One of the most frustrating aspects of anyone’s job is asking for—or giving—approval. Whether you’re trying to schedule a vacation or offer a discount to a customer, submitting a request often means manual data entry and switching between apps. Then you still have to wait for an answer, which can take a while—especially if your request is lost in a mountain of others. And if you’re a manager or supervisor, it can be difficult to triage and monitor requests.
Chat apps like Slack make it a lot easier to make (and approve!) requests. The easiest way to streamline approval workflows is to use a chatbot like Workbot for Slack, a bot Workato created to allow users to do work in other cloud apps directly from chat apps. Powered by the Workato Integration and Automation platform, Workbot is highly customizable because it runs on Workato recipes. Recipes are sets of steps that you can create with no code that Workato and Workbot will follow based on triggers and actions. And Workato maintains a repository of over 100,000 recipes that you can copy, tweak, and use—so you can create your own workflows without starting from scratch or writing any code!
Most importantly, Workbot is the only Slackbot that can execute secure approval workflows. Using a patented technology called Verified User Access (VUA), Workbot ensures that only the right people can respond to requests. The VUA feature ensures that only the managers who are authorized to approve or reject these requests have the ability to do so. Verified User Access allows you to take actions inside of other apps—like NetSuite, for example—from Slack but requires that you authenticate by signing into your NetSuite account so that it can check if you have clearance.
Between VUA and other features, like drop-down menus and buttons, Workbot can facilitate a wide range of approval workflows. Here are a few ideas to get you started!
Efficiently Managing HR Processes with Workbot
From time off to expense reimbursements, HR often acts as the gatekeeper to things that employees want. But managing requests can be overwhelming, especially when you have to manually check and approve each one.
Approving Time Off Requests in Workday
Juggling employees’ schedules is one of the toughest aspects of HR, especially when it comes to coordinating time off. To make the process simpler, you can execute approval workflows in an HR app, like Workday, directly from Slack using Workbot. For example, imagine that you want to approve time off requests made in Workday. Whenever an employee asks for vacation time, you can receive an automatic Slack message via Workbot, letting you know about the request. And with Workbot features like buttons and drop-down menus, you don’t have to leave Slack to approve the request—you can just point and click, and the approval will be recorded in Workday right away.
Managing Expense Approvals from Slack
Another common sticking point for HR is expense approvals. Employees want to be reimbursed promptly, but keeping track of individual expenses and reports is tedious, time-consuming work. Apps like Expensify or Concur are a great option, but it can be difficult to keep up with reports as their status changes from “Submitted” to “Approved” and, finally, “Reimbursed.” As a solution, you can use Slack as your hub for reviewing expense reports and disbursing the correct amount. Verified User Access ensure that all expenses are securely approved by the right people, so your employees can get their money back more quickly.
Get started with Workbot here.
Using Slack to Approve IT Requests in ServiceNow
Businesses are increasingly high-tech, but technology still relies on physical equipment and parts, and waiting for them can be the worst aspect of resolving IT problems. They have to be requested, ordered, delivered, and set up—a process that can drag on for weeks or months. Waiting is never ideal, but it’s especially bad when you’re trying to fix an IT issue that impacts hundreds or thousands of employees.
You can speed up the process by executing IT request approvals using Slack and ServiceNow. A user simply initiates a request using the “Create Request” command, which will open a new request in ServiceNow. From there, they can add items to the request and submit the request for approval via Slack. Once submitted, the designated approver or channel will receive a DM containing the relevant request information in Slack. They can then choose to view the requester’s history using the command “Request History,” or they can simply approve or reject the request by logging into ServiceNow directly from Slack.Did you know? Workbot is the only #Slackbot that can execute secure approval workflows. Click To Tweet
Once approved (or rejected), the requester will receive a DM notifying them of the request’s outcome. Then the order goes to a procurement app, like Coupa, for purchasing. Using Workbot, the entire request and approval process can be done through Slack.
