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Guide - 5 Min Read

Understand message metrics with the Conversations report

Understanding the flow and volume of messages across inboxes is critical to auditing your workflow and supporting your customers. That’s where the conversations report comes in.

What’s the Conversations report?

The conversations report is the primary way to understand and compare the flow of messages across inboxes. It monitors your message backlog, displays how messages are moving throughout the workday, and gives you insight into the efficiency of your conversation workflow. 

There are 3 main benefits to this dashboard:

  1. Get a day-by-day or week-by-week view of of conversation volume by team to help you know if the backlog of work is decreasing or increasing – so you can better staff and support your team. 

  2. Understand the flow of conversations, like how many were replied to, which weren’t, and which are still in progress or in queue

  3. Compare the volume of messages per inbox and see the movement between them. This is great if you divide inboxes by channel, client value, or tier.

To view the definition of every metric you can measure in the Conversations dashboard, visit our Analytics Glossary

What can be measured?

It’s crucial to know which messages have fallen through the cracks, or which inboxes are seeing a surge of activity. Team and department leaders can use the conversations report to gather these insights, visualize traffic and answer questions like:

  • What inboxes had the most activity and movement?

  • What conversation backlog, if any, did we start the given report period with? 

  • How much backlog was left at the end of the report period?

  • How much new work came in, and what did we accomplish each day?

By answering these questions, managers can help their team better optimize their processes, resources, and ensure their work yields the greatest impact. 
Within the conversations report there are three sections you can reference to understand and optimize your workflow. 

What happened

Use this section to visually understand the efficacy of your team. The ‘what happened’ chart shows the number of new, closed, and open conversations based on the selected filters. It helps you visualize by day, week or month the total number of new, closed and open messages.

By digging into these metrics, you can understand your busiest times and identify when additional staffing might be needed to meet demand. 
Some key translations for you:

  • One day = the full 24-hour period from 12:00AM to 11:59PM.

  • New workload = New conversations + Moved in inbox + Reopened convo.

  • Closed workload = Archived + Moved out.

Key use case:
By noticing a high number of open conversations from a previous time period, you see that your team isn’t clearing out the inbox everyday. You notice this number is increasing day-by-day, and you want to stop it before the backlog becomes unmanageable. By getting ahead of this, you can reprioritize your team for the day to clear the conversations. And, you can click into the metric to see what conversations are piling up – perhaps there’s a trend there that will help you prevent this from happening in the future. 

Conversation flows

Use the ‘conversation flow’ section to visualize the actual flow of conversations from one stage into another during your report period. The chart displays the flow of conversations between different statuses.

Quickly see relative magnitudes or areas with the largest opportunities –the wider the flow, the larger the volume of messages, so dominate ones stand out. This diagram offers you a fresh way to look into conversations in a targeted way. 

Here are some key trends you may see – and how to take action:

  • Spike in Unreplied: See what's being left untouched

    • New conversations: are they not touched yet because your team doesn’t have the time?

    • Old conversations: often these are complex messages requiring deeper investigation

    • Open: still at risk of being unreplied

  • Spike in new conversations: Click into the details drawer to further investigate what’s causing the spike in communication

  • Sudden increase in closed conversations: See if there was a massive clean up happening (such as archiving all remaining convos manually)

Key use case:
You’re the Support Manager and you notice your team has over 500 messages that have been open from over a week ago that still aren’t closed – typically that number is under 100, your team is pretty on top of it. You click into the metric and are able to see exactly what’s holding up your team – there’s a bug. You create a tag to organize those messages that are relating to the bug and build a rule that sends a canned response to those customers alerting them of the bug and that your team is on top of it. 

Inbox Table

Here, you’ll see a breakdown of volume metrics by inbox. The table shows how many conversations move in and out of specific inboxes and provides visibility into how the inbox volumes changed over the course of the period. You can view all inboxes at once to ensure nothing falls through the cracks, or drill down into a specific one to learn more. 

Interact with the report by hovering over the tooltip to learn how the metric is calculated, sorting the table, or clicking on a number to investigate which conversations are contributing to that calculation. 

Key use case:
You split your inboxes up by tier, and notice a lot of movement recently from the tier 1 inbox into tier 2 – which means the pressure’s on for your team. To learn what’s top-priority, you click into the inbox from the chart and view the conversations that have moved to tier 2. Ultimately, you notice that many people are moving tier 1 conversations into the tier 2 inbox, so you’re able to chat with your team about redefining what that means – so only the most urgent messages make their way to tier 2.

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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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