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Guide - 6 Min ReadManage customer messages with ease
When it comes to managing customer messages, our approach is to save time sorting through, escalating, and assigning messages and spend it instead on improving the quality of the engagement with your customers. This is a guide on how to adopt that philosophy and make it simple to manage customer messages. #Setup Set your team up for success Make it easy on yourself and your team by doing some quick work on the backend that’ll make it simple for them to handle incoming messages.  Roles and permissions As you add new teammates to a team inbox and expect them to tackle customer communication, be sure to choose the right permissions for each person.  Default On any Front plan, you’ll be able to assign each teammate one of two default roles: Team Admin or Team Member. Here’s a table that covers what permissions are enabled for each role. Many leaders choose a selection of teammates to be Team Admins so they can help you create rules, track success with analytics, and keep the team inbox in check.  Custom If you have an Enterprise plan, you can create custom roles and permissions. Say you want the Team Lead to be responsible for creating all canned responses and rules. Custom roles and permissions allow you to create a role with those unique abilities in Front. Then later down the line, when you want 2 other teammates to do the same, you can simply give them that same role and be on your merry way.  Shifts and load balancing  Shifts and load balancing prevent customer messages from getting backed up in your queue, while also preventing individual teammates from being overloaded with work. When you set up shifts, messages that are typically routed to someone who happens to be off duty will be flagged for someone who is on duty, so customers don’t have to wait for a reply. And, this means that when your teammate returns to work the next day, they aren’t immediately swamped with day-old emails. Another way to support your team is to set up load balancing, which places a limit on how many messages can be assigned to an employee at a given time .   You can monitor how much work each employee has in your Analytics tab. This way, you have an accurate sense of how much is on someone’s plate and can help distribute the work before your customers start to feel the impact of an overworked team.  Turn your inbox into your to-do list With Front, you don’t use a Read/Unread mentality. Instead, we use Open/Archive. With Open/Archive, your inbox is designed to be more of a checklist rather than a catch all. That way, there’s no confusion around what needs to be done: every message that’s in your inbox’s ‘Open’ tab needs to be worked on. So instead of leaving read messages left to cause clutter, snooze the ones you’ll get to later, and archive the ones that you don’t need to take action on. Easy emails to archive are: App notifications or reminders Emails informing you of something, but that aren’t prompting anything (think newsletters, daily reports, etc.) Conversations that seem to be ending (they’ll always pop back up if someone pings them again!) You can find any email in your Archive tab, so rest assured they won’t go missing. This way your open messages can be treated like your daily agenda, you inbox won’t stress you out every time you open your computer, and you won’t accidentally miss messages. #Organize & prioritize Organize your inbox There are many ways to sort and triage messages as a team in Front. You get to choose the methodology that works best for you. Assign messages an owner With Front you can give every message a clear owner so everyone knows what they’re responsible for handling. When you assign it, the message will appear in that teammate’s “Assigned to me” section of their inbox and will no longer be in the “Unassigned” tab in the team inbox. Your team can move on and rest assured it’s taken care of.  Tagging  Create tags to categorize messages by project, client, or urgency. Then, you can pin them to your workspace and drag messages into them. This way your whole team can see how to prioritize their work and what’s on the docket for the day.  #Route messages Triage and route messages No need to spend your time tagging messages, routing them to the right person, or flagging them as urgent to the team – set it up to happen automatically with rules and SLAs.  Rules  Rules are if-then automations that let you put certain actions on autopilot. Set up rules to automatically triage and route the messages for your team, so you can spend more time on your customer. There are a variety of ways that rules come in handy: Route messages to tags based on the content in the email or the sender.  Automatically assign messages by sender, subject, or keyword to a teammate with the expertise to respond. Avoid overwhelm and get back to customers faster by setting conversation limits for each teammate and automatically assign new messages to the teammate with the fewest open messages. SLAs Service level agreements (SLAs) are agreed upon response times between you and a customer, because people want to trust that they’ll get taken care of. Front’s SLA rules help your team meet these goals and stay on track. Set up SLAs and tags like “SLA breach warning” to make sure you never let a customer message fall through the cracks. #Audit & Improve Audit and improve So, you’ve set your team up for success, created rules to automate triaging, and your team is making customers happy left and right! It’s time to measure and showcase just how well your team is handling messages and find ways to improve.  Analytics  Analytics help you make informed decision and handle customer messages better. Track how quickly your messages are being resolved, how much each teammate is handling, or which customers write in the most, among other things.  Get visibility into what kind of messages you’re handling: By tagging messages by product, feature, location, customer, or project, you can track the volume and frequency of customer messages around certain topics. View a report on any tag in Analytics to figure out what kind of work your team is up to the most.  Track team performance: Track response time, handle time, resolution time, and more on a team and individual basis to see how your team is handling messages. This data helps you find ways to improve your customer communication, whether you’re deciding it’s time to hire more help, or finding a better way to distribute and escalate messages. 
