Pivoting during a pandemic

Building an essential business on Slack

Igor Boshoer
Apr 13 · 3 min read
A Tale of COVID19, Send SMS from Slack

Clerk enables teams to send and receive SMS in Slack. At the beginning of 2020, our mission was to build the first billion-dollar business on top of Slack. As the world changed during a pandemic, so did our grand plans.

Enduring digital transformation

Many of our customers are small businesses, like event and construction companies, that use Slack for both communication and collaboration. Impacted by the pandemic, these businesses ceased operations and their Slack usage.

But early indicators are not predictors of final outcomes, as businesses started a shift toward digital. Discovering tools like Shopify, Slack, and Clerk, we were able to become an essential part of this wave of digital transformation.

Slack SMS — Breaking down communication silos

The challenge with this flow is that it relies on user-initiated action to share the critical information in all the right places. For instance, a customer support ticket is generally solved by the customer support team, but the key learnings and outcomes only sometimes flow back to other teams like sales, engineering, and product.

Slack is beautiful and successful because it allows anyone from any team to communicate, peruse channels, and consume information in both active and passive ways.

Building on this, when customers are empowered to text a business number via Clerk, details flow into channels for easy collaboration in real-time. This results in a more cohesive team and better customer experience — ultimately, driving sales, retention, and referrals.

Solving the messenger problem during a pandemic

That same early shift to digital was now being leveraged by medical professionals and the general public, transforming critical information into a more human experience. No extensive calling menu, canned responses, or wait times to get to a person. Slack and Clerk were connecting people to people.

Slack SMS & Healthcare

“One major feature that helped us during COVID was texting via Clerk,” said Zhanetta Shapiro, a Staten Island-based doctor of audiology at Audiology Island. “The fact that it was integrated with [both] Slack and our database made communication much easier with our patients, regardless if we were in the office or not. It is wonderful knowing that our entire team can stay connected and help our patients get answers right away.”

More to come

Check out and install the Clerk app on the Slack App Directory. Questions? Email feedback@slack.com.

Slack Platform Blog

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