As a product manager or designer, you're no stranger to the influx of feature requests from your team and stakeholders. These requests, vital for shaping your product's roadmap, come in various forms: emails, meetings, and increasingly, through Slack messages. While these inputs are invaluable, managing them can be a daunting task due to their volume and varying data quality.
The Advantages of Slack for Handling Feature Requests
Slack can be a particularly effective platform for managing these requests. Here's why:
- Accessibility and Convenience: Since Slack is where you and your team spend much of your workday, it offers a low barrier for both creating and reading requests.
- Ease of Communication: Slack makes it simple to ask for additional context or clarification, ensuring you get the complete picture and truly understand the problem to solve.
- Searchability: Slack’s search can be limited but does at least provide a way of finding past feature requests if you know roughly where to look.
- Summarization: Spoke allows you to summarize Slack channels on a regular cadence or on demand, making it easier to digest and act upon feature requests.
Getting Feature Requests into Slack
Feature requests typically find their way into Slack through three primary routes:
- Automations from Sales and Account Management Tools: Integrations with tools like Intercom, Zendesk, and Salesforce can funnel requests directly into Slack.
- Free-Form in a Channel: Team members can post requests directly in a designated Slack channel. For example, at Spoke, we have a #product-ideas channel, which we encourage team members to post feature requests in.
- Via a Form in a Channel: Implementing a form within a channel helps in gathering requests with more specific qualification criteria. You can create custom workflows in Slack that show a modal asking for inputs such as ‘Type: Bug, User feedback..., Urgency: High, Medium, Low, Business Impact: $$$, $$, $, Free text:’. This helps in triaging the requests.
Staying on Top of Feature Requests in Slack
To efficiently manage feature requests in Slack, consider these strategies:
- Centralization: Consolidate requests in one or a few dedicated channels to avoid scattering information.
- Channel Summarization: Regularly summarize and review these channels to identify and prioritize feature requests.
- Keyword Setup: Utilize Slack’s keyword notification feature to get alerted whenever specific terms related to feature requests are mentioned.
Spoke can be added to Slack and set up in seconds so you can benefit from powerful, AI summarization to stay on top of feature requests.