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Automation through Webhooks

Introduction to Webhooks

You may already know about Front’s Open APIs and have utilized them before to do things like fetching the details about a recent conversation or export analytics data. But are you interacting with data between your systems in a real-time dynamic way? If you aren’t using our Webhooks integration, the answer is probably no.

With traditional REST APIs (like that which you’ll find in our Core API), you can programmatically retrieve or post updates to Front. For example, I could list all of the conversations I’ve had with a particular contact or add a tag to any specific client conversation. What if I wanted to do something like add a tag based on the customer region in a CRM like Salesforce, or assign the conversation to the Account Manager? This information is dynamic and could change at any moment, and you want to leverage it in real-time.

Webhooks solve this problem and provide you the layer of interactivity you need. They introduce a “don’t call us; we’ll call you” concept to your tech stack and enable you to perform real-time logging of the activity or even dynamic updating to Front’s system.

Here’s an example to show how this could work:

webhooks

Imagine you want to have a real-time dashboard that shows the total number of new conversations vs. reopened conversations vs. archived (closed) conversations. In our old world of REST APIs, you’d have to continually call Front to see if anything has changed, when maybe only one of those calls would return any new data.

Front and Webhooks integration

Using Front, you can enable the webhooks integration and configure a rule that triggers a Webhook server notification.

webhooks 2

Once you enable the integration, you’ll see a dropdown in your rule actions to “Send to a Webhook.”

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Define your server address here. You can use your server, own or you can even make use of middleware like Zapier, to receive the webhooks and trigger other cascading lookups, logging, or actions. Each webhook event you receive will contain information like the conversation ID, author, contact (etc.) You can find a preview of the event payload here.

What else can I do with the Webhook?

Front’s Webhooks integration is just the beginning of cascading actions. Here are just a few examples of things customers have done using webhooks through Front:

  • Log all events to a data warehouse in real-time

  • Trigger a lookup in your CRM and assign the conversation to the appropriate Account Manager

  • Create a real-time dashboard displaying information about the number of conversations touched by your reps

  • Add a comment to the conversation in Front containing additional information from your back-end systems

While Webhooks may be the trigger that informs you of new data, you’ll probably still want to leverage our Core API to do things like update the conversation assignee or add a comment. Our Webhooks integration often won’t stand alone in accomplishing your goal.

P.S. Worried about security? You can also secure your webhook by validating the payload originated from Front

If you have any questions about how to leverage Front’s Webhooks feature or just want to brainstorm, feel free to get in touch with us at api@frontapp.com

