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The Strategy That Got Slack to 500,000 Users and Made It a $1 Billion Company

by Art Zabalov  |  
June 26, 2015

Slack, a business messaging and search app, has been a big hit: Within 18 months of its launch it had a valuation of $1.1 billion and 500,000 monthly active users.

Makes you want a piece of that, right?

Well, there is a strategy that Slack used to achieve such high-flyng success: The Slack team made customer feedback the "epicenter of its efforts."

The Power of Feedback

Whether you've already crossed your first $100,000 in monthly recurring revenue (MRR) or you're just starting out, customer feedback can serve directly as a tool for customer acquisition and, indirectly, as a tool to boost other customer acquisition channels.

Its value extends much farther than just verification of your business hypothesis—all the way to positive online reviews and personal recommendations, which are two important influencers of purchasing decisions.

In fact, consumer opinions are the third most trusted form of advertising, according to a Nielsen study:

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Art Zabalov is an inbound marketer at Customericare live chat. He writes about customer acquisition and customer experience.

Twitter: @ArtZabz

LinkedIn: Art Zabalov

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  • by packetvoice Fri Jun 26, 2015 via web

    Is this really about Slack? Not in the least in my opinion. You can't get more generic than that. The headline is just grab attention - and mislead.

  • by Vinay Bhagat, CEO TrustRadius Fri Jun 26, 2015 via web

    Art - I agree with the other comment that your article isn't really about Slack but you do make some good points.

    I would add, it's not just consumers that rely on user reviews. About 80% of B2B buyers start evaluations with a web search. In the business software category, 60% search for user reviews. Consequently, it's critical to be proactive about building a high quality review presence that:

    1) Rigorously screens out illegitimate reviews
    2) Takes great efforts to ensure that reviews are trustworthy and representative
    3) Elicits high quality responses that are actually useful to people
    4) Ensures that reviews are fresh to reflect the current state of your product
    5) Helps you get to critical mass so that prospective customers can find customers just like them

    Vinay Bhagat
    Founder & CEO, TrustRadius

  • by Art Zabalov Mon Jun 29, 2015 via web

    @packetvoice and @VinayBhagat, I apologize for the clickbait nature of the title. My goal was to show the readers just how important feedback is, including the techniques which Slack, too, benefited from greatly. To pick one, take a look at their Wall of Love at @SlackLoveTweets

    @VinayBhagat, thank you for your contribution. Couldn't agree more with your points, as high quality reviews is something we'd like to have more of at my company (who wouldn't?). If I were to add 1 point to your already complete list, I'd add:
    6) Treats negative customer reviews with utmost priority.
    In my opinion, negative feedback is arguably one of the most useful gifts you can receive from a customer.

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