to keep us as engaged as possible with our users. Often the most important innovations are simple and obvious, and the introduction of real time notifications of product and customer behavior into Slack has fundamentally changed our ability to serve our users. On March 23, 2016 we released the public beta version of B23 Data Platform, a product we’ve built to enable big data analytics in a fast, secure environment. This was a huge milestone for us, but we soon discovered that measuring our product’s popularity and usability proved cumbersome, as we had to develop additional code to help understand usage patterns. As with any beta product, we treasure our users. Customer engagement and feedback is critical to our product development. We wanted to know in real time when a new customer logs in for the first time…and so we decided to integrate directly with the real-time messaging app that we already use. Slack has an integration called “Incoming WebHooks,” which provides users with a URL that they can use to post messages from their external applications. So we created a Slack channel in B23 Data Platform — called “#new-users” — and now, each time a new user logs into B23 Data Platform, we receive a Slack notification within seconds. This...