The Best Slack Bot Should Have These 5 Features

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Slack bots have become ubiquitous in the virtual workplace. But which is the best Slack bot for you? Well, that depends on what you want your bot to do. If you need anything to do with running asynchronous daily standups, there are plenty of options to consider — just be sure your Slack bot has these five features as a minimum.

1. Preset Questions

Preset questions help you create a standup more quickly. You simply have to choose the type of questions to ask your team (whether they’re for a standup, a retrospective, or general team feedback), and the template will fill up with the appropriate questions. From here, you can tweak the queries to fit your team’s needs.

2. Customizable Settings

Preset questions aren’t much value if you can’t choose when to send them. The best Slack bot should be flexible to your needs, letting you: send questions according to both your time and the recipients’ time-zone; choose the period between, i.e., your standups, and set the days of the week the standup should run (as well as where the Slack bot should broadcast any responses).

3. Detailed Insights

Once you’ve collected responses, you’ll want to be able to act based on detailed insights. Some Slack bots won’t share much more than the raw text responses. The best Slack bot will not only create analytics based on what your team is saying.

It will use artificial intelligence and natural language processing to display Sankey diagrams and Gantt charts that track aspects like team happiness, the topics that people are talking about, and the activities that everyone’s working on right now.

4. Flexible Response Times

The worst thing a Slack bot can do is interrupt you when you’re ‘in the zone.’ A mistimed question or an inappropriate update is enough to break anyone’s concentration. And it can take up to half an hour to rediscover your flow.

The best Slack bot will always be non-intrusive, only contacting you when you choose and sending reminders to ‘complete {standup_name}’ according to your predefined schedule. Suppose you have a daily standup meeting at 10 AM every day: the best Slack bot may remind you to respond after 30-minutes, then 5 hours, if that’s the setup you choose.

5. A Free Trial

Here’s a feature that every great tech product should include, no questions asked: a free trial. It can last for a week, a month, a year: it doesn’t really matter how many days you get. It’s just essential you’re allowed to try the product on for size before being tied into any long-term commitment.

There’s no real cost to the company to give you a few days for free, so if an offer isn’t on the table, you should always question why. It’s also wise to check the payment setup before you give anyone your credit card details because if a service looks expensive at the start, it’s best to avoid in the first place.

While if the pricing plan is both affordable and extremely clear, the decision to extend a free trial becomes all the easier.

User Feedback Is More Important Than Anything

Even if a Slack bot has all the features in the world, it doesn’t guarantee it will be good (let alone the best). The only way to ensure you find the best Slack bot is to spend time on product comparison sites, reading what users both past and present have to say about the service.

Review sites like Capterra, TrustPilot, and G2 are reliable sources of honest customer opinion. If you can find a Slack bot that not only fits your needs but also ranks well across all three sites, you could well be onto a winner.


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