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Slack for Financial Services: How to improve collaboration and deliver a better client experience

March 22, 2022By
Two women working on laptop

Slack is quickly becoming the go-to platform for improving communication and collaboration in the workplace. This is especially true in the financial services industry, where teams need to share information and take action in real-time. However, this is a narrow view of how Slack can help your organization embrace digital work.

We view Slack as a game-changer. A way to improve the way we work, to be the primary interface that leads us to the enterprise systems we use now.

Let’s dig into that.

Changing the way we work

At Dreamforce21, Parker Harris, CTO of Salesforce, noted that Slack enables people to accomplish thin work vs. thick work that they currently have to do within business applications.

What do we mean by thin and thick work?

  • Thin work: light tasks like scheduling an appointment with a client, approving loan terms, or underwriting an insurance policy.
  • Thick work: the heavy lifting we do in those enterprise business systems, an insurance brokerages agency management system, a carrier’s policy management system, or a bank’s core system. Thick work also applies to work in Salesforce, whether it involves client management, deal management, or dealing with client support issues.

So let’s chat about the basics of thin work and how Slack can help your teams.

Wealth management with Slack

Let’s take a wealth advisor’s day-to-day. With Slack, an advisor and their team can collaborate on ongoing work on behalf of their client or in pursuit of a new prospect. These dedicated channels can be automatically spun up when a new client is created in Salesforce. Not impressed? Nor am I.

Where the basics come to life is through a Slackbot surfacing review reminders and a summary of client portfolio performance in the channel. This allows teams to initiate client emails, open and update records, create appointments, and engage each other in conversation around that work—right within the Slack channel.

That back and forth happens in a familiar chat thread but the reminder prompts, data entry, and automated processes are all initiated and summarized in Slack. Unlike email, there is no lost context and a team member won’t be dropped off an email thread.

Taking seamless integration to the next level

Slack integrates with many different systems, making it easy to take action based on data from across your organization. We mentioned Salesforce in the example above. It’s one of 2200 out-of-the-box applications Slack connects with—including Office365, Google Suite, Teams, Webex, Zoom, etc. Where the power of Slack comes in, is the ability to extend this app integration to your entire enterprise software stack.

By having all relevant information in one place, Slack improves your overall customer experience by making it easier for your teams to work and for your customers to get the help they need.

For example, insurance companies can use Slack to quickly share information about a new business opportunity with a prospective customer. When an application is entered, whether through a form or directly by the producer, a Slack channel can be automatically created for the opportunity and include the relevant team—the producer, underwriter, underwriting manager, and other support roles.

With that new business pursuit channel, teams can access account and application records, surface key underwriting workflows, submit for approvals—all within the Slack channel. No need to go in and out of Salesforce or policy management systems. As the underwriting team works through their process, they can collaborate with the producer. If thresholds are met, Slack can automatically send an approval request to the underwriting manager.

Partner collaboration with Slack

Let’s extend that example above to involve a third-party broker. With Slack Connect, you can work with people outside your company in channels and direct messages (DMs). By moving conversations out of emails, you can work securely and collaboratively with partners and vendors and bring them into your automated, collaborative workflow.

For example, let’s say a broker engages directly in a Slack channel to submit a quote request. The same automated workflow could initiate all the work noted above, saving time for the broker, removing manual and repetitive “thin work”, so your team can focus on both the broker's needs and your new applicant.

The result? A better broker experience, faster customer response times, and gaining a competitive edge through ease of service and a more interactive, conversational digital experience.

Creating better client experience with Slack

Now let’s bring your clients into the equation.

Mobile apps and websites are amazing tools that serve both personal line and commercial customers. Let’s focus on that commercial client use case now and I’ll put a personal lens on it.

In my career at Traction on Demand, I’ve been responsible for our insurance and banking relationships. In both cases, I used web portals to submit information for policy applications, renewals, financial statements etc. Most of the work involved conversation, and while email worked, it was hard to search and find the information I needed—when and where I needed it.

Slack brings your clients into your work and you into their organization, without the heavyweight of meetings.

This way of working also led to inevitable phone calls and onsite meetings that were often inefficient—for me and our providers. That relationship today could be very different. With Slack Connect:

  • A bot could notify our finance team to submit quarterly financials which they could do directly in the channel and update key company and contact details and initiate a new line of credit.
  • With our broker, a similar automated process could be handled in minutes or, if needed, provide new details on expanded coverage requirements so our broker’s team could immediately take action.

Now all of this “thin work”, can pivot back to “thick work” in an application as required. This level of interaction goes beyond the artificial wall of an app or a portal. Slack brings your clients into your work and you into their organization, without the heavy weight of meetings.

Let’s summarize: why Slack for Financial Services?

The efficiency and automation of this way of working creates an opportunity. I’ve made a case for Slack to make work easier and that may leave you with an impression that technology trumps human interaction, while in fact, it's just the opposite.

Slack allows for simpler collaboration, deeper integration, and automation of work that allows for more time to spend on relationships. We see it as both a technology enabler of personalized integrations with partners and clients and a key enabler of hyper-automation.

In short, Slack connects other platforms into one simple interface so your teams, your partners, and your clients can get work done in a more human and humane way.

See how Slack can work for you

Interested in exploring how Slack can accelerate your firm’s new digital work reality? Book a free consultation with our team.

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