How to make a helpdesk shortcut channel in Slack

4 min read

Here’s how to setup a Slack helpdesk channel

  1. Create a new Slack channel
  2. Change Slack channel posting permissions

Create a new Slack channel

Click the small plus arrow
Click the small plus arrow

Set a name and description
Set a name and description

Change Slack channel posting permissions

Changing channel permissions is only available if your have the Business+ plan or greater in Slack

Requires Business+ Plan or greater
Requires Business+ Plan or greater

  1. Open the settings by clicking the down arrow next to it’s name.
    Open Slack channel settings
    Open Slack channel settings
  2. Navigate to the settings tab and select edit on the posting permissions section.
    Choose the edit button
    Choose the edit button
  3. Select admins only
    Changing posting permissions to Admins only
    Changing posting permissions to Admins only

Once you’ve limited the posting permissions, the chat box will be disabled for other non admin users. However, they’ll still be able to start threads on messages.

A non admin view of the chat box in a restricted channel
A non admin view of the chat box in a restricted channel

In the next section, we’ll go throw what needs to be done to get the Slack shortcut (lightning bolt) setup.

Add a helpdesk shortcut workflow

Open the workflow builder in Slack

It’s located in the tools submenu from the top left hand workspace dropdown (see screenshot).

Open workflow builder
Open workflow builder

Choose templates from the top navbar

Slack workflow templates
Slack workflow templates

Choose the #it-requests channel you created above and hit “Next”

Slack helpdesk shortcut workflow setup
Slack helpdesk shortcut workflow setup

Slack will open up the workflow steps for your helpdesk shortcut.

Slack helpdesk shortcut workflow step
Slack helpdesk shortcut workflow step

After making adjustments, make sure you hit publish.

Publishing a Slack workflow
Publishing a Slack workflow

Using the shortcut from Slack channel

Slack helpdesk shortcut menu
Slack helpdesk shortcut menu

Using the helpdesk shortcut
Using the helpdesk shortcut

Slack helpdesk shortcut
Slack helpdesk shortcut

Creating a helpdesk rotation

Install Tellspin

  1. Click “Add to Slack” on Tellspin’s home page

Slack will prompt you to approve some permissions. Tellspin follows the “least privileged” principle, only requesting permission it absolutely needs to function.

  1. Tellspin will send a welcome message
  2. Click “Create a schedule” button
    Onboarding message in Tellspin
    Onboarding message in Tellspin

You can also make a new schedule from Tellspin’s Home screen.

  1. Insert the @mention in your helpdesk message workflow step.

When the message is posted in Slack, Tellspin will contact the person on rotation via Slack’s built-in contact methods.


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Written by Dan Willoughby

Hey I'm Dan. I'm the solo-founder behind Tellspin which helps dev teams respond to support through Slack. Tellspin takes the guesswork out of who should pay attention to which messages making it easier to focus. You should try out Tellspin and follow me on Twitter