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One Pager - 4 Min ReadManaging a remote team in Front
Whether your team is distributed across continents, working from home on Fridays, or somewhere in between, staying aligned and connected can be challenging. Our philosophy on remote work is that with the right product (and a stellar team) remote work should actually make your team more efficient, motivated, and even more collaborative.   With the right workflows in place, your team can get past the potential work-from-home-woes and channel energy into the customer and team interactions that fuel your mission. Here are 5 steps to bring out the best in your remote team with Front.  1. Collaborate from anywhere to stay aligned and connected We’ve built features into Front that are designed to make remote teams work more efficiently and collaboratively. It all starts with a Team Inbox, where all your communication channels are funneled into one place for your whole team to see and take action on. That means off the bat, there’s a shared view of what’s happening and everyone is inherently on the same page. Set up a team inbox so your team can manage all customer messages from one place, together.  When working on a message or project, loop in a coworker with a simple @mention. Comments avoid the duplicative and chaotic workflow of forwards and ccs, and makes it seamless and natural to create a thread on an email, handoff a project, or escalate a message. It recreates the quick desk chats that happen in the office, and lets you feel like a team from anywhere. Another great tool is Internal Discussions. Invite a co-worker, a group of teammates, or a whole team inbox to chat in a discussion, and add a topic so it’s searchable and easy to find. This keeps work where it should be – your inbox – and omits the need for alternative team chat tools.  Lastly, you can share a draft with a teammate to write it together or coach someone on messaging. Working on it together in realtime saves you time going to another app to chat about an approach.  2. Stay accountable to one another while apart  We mentioned it before, but Team Inboxes really are the holy grail of team alignment. At a glance you can see all incoming messages, and nothing gets hidden or lost in a personal inbox.  The easiest way to help hold people accountable – and make it clear to others what they’re responsible for – is to assign a message. In a simple click, you can let someone know that it’s time for them to jump in. And afterwards, you can scan the team inbox and see what work is assigned to who so it’s easy to check in on progress or proactively know who to support.  Want to see whether your teammate or customer viewed the message you've sent? Stay accountable to one another with read receipts. Want to make sure you let nothing slip through the cracks? “Snooze” a message so that it’ll pop back up in your inbox later and remind you to follow-up. 3. Get a bird’s eye view of performance and customer experience The easiest way to get constant visibility into your remote team’s workday is through Views. Create a View to keep a pulse on what tags are being used the most, response time, and team performance. Tailor it to what you care about most, like when incoming messages are tagged as “VIP” or when an SLA is at risk of a breach.  Or, take it one step further. Front Analytics provides you a real-time pulse on your team’s workload and performance, as well as customer’s experience. We recommend you schedule a report to arrive in your inbox regularly – daily, weekly, whatever’s best for you – so you don’t even have to remember to check the Analytics tab.  Customize your report to show what you’re most interested in, like… Average response time  Handle time ‘Heatmap’ of your busiest hours How often different customers right in 4. View all customer context from Front, from anywhere A shared view of customer context helps your remote team stay on the same page, pick up where another left off, and your customer feel taken care of. View all recent communication from a specific customer, and bring up their history next to any message to come across as a united front from anywhere.  Front also integrates with your favorite software, so you can bring up your most relied upon tools with next to your inbox. View CRM data or move a message to a project management tool to keep your work stream efficient and up to date.  5. Automate workflows to escalate to escalate work and keep your team on track Finding the right workflow for your remote team is key to keeping everyone aligned and on top of work. Front’s Rules Library lets you discover our most popular Rule Templates – if-then conditions that trigger actions. You can customize and activate them in a matter of clicks.  The library is full of templates to help: Ensure your team replies on time Route messages to the right person or team Give your team appropriate visibility  Keep your inboxes tidy Increase your team’s efficiency   If you don’t find something that fits your needs, create a rule from scratch.
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Guide - 7 Min ReadCreate a successful Operations team with Front
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Set up an SLA.  ‘Snooze’ a request so it never falls through the cracks It’s end of quarter and you’re busy. You get a less urgent request, or you’re asked to confirm final numbers once the quarter is officially closed.  By hitting “snooze” on an email, or “send and snooze,” you can set up an automatic reminder to check in on a message. Once things calm down or numbers are finalized, the message will pop back up in your inbox so there’s no chance of you dropping the ball.  At Front, we like to think of your inbox as your daily to-do list. So if a message doesn’t require action, archive it and rest assured you can search and find it at anytime. Snooze helps you prioritize what you’re focusing on and pair down your daily duties to the most crucial messages.  Save your most common updates as message templates Do you send weekly reporting to different teams? Or make regular requests to gather data? Save message templates for your team to drop in updates and use for common emails. 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Here’s how to use your inbox to get more done.  Integrations keep all your work in one place Some teams depend on Jira to make action happen, while others swear by Asana, Todoist, or Trello to help manage projects as a team. Or maybe you want a knowledge base or CRM handy. Whatever app or software it is, integrate it with Front to access it when you need it without leaving the context of your inbox. Front offers more than 50 integrations that just require a simple sign on to get started, and if you need one that we don’t offer there’s open APIs that make set up easy. Mark a task done, create a ticket, or reference important info – all from your inbox.  A calendar in your inbox for all your scheduling needs Scheduling can be chaotic, and it’s especially tedious to have to flip between tabs to coordinate meetings that are being talked about in your email. In the upper right hand corner of Front you’ll find your calendar – pop it open at any time to view meetings or schedule time to chat with a customer.  Front is your universal inbox Front powers the heart of your inbox – where your team and customers meet. By funneling all your critical communication – from apps, email, and more – into one single source of truth, your team is empowered to take action quickly. Develop a command center for all of your people and messages to handle the overload of complex requests with accuracy and ease.
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