Things You’ll Learn in this Episode of Doing it Online:
- Behind the scenes of our recent decision to move our support community off Facebook and onto Slack
- The reasons why we said farewell to Facebook
- Why we chose Slack as our new Support Community Channel
- The tools we’re using to help make Slack even – both for our clients AND our team
Allow me to take you behind the scenes of a really big decision we made recently here at Hello Funnels.
We decided to take our customer service community (aka our Facebook Group) OFF Facebook (sorry Mark!) and move it onto Slack.
So I’m about to share not only why we did this…
But also how we’ve done it, the tools we’re using to make it the best experience possible and a few tips because it’s not a straight like-for-like swap.
The story behind our move to Slack:
The story behind how I came to this decision starts with the fact that I’ve been wanting to move away from Facebook groups for about 2 years. I’ve played around with different options over this period, but they weren’t quite the right fit – until now.
I didn’t want to move for the sake of moving. Not only is it a big move for myself and my team, but for my clients too, so I didn’t want it to be a hassle, for something not quite right. I chose to wait until I found something that would be simple and have all the features (and more) that we needed.
It wasn’t until I signed up to a new coaching program last year myself, where I saw how that coach had their Slack channel working, that I knew it was finally time! Slack had become far superior to the Facebook group and would provide a better experience from both a team and a client point of view.
It was time to move to Slack!
Why we moved our support community to Slack:
There are a few different reasons why we wanted to move our support community to Slack, including:
- Having to jump into Facebook multiple times a day to check the support community can be distracting. I would find myself logging in, answering the questions in the group and then a little notification would pop up and 20 minutes later I was down the rabbit hole looking at someone’s photo of their baby.
That’s how Facebook has been designed!
So if I’m doing that, I didn’t want my clients to feel like they were getting distracted. Particularly if all they wanted to do was ask a simple question or find an answer to what they’re doing. Not wasting time and energy being sucked into the vortex that is social media.
If you’re trying to quit sugar, you don’t go into a candy store – do you?
- I also found that posts were being seen less due to algorithm changes. Previously I found Facebook to be a great place to post updates and information, but now we post and people wouldn’t even see it.
- It was also really hard to give good customer service. I really pride myself on how much I LOVE helping my clients! But it felt like I kept missing things and leaving people hanging simply because posts would get lost amongst everything.
These 3 things I’ve been trying to find solutions for while waiting for Facebook to come up with some new features that would meet what I was searching for. So after seeing Slack had made these updates, I knew it was time to move our support community.
Why we chose Slack:
The reasons we chose Slack for our support community, over things like Mighty Networks, having an inbuilt forum on your website / course platform, were:
- It’s FREE! My software bill from last year was high enough…so I didn’t want another subscription.
- It’s widely used amongst our community already so it’s familiar.
- There’s an app which makes it easy to access on your phone
- It lets you create a more forum-like experience as you can create different channels based on different topics – making it more categorised and organised. This also means if you have different variations of your programs and courses (for example our $5KFF program has a 4 week fast start option) you can split these up into different channels rather than having to create a completely new Facebook group for every variation.
- Slack now has a menu bar which makes it easy to see all unreads and thread replies in the one place. This was the icing on the cake for me. No more scrolling through multiple feeds to find what I’m looking for.
- AND you can assign (or share) posts to different team members so they can respond when it relates to them.
Tools we’re using to make Slack even better:
To make our support community on Slack an even better experience we’re using two (paid) apps to help us. They are:
- Greet Bot – this sends welcome and onboarding messages when people join. You can create custom messages depending on what you need people to know as they join Slack.
- Slack Scheduler – allows you to schedule things in which isn’t a feature Slack has natively. This means you can set up recurring posts and schedule posts for challenges which helps make life easier and more efficient.
Another little hack we discovered was using Custom Statuses. You can categorise people into the different programs they’re part of. We’ve set up default statuses (with a corresponding icon) for our different programs and as part of our onboarding process we ask people to set their custom status as the program that they’re in. So whenever they post a comment or ask a question we can see which program they’re in straight away. This makes it easier for us to point them in the right direction. This has been a game-changer for my team and I when it comes to customer service. You can customise this to suit your business and your programs.
The only downside to Slack that we’ve found so far is that when it comes to inviting people into Slack, that invite link expires every 30 days. That means you need to recreate that invite link every 30 days and replace it wherever you promote it (“Join my community”).
This seemed like a lot of unnecessary work, so we came up with a workaround for that. We use Deadline Funnel to create the one link that we use in place of the Slack invite link. This means we only have to go into Deadline Funnel to change the link which updates it everywhere else.
And that’s why our support community in now on slack Slack!
So if you’re a little o-v-e-r Facebook groups and you’re looking for a better solution…
We’ve been loving Slack (and so has our community!), so consider it an option to ease those Facebook frustrations. Let me know over on Instagram @hellofunnels how you go!