Bomb Customer Service Spotlight: Slack

I’ve been having a rough couple of weeks in computer land. My poor, beloved 2015 Macbook Pro is in the shop, getting a screen replacement (for that nasty peeling problem) and the malfunctioning S key is getting fixed.

Do you know how difficult it is to be a writer without an S key? Meditate for a second on the impossibility of plurals, and you’ll have some idea.

So, in a blind rage, I bought this new Chromebook. It’s billed as the affordable alternative to a Macbook Pro. The keyboard feels much the same, it’s light and pretty, but it has some issues that are making me cringe.

The worst one: every time I close a Slack call (something I do on the daily) my computer freezes for several minutes, shuts all my browser tabs, and logs me out. There’s no decent desktop app…because Chromebook.


So before I threw the machine across the room, I figured I’d contact Slack. Maybe it’s a simple software thing that they can fix. I opened a support ticket with them, and because I’ve got a penchant for the dramatic I signed off,

This is a horrible living nightmare. Thought you’d like to know!

The response I got from Slack was nothing short of a master class in customer service excellence.


Mar 5, 5:56 PM PST

Hi Katherine,

Thanks for flagging this! That does sound like a nightmare, and I’m sorry that Slack calls are disrupting your work….

What a fantastic way to begin. Here’s why.

She expressed gratitude that I identified a problem.

It is so important to thank customers who have identified potential bugs. (Even if they’re wrong!)

You depend on user feedback to help catch bugs early, when they appear. If users feel unwelcome when they raise issues, they’ll stop reporting. It’s as simple as that. Acknowledging that a person’s feedback is valuable is both good manners and good business.

It’s helpful to remember that somebody took time out of their day to document the issue, find your customer support portal, and provide feedback. That’s super generous, and customer service teams need to keep this front of mind.

She mirrored back my emotions.

I’m annoyed! Frustrated! Miffed! What she did here by agreeing with me (“that does sound like a nightmare”) was align herself (and Slack) with me, and my emotional state.

Implicit in this is the message: I’m on your team. We’re here together working on the same problem, with the same goal. No more nightmare software!

This sets the whole interaction off on the right foot. No matter what she tells me after this opener, I’m super happy.

Keep on kicking ass, Sarah from Slack.

You really made my day. After more than a decade in customer service, I’m the pickiest person I know about customer support. You knocked it out of the park.


Now, I’ll just happily wait for that bug ticket to get resolved. I mean, I can always patiently make myself some tea while my computer restarts, and think fondly about how hard you all are working to fix this.


Leave a Comment