Find out more about making Workbot your ServiceNow console here.
Streamlining Order Approvals with NetSuite and Slack
If your business sells products to customers, their satisfaction is paramount. You want to get them the right product, on time—with minimal hassle on the back end. But if you routinely offer custom products or prices, there may be a lot of people involved in the process of selling and delivering the goods. Automated approval workflows can be invaluable for streamlining order fulfillment, which would otherwise require a lot of time and manual data entry.
For example, you can minimize the human work needed by integrating Salesforce, NetSuite, and Slack. When a Salesforce opportunity is marked as Closed Won, the recipe automatically enters the information into NetSuite as a pending order. Then the recipe sends an approval message to the correct person via Slack, who can sign into NetSuite and approve it using Verified User Access in Slack. From there, the person can approve or decline the order—without leaving the chat app. Their approval is automatically recorded in NetSuite, kicking off the order fulfillment process.
Read more about using Workbot for painless order approvals.
Giving Customers the Best Deal with Custom Pricing Approvals
When sales deals are being made, there are often price adjustment requests. The number one enterprise collaboration tool uses Workato and Workbot to securely approve price adjustments inside of Slack. A group of managers must approve all of these requests, and they wanted to be able to easily approve or reject without logging into Salesforce or flooding their email inboxes with request notifications.
Workbot was the only bot for the job, as its Verified User Access feature ensures that only the managers who are authorized to approve or reject these requests have the ability to do so. Now, sales reps from can request certain deal terms in Salesforce from Slack. Workbot puts those deal terms into the correct Salesforce account and triggers a price request. The request goes to a specific Slack channel. A manager clicks “approve” or “reject” and Workato uses Verified User Access to make sure the person who is acting is qualified to take this action. This ensures that sensitive activities are not carried out from Slack by unqualified people.
This Workbot workflow takes work collaboration to the next level. It provides the needed level of security while making collaboration between people (reps and management) and apps (Slack and Salesforce) a seamless experience.
Want to learn more about building a deal desk? Check out how we did it.
Using DocuSign and Slack to Speed Up Contract Approvals
When it comes to contracts, you don’t have time to waste, and neither do your customers. With its physical papers and envelopes, sending and signing paperwork is perhaps the last bastion of the analogue—but it doesn’t have to be. Using a contract automation app like DocuSign simplifies the process of getting a signature by sending and receiving documents electronically. Better still, a contract automation app can fit right into a broader contract approval workflow, so you can move on a deal as soon as it closes.
You can use Slack workflows to make the process of approving a document painless. When a contract is prepared, a recipe can send it as an approval message in Slack. A supervisor (or anyone who has clearance) can click “approve,” sign into DocuSign, and complete the approval right from Slack. Once approved, the DocuSign contract is automatically sent to the customer. As soon as the customer e-signs the contract, the contracts team receives a notification via Slack—and the signed document is automatically uploaded to the correct Salesforce account. With this workflow, contract teams save themselves a lot of administrative work, and they’ll never need to wait around for a contract again.
Read more about automating contract approvals here.
Delivering Better Customer Care with Zendesk and Workbot
Behind-the-scenes workflows should ideally stay behind the scenes, but sometimes your internal processes overlap or intersect with a customer-facing task. This scenario often arises in customer support, where agents rely on carefully orchestrated workflows to resolve customer issues in a timely manner. Those workflows need to go off without a hitch—especially when human approval is involved, because “I’m waiting for my boss’s approval” isn’t an acceptable answer when a customer asks about getting the help they need.
For example, your business might offer tiered support packages that include a certain number of hours of support. If a customer needs an extra hour of help, a support agent can request approval for that additional support via their ticketing app like Zendesk. The approval message then posts to the correct Slack channel, allowing for secure approval by the manager via Verified User Access. Once they’ve approved the request, it’s automatically marked as such in the support app.
Want to make the most of Zendesk with Workbot? Click here.