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Tag: slack

SaaS Receipt Management

By @abs

Receipt management is one of the many things they don’t teach you in startup school, but it’s an important topic.

When we first started selling Sameroom subscriptions, we used Stripe’s built-in ”Email customers for...” functionality.

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It wasn’t long before a customer based in Hungary requested that their and our corporate information be displayed on PDF receipts, copied to a secondary email address. Stripe doesn’t let you do any of that.

That conversation forced me to formulate a set of receipt management requirements and sent me on a journey to find a solution.

Heres my list.

1. Customers need access to historical receipts

If you sell a SaaS product, expect customers to ask you for copies of receipts. If you can’t easily re-generate historical receipts, you’ll find yourself scrambling to fabricate them in Google Docs, then exporting as PDF. This is hugely annoying and distracting.

This is why it’s best to make sure customers can always go back and download every single receipt from your service, as many times as necessary.

2. You need access to customer’s historical receipts

In addition, you should be able to view and download every historical receipt, for any customer.

3. Customers need ability to update company details

In many countries, accounting rules require payment receipts to include the corporate address and VAT number for both vendor and client.

The best way to address this requirement is to provide a way for your client to specify any custom data to be displayed on each receipt.

4. Receipts should include your company details

Additionally, there should be a way for you—the vendor—to easily specify and update your own company details, such as address, phone number, or VAT number (if applicable).

5. Customer is notified when credit card charge fails

Credit cards are fickle—they expire or get randomly replaced by credit card companies all the time.

This is probably the best reason to only offer annual plans, to avoid dealing with credit card-related churn.

If you offer monthly plans, it’s important to notify the customer of failed credit card charges as soon as possible. This type of communication is called dunning emails or dunning management.

Solution: AccountDock

As we were considering implementing the above requirements ourselves, Josh Pigford, the CEO of Baremetrics, showed me AccountDock.

As a side note, I thought it would make sense for Baremetrics to offer this functionality in addition to analytics, but Josh disagreed at the time (and pointed me to AccountDock). Interestingly, Baremetrics recently rolled out support for dunning emails, so maybe he's had a change of heart.

For $45/month, AccountDock satisfies all of my requirements. Our customers get a clean-looking billing history, where they can view, download, or forward receipts, and customize ”Receipt Settings”, where they can add their company details.

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The service also offers dunning email support, letting you craft up to four separate email templates, one per failed charge.

In summation

SaaS receipt management is important. Try to give your customers as much power as possible in dealing with receipts, and make sure you can easily retrieve historical receipts yourself—it might be easier or more polite than sending the customer on a DIY journey.

Automatically notify the customer of failed credit card transactions—this will reduce your churn.

Lastly, don’t build this stuff yourself, use a professional. After all, even Stripe chose not to bother. They did build a very beautiful mobile app though, which totally makes sense—it's a lot more fun that dealing with PDF receipts.

Bi-directional, Real-time Intercom-Slack Integration

by @abs

Note: this integration is no longer available

Demo

This functionality is now a part of our new Sameroom Attend feature, which enables you to use your team chat—the mission control center—to respond to customer support inquiries across a variety of service (e.g., Twitter, Intercom, FB Messenger). To get started, go to https://sameroom.io/attend.

Respond to customers on Intercom from Slack

We just released (into private beta) a way to map Intercom conversations in Slack. When a customer asks you a question in Intercom, you'll see a new Slack channel that's auto-joined by your oncall team. In this channel, you can respond to the customer, talk amongst yourselves with our special “hush command”, and invite experts from your team to help resolve complex issues.

There are a number of benefits to using Slack as the "frontend" to Intercom:

  • For Intercom to be as effective as possible, you not only need to have every single person in your company on Intercom, you have to have everyone watching the dashboard at all times. Sure, you can handle Intercom conversations over email, but this makes it slower for a customer to convey a problem and harder for you to find the solution. With Sameroom integration, you can easily invite or mention the experts on your team to help with complex situations and interact with the customer in real time.

  • The Intercom UI can be slow and sluggish compared to Slack’s. Since Slack is designed for real-time communication, it’s better at enabling conversations that flow naturally and solve problems more quickly than Intercom, which is designed for a lot of other things like customer acquisition, engagement, and profiling.

Connect Facebook Messenger to Slack

Note: this integration is no longer available

Slack helps you bring all your communication together in one place. That’s nice, but what if some of your communication happens in Facebook Messenger—now what?

Good news! With Sameroom, you can connect a conversation in Messenger to a channel in Slack. The resulting connection will give you real-time, bi-directional bridge between the two platforms.

