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Slack’s newest bot is taking communication to a new level

(TECH NEWS) If you’re a fan of Slack, you likely also love the variety of integrations. The newest “bot” on the block will rock your socks for customer support.


Integration excellence

If you’re a fan of Slack, chances are one of the reasons you love it is because of the wide range of integrations available. Slack integrates well with Google Calendar, Dropbox, Trello, and all kinds of other useful tools you need on a daily basis.

One of the best things I have seen lately is the ability to add customer support (almost like an integrated ZenDesk).

Threaded Customer Support

For businesses that receive a lower volume of emails, but still need customer support, a new integration called MailClark may be your new best friend.

This application works in a similar fashion to Slack’s own “slackbot,” but instead of being focused on tasks, MailClark is focused on sending and receiving email, directly to and from your Slack channels.

As you know, Slack’s official integrations only allow you to receive emails and tweets; whereas MailClark will work both ways, allowing you to send and reply to emails and tweets directly in Slack.

Awesome (with a caveat)

However, greatest benefits to using MailClark, can also be a drawback; it all depends on your preference and the quantity/frequency of email you receive (in my opinion). Allow me to explain.

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When you add MailClark, Slack adds a new user called @mailclark. It will also provide you with a proxy email address with your team name so you can use it for your inbound question channel.

For example, if your Slack team name is abchelpteam, and your Slack channel is named abcsupportnow, you might get an intermediate email address like this to handle your inbound questions: If this sounds confusing, other MailClark users have set up a Gmail account that is a bit more logical-sounding, that can be forwarded to MailClark.

One little conundrum

Here’s the benefit/drawback conundrum I mentioned: emails sent to that address will show up on the abcsupportnow channel, along with the complete email address of the sender and a “reply” button.

If you click on the integral “reply” button, MailClark will create an entirely new Slack channel for the conversation, including the original message/complaint/query.

This channel will be named, but randomized for the individual and will contain any further communication. This is very similar to the majority of support ticket services/platforms for technical issues where threaded responses stay right where you need them.

Learning curve

However, if you’re dealing with a larger volume of emails/queries/tweets, this could be a problem because the caveat of the MailClark system is that you must use “@mailclark send” at the end of every reply, and the tag must be on its own line at the end of the message.
[clickToTweet tweet=”MailClark sounds a bit tedious but once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature.” quote=”It sounds a bit tedious, but like anything else, once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature.”]

In my opinion, this is a great tool to get effective, consistent, threaded customer support (once you get the hang of it), especially if you’re just starting out and your business is looking to simplify support, but you are not quite ready to jump on-board with the “big” support systems, like ZenDesk.

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Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.



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