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Building an after hours autoreply on slack

  • 29 September 2022
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I am trying to build a solution that will automatically respond to people in all my slack channels if they message after a certain time. Something like, “we’re closed for the day”. 

 

I am thinking I could do a slack trigger of a new message, do a path where the time > 5pm EST, then reply back with a message. If it doesn’t meet that criteria, do nothing. 

The issue with this is, I would have to do this for every channel and I’d have to burn through many tasks.

 

Is there an easier way to accomplish this? Open to suggestions. Thanks!

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Best answer by nicksimard 4 October 2022, 02:03

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Hey there, @ReturnCo! Thanks for reaching out! Hmm, great question. 

I wonder if there’s a native Slack feature that could be helpful here. Full transparency, this was pulled from a quick Google search but sounds like it could be useful. https://slackscheduler.com/blogs/slack-scheduler-blog/how-to-send-a-slack-message-at-a-specific-time

Curious to hear what the community has to offer in the meantime though! 🤔

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Hello,

 

Thanks for your reply. Sorry, I forgot to mention it needs to be an auto-reply where someone messages in the slack channel, and an auto-reply will trigger if the message came in after hours. 

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Hey @ReturnCo!

This was a great little workflow challenge so I decided to record a quick walkthrough video that we can share with anyone else who might want to do this same thing :)

Hope this helps!

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@nicksimard this is next level. you are the GOAT. 

 

any way to schedule this zap to run at a certain time so it doesn’t look at all my slack messages daily? I would need it to start listening at 4pm Central time daily. 

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I am trying to use the HH in “to Format” for the date/time formatter, but it doesn’t seem to take “HH” as a custom format. Any ideas?

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Hey @ReturnCo!

Glad you found that helpful. While we can’t specify the times during which the Zap should trigger, one workaround would be to use Zaps to turn the Zap on and off.

You can use Schedule by Zapier as the trigger, then an app called Zapier Manager as the action. That has Turn Zap On/Off.

You end up with extra Zaps but you’ll save tasks by not having to run that Formatter step on each Slack message. 

So it would look like this:

Zap 1: the one I showed above

Zap 2: Schedule by Zapier run daily at 5pm, then turn ON Zap 1

Zap 3: Schedule by Zapier run daily at 9am, then turn OFF Zap 1

As for HH in the custom format, it should definitely accept that as an option. What happens when you try to do it?

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It just doesn’t accept it. If I do custom and do HH:mm or even just HH it doesn’t take it. 

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It’s not seen as a valid input “HH” 

 

Userlevel 7
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Ahhhhh...I see now. This is part of our interface that I don’t find to be super clear. This is where you type the custom value:

 

Where you’re doing it, that’s where you would search for values in previous steps. Note to self to include things like that i future videos...little stumbling points for people.

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Thank you! :) 

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This will only work in public channels, or will it work in private channels we’ve added the Zapier app to? 

Userlevel 7
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Hiya @ReturnCo! Great question - you may need to duplicate this and build separate zaps for private channels using the “New Message Posted to Private Channel” Slack trigger. 🙂