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One Pager - 3 Min ReadGetting your team to inbox zero every 👏 single 👏 day 👏
We find it draining to work hard all day just to sign off with numerous emails still in your inbox. Morale plummets, and eventually productivity drags. Front is designed to make your team more impactful, and part of that involves taking a new approach to your inbox. With Front, your inbox is your to-do list, and the features are designed to help you organize and prioritize so you can reach inbox zero everyday. Here’s how team’s adopt an Inbox Zero mentality, and improve customer experience, collaboration, and productivity along the way. Archive/open verses read/unread One of Front’s philosophies is getting to Inbox Zero everyday – think of your inbox as your to-do list, no one wants that to feel unfinished at 5pm.  There are a variety of ways to prioritize and empty your inbox. Rather than letting read emails sit in your inbox and create clutter, we encourage you to archive any emails that don’t require further action. Here are some actions you and your team can take to get to inbox zero. “Snooze” a message for a later time or day when you know you’ll have the bandwidth to tackle it. This is a great tool to use for a conversation or request that doesn’t require immediate attention, like when a teammate asks you to start thinking about an idea for an offsite.  “Mute” a conversation that doesn’t require your time. Muting means that the conversation won’t pop back up in your inbox unless you’re @ mentioned. You can mute a conversation that you were looped into earlier on once the participants no longer need your help, or a conversation that’s been assigned to someone else.  Assign the conversation to the person best equipped to handle the job, or give it a tag. More on these below.  Poof! Your inbox is now empty of less pertinent tasks, and you’re free to focus on what work matters most.  Prioritize and organize with team tags Team tags are similar to folders. You can create as many tags as you want to help your team categorize and organize their work. It’s often helpful to create tags for certain projects, big clients, or urgent issues so your team can prioritize their day. Once tags are set up, you can also automatically move emails to tags by creating a rule (for instance, all messages from Steve could be directed to the VIP tag). Then, you and your team can go through all tagged emails and snooze and assign the conversations accordingly.  Assign each message a clear owner Is Betty responsible for all enterprise clients? Does Joe handle demos? One of the best ways to clear an inbox is by assigning emails to a specific person. This means that that message will show up in the owner’s “Assigned to me” section in their personal workspace, so they can get right to it. Once your team gets the hang of it, folks can start assigning emails to themselves to help carry the load.  No message left behind The tl:dr? Empowering your team to get to inbox zero everyday builds a sense of engagement and accountability on your team. Once your team understands the basic processes needed to get to inbox zero, and are on board with that goal, your next steps are to read our guide on automating your team’s workflows to make everyone’s workday more efficient, collaborative, and – simply put – happier. 
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Tips & updates

One Pager - 4 Min ReadBuild a better customer experience with Salesforce and Front
CRMs aren’t just for forecasts and pipeline reports. In the day-to-day hustle of updating opportunity status and logging conversations, we tend to lose sight of why we adopted CRMs (customer relationship management software) in the first place — to better understand our customers and their needs. For Sales teams, the effort required to keep a CRM in order seems to take away from their core job, instead of adding value to it. High quality CRM data is a key building block in the foundation of a great customer experience. Complete conversation history, context on business challenges, clear action items for strengthening the relationship. We’re caught between knowing the value of this data and the reality of those time-consuming updates. That’s why Front integrates with Salesforce (and other popular CRMs) to connect your customer records with where you actually get work done — your inbox. With the right tools, keeping your customer data in sync with your team is easy. Here’s how Front and Salesforce work together to give you better data, more efficient teams, and happier customers. Break down the silos around Salesforce “Out of sight, out of mind” is true — especially when it comes to Salesforce. Giving your team visibility into your CRM is a big first step toward making it an essential part of their workflow. When your team isn’t engaging with Salesforce throughout the day, it’s easy to forget about the value of the data that lives in it. Next to every conversation, Front shows you the related Salesforce leads, contacts, accounts, opportunities, and cases. When you open a message, you know exactly who the customer is, what plan they’re on, and how they’ve interacted with your team in the past. It’s easy to customize which fields are shown in Front (including Salesforce custom fields) for a quick view of exactly what you need to craft a compelling message, instead of spending time switching between tools searching for context. Reduce the time spent on updates We’ve all been there. 