Before proceeding, make sure you’ve got a Slack channel ready—create one if not. You can up an integration in two steps:

To fine-tune how your messages appear on both ends of the resulting Tube, you can adjust posting options.

If you’d like to respond to all Facebook Messenger conversations from Slack, you can use our Attend feature. It is designed for use with Facebook Pages, but it’ll work with a personal Facebook account as well.

If you have any questions, please reach out on Twitter.

Connecting Google Hangouts Chat to Slack

By @abs

Google Hangouts Chat is a fantastic way to escape email and communicate efficently when working with someone on an ongoing project or deal. You have searchable, persistent, portable instant messaging, where each party gets to keep a transcript of each conversation.

However, Hangouts is largely missing out on the recent rise of team chat as way to structure internal company communication. More and more, we’re seeing teams adopting tools like Slack, HipChat, Fleep, or Flowdock to serve as communication dashboards.

This means it is highly likely that you’re using both Hangouts chat and Slack at the same time. This is particularly true if you work with clients or partners—Hangouts is used for external communciation, while Slack for internal.

Why Connect

The option to bridge a Hangouts chat with a channel, private group, or even a DM in Slack gives you two major workflow improvements .

First, it’s no longer necessary to switch between applications. If you’re someone who switches between chat applications for a living, you will agree that the surest way to win back some zen is to switch less.

Second, you may want to get multiple people from your Slack team involved in a conversation with your contact on Hangouts—this would take all the pain of being an intermediary between two parties out of the equation. Since your team is already using Slack, the most natural way to achieve this is to use a channel or private group dedicated to your Hangouts contact, as long as everything happening there gets mirrored in both places.

The recently-released Sameroom integration with Hangouts gives you this option. Here’s how to set it up.

Setting It Up

  • Step 1: Add you Hangouts and Slack accounts to Sameroom Accounts;

  • Step 2: On the Open-a-Tube Page, choose a Slack channel for Side A and a Hangouts contact or group chat for Side B.

At this point, all messages posted to the Hangouts chat you connected will appear in Slack, and vice versa.

Note: there are some limitations, please see our Limitations section.

Customization

You can configure how your messages appear on either end of the Tube. For more information, see Posting Options.

Note: Google Talk is not currently supported. To get around this, you have two uptions:

  • Option 1: Convert your GTalk or Google Apps to Google Hangouts;

  • Option 2: Connect a proper Hangouts account to the GChat one (natively), then connect the Hangouts account to Sameroom. This actually works!

Please reach out on Twitter if you have any questions or comments.

Connecting a Channel in Slack to a Flow in Flowdock

by @abs

It’s hard to put a positive spin on Flowdock these days.

Its Twitter feed in drought, the product has mostly stagnated, and its main flaw—lack of 1-to-1 history search—appears to be on track to celebrate the arrival of 2016, just like it celebrated the arrivals of 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010.

These harsh words said, I hope Flowdock recovers and find its way back to innovation. I want nothing more than a strong and thriving Flowdock—it’s a good product, and the only left in the space that separates the concepts of identity and team membership (I suspect the lack of 1-1 search is a side effect of this).

Getting out of the apparent rut won’t be easy, but not for lack of resources—Flowdock is now owned by CA Technologies, one of the largest software companies in the world.

By the way, we love the old, old Flowdock logo, this one:

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As a sign of protest against the new, new one, we’re not going to update it, unless CA’s lawyers come a-knocking.

Now, where was I?

Oh yes, I’m here to show you how to connect Flowdock to Slack. It’s pretty easy, once you’ve got your Flowdock flow and Slack channel ready (create these, if not).

  • Step 1: Sign in with Flowdock and Slack on Sameroom
  • Step 2: On the Open-a-Tube page, choose your Flowdock flow for Side A and Slack channel for Side B *

* Tubes are commutative: A↔B is the same as B↔A.

To manage this Tube, use the Manage Dashboard. To fine-tune how your messages appear on either end of the Tube, or to make the Tube one-directional, configure posting options.

No Access To the Other Side?

If you’re using Flowdock, but the other team is on Slack (or vice versa), you’ll have to create Portal:

  • Step 1: Sign in with Flowdock on Sameroom
  • Step 2: Create a Portal by selecting your flow
  • Step 3: Send the Portal URL to the other team and wait for them to connect

Once the other team connects, you’ll see the resulting Tube on your Manage page. One of the sides will be grayed out—the side owned by the other team.

Limitations

Slack doesn’t support threaded comments (and I hope it never does), so those will not be relayed from Flowdock to Slack. For other limitations, see Slack and Flowdock sections on our Limitations page.

We’re @sameroomhq on Twitter, if you have any questions or comments about this integration.