Guide - 5 Min Read

Automate your team's workflow

Scale your team’s impact by automating busywork, getting messages in the right hands faster, and making it easy to prioritize work.

Your team has customers to impress and missions to achieve, so there’s no time for admin tasks – especially as you grow. Front is built to streamline your workday and save you time so you can focus more on quality customer communication than chores like organizing messages. This guide will walk you through how to make more of an impact by automating your team’s workflow. 

Prioritize the right work

Let’s start with your personal inbox. Front’s philosophy is to treat it like your to-do list, so you stay on top of what matters most.

An open/archive mentality

Read and unread messages clog your inbox and create confusion by living in the same place.  Try to archive the messages that don’t require action. An open message should be one that you can act on today. If it’s not meant for you, assign it to someone else – which we’ll cover in the next chapter. 

Snooze messages for later

Some messages don’t require an immediate response, or aren’t your top priority for the day. When that’s the case, you can ‘snooze’ it for any day or time you want. Snooze means it will reappear in your inbox at the scheduled time, and you don’t have to worry about it slipping through the cracks.

Snooze gif

Get messages in front of the right eyes

When a variety of your communication channels are connected to your team inbox, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the amount of messages. Categorize messages and give them an owner to help focus your team and improve response time.

Categorize work with tags

Organizing customer messages by urgency, project, customer location, and more helps you to see what your team’s workload is looking like in a single day. Choose language you already use—only your company sees them. By tracking tags in your team workspace, you’ll see when more people are needed on a specific project, or when there’s an increase in demo requests after a new feature launch. Labeling these messages helps avoid context switching and prioritizes the most urgent items. 

Assign messages to a clear owner

Give messages an owner with a simple click. They’ll be notified and the message will appear in their inbox as well as their “Assigned to me” section, a clear signal to start taking care of it. This gets messages in the right hands fast, without losing your team’s sense of collaboration and visibility.  Have time to handle it on your own? Assign a message to yourself and take it off of your team’s plate. 

assign gif

Triage and escalate messages automatically

Rules do the work for you. Set them up to triage messages immediately, automatically tag or assign messages, and save your team time. 

Automate tagging, assigning, and triaging by creating rules

When you create a rule, you create an automated process that escalates messages for you and helps your team. Rules are a no-code way to create the exact workflow your team needs, while using the best of Front’s features. What does your team need to succeed? Assignments? Canned responses? Rules can do that. Spending some time creating rules early in your Front journey will help your team be even more efficient. The combinations are nearly limitless, but an example of a rule could be:

When: there’s an inbound message

If: the inbox is [inbox name] and from an email address that contains []

Then: Add tag [select tag]

rules image

You can customize rules in a variety of ways to fit your team’s needs. Some examples are:

  • Time-based rules

  • Routing rules

  • Archiving rules

  • Tagging rules

  • After hours rules 

Use SLAs to help your team meet response time goals

An SLA, or Service Level Agreement, is a goal or agreed upon amount of time for businesses to respond or resolve client messages. Even if you don’t have contractual SLAs in your client agreements, setting specific response time goals helps you understand and improve your customer experience. Front’s SLAs can be customized to automatically route inbound conversations to a specific team or employee, classify them with a custom tag, and then send them to another application, like Slack. Any customer-facing team who wants to improve their client communications workflow and ensure nothing gets missed can benefit from Front’s SLAs.

Human-touch, at scale

The magic of Front is in its personal touches, with customized canned responses and signatures. Front automates your busywork to keep your teams happy, and adds a personal touch so your customers feel connected.

Save common messages as canned responses

Create canned responses to save time and keep responses on brand. You can think of canned responses as email templates; your team selects which one fits their needs, then spends some time personalizing. Rather than a common response, you’ll keep the tone and voice consistent for your customers. As a bonus, canned responses make a great training tool by helping your team learn how to talk to customers over email.

canned response gif

Create multiple signatures

Front allows for endless ways to collaborate, and soon enough you’ll be working on a single message with a handful of others to make it awesome. To deliver a consistent experience for your customers, create multiple team signatures so your team signs off on emails the same way, every time. It’s always easy to opt out and use your individual signature instead, but admins can create as many team signatures as they want to provide options. 