30 minutes before your weekly team meeting, and what haven’t you done? Your status report. Your project summary. [Insert other ways your team tracks progress here.] For Sales teams, that means switching back and forth between your inbox, meeting notes, and Salesforce cobbling together updates. Manually adding Salesforce tasks, logging emails, and editing open opportunities to match your most recent conversations. When making after-the-fact updates, valuable details are often lost in the hurry of sifting through a crowded inbox for highlights and reminders. Beyond visibility into Salesforce, Front gives Account Executives and Sales Development Reps the ability to update records and tasks directly from the related conversation in Front. Converting a lead or changing an opportunity status is as simple as a few clicks. Making updates in real time suddenly becomes more efficient than waiting until the next pipeline meeting to make them all at once. With real time updates in Salesforce, everyone wins — your sales team spends less time on administrative tasks, managers’ reports and forecasts are always current, and more details from the sales process are captured for other teams’ benefit down the line. Transition customers smoothly between teams Over time, Salesforce becomes a historical record of your entire relationship with a customer: from initial outreach, through their sales process, to ongoing discussions or issues. In an ideal world, it’s a treasure trove of context for everyone who engages with that customer once a deal is closed — Customer Support, Account Management, Marketing, or Product Management. But we know that the ideal can be hard to achieve. Every field, note, and task in Salesforce is a minute that could be spent on something else. There’s a heavy burden on Sales to capture every customer interaction in Salesforce, when they aren’t always the ones who’ll rely on that data down the line. The easier it is to make small updates along the way, the more likely there is to be a rich record of the customer lifecycle for other teams to refer to later. Integrating Salesforce with your team’s daily workflow brings powerful downstream effects on your customer experience. When an Account Manager starts working with a new customer, they have the information they need to tailor onboarding to address that customer’s specific needs. Product Managers can put feature requests into the right context: where the customer is in their lifecycle, what plan they’re on, or what their pain points were that led them to purchase. Customer Support can spot higher level trends based on the issues different groups of customers are experiencing. All because they have the customer records that enable them to do their best work for your customers. Your CRM is more than a sales tool Understanding your customers is key to empathetic and effective communication. Access to great customer data powers a better experience for your customer, regardless of who they’re engaging with. And it starts with your sales team having the tools they need to make saving that data easy. With your team engaging with Salesforce next to every conversation in Front, you can build a positive feedback loop around adding and updating data in real time. The more you use it, the more you notice when it’s missing or incorrect, and the more likely you are to make those changes so the right data is there for you — and your teammates — in the future.
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One Pager - 2 Min ReadTake control of your team inboxes with custom roles in Front
Everyone on your team plays a unique role. As an administrator of Front, it’s your job to make sure their permissions in Front reflect their role. That’s why Front lets you create custom roles for your team, so everyone can see and do exactly what they need. No more, no less. Custom roles make your job as an Admin easier by giving your team access to exactly what they need to get work done. Here’s how you can set your team up for success by creating custom roles and permissions. Access exactly what you need Front has three preset user roles to choose from: Company Admins, Team Admins, and Team Members. But Team Admins can also create any custom roles your team needs to give certain teammates permissions between those preset levels. Take your support team, for instance. Make a custom role for ‘Team Leads’, so they can assign messages to others in Front. Allow ‘Managers’ to view analytics without giving them full Team Admin permissions. Or share your support inbox internally with, say, the engineering team. That way they can collaborate on issues, but not respond to customers directly. Keep inboxes organized Limiting which teammates can create tags is a great way to keep your inboxes neat and tidy. Give ‘Managers’ control to build out a set of tags, without giving them full Admin access. Then restrict the creation of new ones. That way, everyone uses the same tags, and it’s easier to search for what you need. (No duplicate tag issues, like ‘Urgent things’, ‘urgent’, and ‘URGENT MESSAGE’.) The same goes for rules: Make a custom role to allow certain people, like 'Team Leads' for instance, to create rules — without giving them all the permissions of an Admin. It’ll empower them to take charge of their own workflows and iterate over time. And it’ll take a load off your shoulders (you don’t have to create them all on your own! ? ). Streamline messaging With the right roles and permissions set up, you can keep wording consistent and aligned with your brand in every message. Try restricting the ability to create canned responses to ‘Team Leads’, or go even more specific: only copywriters on the marketing team. With only your most trusted writers creating canned responses, you can ensure the messages your team sends from Front are on brand. Build different roles for different teams Every team is structured differently, with its own unique positions and management structure. Front lets you create an entirely new set of custom roles for every team, so your inboxes fit the way you work. Using Front already helps your team collaborate better, cuts down on inbox clutter, and empowers individual teammates to be more productive. By creating custom roles and permissions in Front, you can further elevate your team’s productivity and ensure everyone has the level of access they need to get work done.
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VIDEO - 4 MIN WATCHInsider Tip – Build an SLA
Learn how to build an SLA in Front through an Insider video tip.
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VIDEO - 4 MIN WATCHInsider Tip – Comments
Learn about using comments in Front through a video tip.
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