Most of us have been in awe of just how quickly Slack has grown and infiltrated thousands of companies, conversations, workflows and decisions.
As Andrew explains in his article “Slack’s $2.8 Billion Dollar Secret Sauce”, all of Slack’s growth and traction seems to have been meticulously designed from the ground up. Every single interaction, pixel and word seems so well-crafted and optimised for the purpose for which it was intended.
So I’m almost surprised by the fact that I was surprised when I received this e-mail from Slack yesterday:
The context to that notification is that we have a team member that’s been on holiday for the last two weeks and they’ve not logged into Slack during that time. (That’s also testament as to how we roll at Receiptful; we try do holiday properly.)
So Slack sees that inactivity and automatically credits our account. Voila! Here’s your money back.
This isn’t such an alien experience or occurrence in relation to SaaS products that have an usage-based pricing model (i.e. I only pay for what I use). But for SaaS products that uses seat-based pricing (like Slack), this is definitely the first time I’ve seen this.
And I love it.
When I mentioned this to my team yesterday (in Slack), the first response was “Well, Slack obviously has to much money. LOL.”. They’re a victim of their own success. :)
But in thinking about why I loved this interaction and experience so much, here’s some of the thoughts it sparks for me:
- It’s beautifully customer-centric and totally favours my needs / wants / considerations as a customer. Doing this (as a company) sometimes seems to require the direct opposite of what the business needs / wants / considers important (i.e. make profit and don’t give money away).
- It’s adaptive and automated. The product detected that my usage changed and adapted itself to that change without requiring me to check in, follow-up or make sure that things (that are beneficial to me) would happen.
- It’s unexpected, unique and not a requirement at all. Even if one of my team members didn’t log into Slack for 3 months, but they still had an active account that I had added, I would expect to pay for that. This experience totally contradicts that expectation and as such truly delights.
Whilst I’m not necessarily about to brainstorm for new ways in which I can give money back to Receiptful customers, I do think that this interaction reinforces the value of being customer-centric / -focused in a way where we do the unexpected for customers.
Maybe these individual interactions of delight are novel and maybe they don’t really move the global needle of our businesses. But maybe every delighted customer buys us some good karma that compounds over time to move that needle.