While there are many great customer support Apps out there, such as Zendesk or Intercom, many bootstrapping startups just need something fast and easy, but better than just regular email. And we have the perfect little hack to get a robust little customer support system going, where you can get notified immediately of new tickets, assign team members to tickets and track progress, making sure nothing falls through the cracks, using only Slack and Trello.
You’ll need two web-apps for this “recipe”:
- Slack, the awesome team communication tool. If your startup isn’t using this yet, you really should.
- Trello, a free project management tool that enables teams to track cards in a project board, similar to a Kanban style board.
Step 1: Set Up Your Trello Board
You’ll need to have set up your Slack and Trello accounts for this step.
First, let’s hop on over Trello and Create a new Board, we’re calling this one “Customer Support”:
Click the + Icon at the top right in Trello, and select “Create Board”:
You will notice that you need to create some columns, this is where the tickets will go and sit once you’re up and running. We set it up with ‘New Tickets’, ‘In Progress’ and ‘Resolved’:
Step 2: Set Up Your Slack Channel
Now that your Trello is set up, it’s time to create the Slack channel where your team will all be notified the moment a support ticket comes in.
You’ll need to create a new Channel, where the support ticket notifications will go:
We’ll call ours Customer Support:
You can now invite your entire support team to this channel.
Step 3: Linking Slack and Trello
The next step is to link Slack with Trello Alerts. In Slack, click on the Workspace name at the top left to bring up the Slack menu and click Manage Apps. This should open up a browser window where you can then search at the very top for Trello Alerts. Make sure you choose Trello Alerts not just Trello, as this is very important to get this to work. Click on it and then hit ‘Add Configuration’
You will be first asked to authenticate your Trello account. Once that’s done, you can select the channel you want the alerts to go to. We’ll be selecting the channel we just created, #customer-support.
Next, you will be asked which Board the alerts are going to be sending from. Remember when we created the Board ‘Customer Support’. You can select it now. Be sure to choose what conditions you want to receive alerts for, as this can vary based on your specific needs.
Now, once you hit save, you’ve successfully linked up Slack and Trello. Hooray!
Step 4: Link customer support Email to Trello
Now that you’ve got Trello and Slack talking to each other like old friends, it’s time to give your customers a way to log tickets just by sending an email to your support email. In most cases this will be firstname.lastname@example.orgTo do this you need to be able to set an auto forward rule for that support email address. If you’re not sure how to set an auto-forward rule, contact your email hosting provider and just ask them how.
But where to auto-forward the email to? Luckily, Trello has that covered. Go back to your Trello board. Click on the Show Menu button on the right and look for the More option to bring up the other features:
Next, click Email to board settings. This should give you an email address, which I’ve hidden here in red. Copy that email address. Now you can just set your support emails to forward to that email address, and voila! You have a ticket system in place.
Step 5: Service your Customers!
With that setup, Slack will notify you of any new tickets. You can open Trello, assign a team member to that card (or in this case, ticket) and get those support issues resolved effectively. Good luck ! 🙂