What Is a Slack Bot and How You Can Use It for Business
Lots of modern companies use Slack to ensure communication within their teams. Slack has become one of the most popular startup tools for working on projects in the world, as it is used by more than 10 million people every day. Slack includes direct messages, private and public channels, voice and video calls, file searching, bot integrations, and many other features.
In this article, we are going to talk about Slack bots. They are small apps that help users perform their tasks more efficiently. Slack automation bots can be used for marketing and sales processes, task management, and even act as personal assistants. So, let's explore what Slack bots are and how they can be used for business.
What Is a Slack Bot?
Slack bots are small handy tools that can fulfill the programmed commands and help you simplify some of the work processes. They can be designed to perform different types of tasks or Slackbot commands, like sending messages, files, pictures, opening modals, sending emoji reactions, alerting on various events, collecting and analyzing data, etc. The bots can be created using Slack APIs and are usually used to automate tasks and interact with users and channels.
Slack bots can simplify the work processes in different ways, for instance:
- workflow automation;
- integration with marketing, sales, or project management tools;
- performing tasks without leaving Slack;
- providing support services and placing orders via Slack;
- setting reminders and ToDos;
- storing the company's knowledge.
There are lots of Slack bots that can be downloaded from the Slack App Directory. But, even though there is such a big number of ready-made bots, sometimes it can be necessary to create a bot of your own.
Types of Slack Bots
The Slack bots can be divided into the following categories, according to the tasks they are meant to perform.
Onboarding and Human Resource Management Bots
Bots in this category can be used for getting the new employees acquainted with the company and their tasks and maintaining a positive atmosphere within the team.
Some of the Slack bot examples include:
- Aloha allows to simplify the onboarding process for remote employees. This bot helps to send out pre-set instructions without spending too much time on check-ins and updates.
- BirthdayBot helps your team keep track of birthdays and anniversaries and makes sure that everyone gets their birthday wishes.
Knowledge Management and Question Tools
Slack bots from this category help to store and manage the company's knowledge and get answers to your questions.
Examples of the bots here:
- Polly is a bot that allows you to create polls and surveys which can save a lot of time and effort.
- OneBar is a knowledge management platform that can help you build a smart FAQ knowledge base from your Slack conversations and use a Slack bot to respond to questions in channels automatically.
Slack Bots for Video Meetings
This category of bots can be used for organizing and scheduling online meetings and video conferences.
Some of the Slack bot examples:
- Spacetime helps to simplify scheduling video calls in international teams by visualizing different coworker's time zones.
- Zoom bot allows to start zoom meetings right from your Slack channel.
Project Management Slack Bots
Bots of this type help to work with tasks and manage your resources.
Some of the most useful Slack bots in this category are:
- Trello can update boards in certain Slack channels and receive comments and due date changes. You won't have to leave your channel to know where everything stands for your project.
- Task Reminder is a bot that follows up on the assigned tasks, so you won't have to go back and forth with your coworkers about certain projects. You'll accomplish more without missing deadlines and bugging teammates.
- ToDoBot is a bot that helps you manage, organize, and prioritize tasks without leaving Slack. Adding the bot to a Slack channel allows you to create and manage to-dos and work more efficiently.
Work and Productivity Slack Bots
The Slack Bots in this category help to perform your daily tasks more effectively without frequent interruptions.
Some useful Slack bots include:
- Zapier is a tool that helps automate workflows like sending emails and other projects. This bot can move information between Slack and all the other apps that you use so that it is possible to concentrate on the work processes.
- GrowthBot is a tool that can help automatically collect data from HubSpot, Google Analytics, MailChimp, and others to analyze it seamlessly.
How to Use a Slack Bot to Optimize the Workflow
So, what are the ways you can use a Slack bot to make your work processes more effective? Let's review the ways Slack bots can be useful for your workspace.
- bots allow you to monitor and process activity in public and private channels and direct messages;
- bots can also send messages to the channels they have been invited to and react to other users' messages;
- it is also possible to add interactive elements, like buttons and survey forms that the users can interact with;
- you can also use Slack bots to simplify the provision of support services.
Custom Slack Bot vs. Slack App Directory
Today the Slack App Directory offers tons of bots and applications for any of the customers' needs. But though the number of ready-made apps is so large, sometimes it is hard to find an option that is 100% suitable for you. In such cases, it can be more efficient and even more cost-effective to create a custom application. Let's compare the two approaches.
All businesses are different; they all have their own goals and values and, therefore, different needs. So, it is up to you to decide whether to choose a ready-made Slack bot or to create one of your own.
- Slack App Directory bots are usually have a pre-defined functionality and limited customization options, they are recommended in cases when you need a simple app without company-specific features. It is also an excellent variant for small businesses with a limited budget.
- And the custom bots are made to suit all your needs and requirements, and they are fully customizable. Such bots are great for big companies or if your company has specific requirements.
How to Make a Slack Bot
If you want to create a Slack bot of your own, there are two main ways you can do it. The first one is to create a simple Slack bot using one of the no-code chatbot building platforms. This method is easy to use, though the bot functionality can be limited.
Another option is to turn to a company that provides Slack bot development services. With this approach, you won't have to worry about anything; the company will create a bot that suits all of your needs and provide support along the way.
Some tips on building a Slack bot that can be useful both if you are creating a bot with a Slack bot development company or if you are doing it on your own:
- Define your bot's key goals
- Keep in mind the needs of your team
- Specify which functionalities are the most important
- Try to keep the bot simple and easy to understand
- Think about how it can help you reach your business goals
There are lots of Slack bots that can help you make your business' workflows run smoothly, perform your daily tasks more efficiently, generate more revenue, analyze data, and simplify doing many other things. If you would like to create your Slack bot, or ask some questions, feel free to contact our professionals, and they will be there to help you.