Keep learning

One Pager - 4 Min ReadImprove customer experience with Front
World-class customer communication starts with well-organized internal processes. If your inbox is a mess, or your messages are scattered amongst people, customers will feel the chaos through longer response times, less thorough responses, or an impersonal experience. These 5 features — signatures, tags, SLAs, rules, and analytics — are proven ways to create a seamless system for your team to manage customer messages. Personalization at scale When your customer receives a ticket number rather than a reply, they feel like one of millions rather than one in a million — no matter what follows. Front has multiple ways for you to manage messages so your team doesn’t get underwater, and all your customers still feel like VIPs. Here’s a couple ways to give them all the white glove experience they deserve: Create multiple signatures to help create a personal, and credible sign-off that shows there’s a human on the other end rather than a robot. Adding multiple, unique signatures to your team’s toolkit allows for personalization that scales.  Create canned responses for your team to use. Think of these as saved message templates for your most common responses to customers. When you save a message as a canned response, anyone on your team can use it in a single click, and spend their time personalizing it rather than typing out a common reply.  Organize messages with tags Team tags are ways to categorize and prioritize messages. They’re similar to folders, but aren’t intended to house messages that eventually get forgotten (we see you, ‘save for later’ folder ). Rather, we like to create tags that are correlated with an action, like the following: VIP 👑 – for your largest or biggest customers who require immediate attention Urgent 🔥 – to escalate messages that demand immediate attention Feedback 💙 – a place to gather and respond to both positive and negative customer feedback When a message is in a team inbox, anyone can add a tag. In an ideal world, all messages in your team inbox are either assigned or given a tag so that your team can focus and manage their time better.  Route messages to the right person with assignments Assignments give every message a clear owner so they can be handled quickly and with continuity. Rather than letting messages sit in a team inbox — and fall behind as new ones come in — assign each message to the person best fit to handle it, and rest assured that it’ll be taken care of. You can even automatically assign messages to people and make sure loads are balanced with rules — which is conveniently coming up next in this guide!  Rules prioritize messages for you  Rules automate the administrative task of routing messages, looping relevant people in, or responding to FAQs. They follow a “When _____, if _____, then _____.” For example:  When: there’s an inbound message If: the inbox is [inbox name] and from an email address that contains [] Then: Add tag [select tag] You can customize rules in a variety of ways to fit your team’s needs: Time-based rules – Like SLAs, or after-hours rules that automatically send a canned response to let your customers know you’ll get back to them first thing in the AM Routing rules – Routing messages from a specific customer, or that include a specific keyword, to the correct tag or assignee Archiving rules – Archiving spam, document sharing email updates, or project management tool updates Tagging rules – Tagging messages that include a specific keyword or are from a VIP customer to an urgent tag After hours rules – Sending a canned response to messages that come in after hours  Dream big here – there are countless rules to create that help your team save time.  Create SLAs to improve response times  A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a goal or agreed upon amount of time for businesses to respond or resolve client messages. With Front’s SLAs, you can ensure that goals are met and no customer gets left behind. Setup is guided and easy, and there are some key features that help prevent breaches before they happen: Customize your escalation path by sending messages that are at risk to a “breach warning” tag or even alerting an “SLA” Slack channel. Front Analytics reports on your SLA success to show how your team is performing, help set realistic goals, and motivate your team to improve. Create multiple unique SLAs for different criteria like account value or client contact groups, and Front will automatically apply the right SLAs to the right conversation. Front’s SLAs are the guard rails your team needs to ensure every email is handled on time and every customer has a great experience with your team. Track progress and improve with analytics Whether you’re motivating your team or strategizing how to reach goals, it always helps to back things up with data. Front analytics give you success metrics on team and individual performance, plus customer experience. You’ll be able to view and create reports on: Resolution time Team performance Inbox performance  Load balancing Specific customers
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