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Front Glossary

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A

Analytics

Front Analytics is a way to measure your team’s success, and can be accessed by clicking the graph icon in the lower left corner of Front. It provides a dashboard that summarizes four key metrics: 

  1. Conversations – the volume and type of each message entering an inbox

  2. Team – the performance of individuals, such as response time and how many messages they are handling

  3. Productivity – the experience your customers are having, shown through resolution and response times

  4. Customers - how your team divides time between customers

You can customize the report to view certain times, only business hours, or compare past and current months. Reports are easily exported so you can share them with your team or clients. 

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Assigned conversations

A conversation from any channel (i.e. an email or request) that is assigned to someone specific. Once a message is assigned, it will show up in the assignee’s personal inbox and be removed from the team inbox. Assigning a conversation is a way to make it clear who should handle the message, and a way to help your team prioritize an influx of messages. 

Assigned to me

A section of your individual workspace that houses all the conversations that are assigned to you from team inboxes or other teammates’ private inboxes.

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Business hours

Business hours are the hours during the day in which business is commonly conducted. Typical business hours vary widely by country. In Front, this is the time range you have set up in your Analytics section, in which your team is expected to respond to customers. 

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Calendar

Front Calendar makes scheduling meetings and managing your calendar from your inbox easy. It's enabled for your Front account by default. You can schedule, edit, view others’ calendars, and join meetings all from Front. 

Channel

An account you add into Front that feeds messages into an inbox and that you can reply from. There can be multiple channels in an inbox. Channel types include email, SMS, Twitter, Facebook, Intercom, Front Chat, and more.

Comments

Under any message in Front, you’ll find a bar that says “Add a comment…” where you can comment directly on an email and @mention someone to loop them in. This is called the comment bar. By using comments rather than forwarding or copying someone, you avoid messy email chains that distract from alignment. Comments let you easily collaborate on emails, and are only seen by the people you @mention. That means that external recipients, like the people the email is addressed to, will not see the comments. 

Conversation

A thread consisting of one or more messages from any channel (email, SMS, Twitter, Facebook, etc.).

Conversation list

The list of messages in your personal inbox. You can sort through open, archived, or snoozed emails in your conversation list.

Conversation summary

A popup box accessed by clicking the information icon next to a conversation’s subject line, showing the attachments, participants, and details of a conversation at a high level.

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Delegated inboxes

A feature that allows your teammates to view the conversations in your inbox, and take actions like archiving or snoozing for you. They can also reply to conversations in your inbox but will reply from their own email address (they cannot reply as you).

When you delegate your inbox to a teammate and share all sections of your inbox, they will also see any private tags you’ve pinned to your workspace. This is a great tool if you’re OOO. 

Discussions

Internal discussions enable you to have quick chats with your teammates, right in Front. Instead of commenting on an external email or other customer message, you can set a topic and start a new, standalone conversation with your teammates. That way, you handle internal work and conversations without leaving your inbox, so everything is saved and tracked in one place. 

Use discussions when you're working with teammates on a completely internal topic and there's no external email or message to kick things off. Set a topic like "Planning for our offsite" or "Final draft of meeting deck", invite teammates, and start chatting instead of sending an email or pinging them in a chat tool.

Do not disturb

Temporarily mute any notifications you’ve set up by turning on Do Not Disturb, accessed by clicking your avatar and on the bell icon. You can also set up a daily Do Not Disturb schedule

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Empty inbox

An inbox without any channels within, which you can move conversations into for categorization.

Expand/collapse all messages

A double-arrow icon at the top right of each conversation to allow you to expand or collapse all messages with one click.

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Individual inbox

Your private, personal inbox It syncs with your email provider (like Gmail or Outlook) and hosts all of your personal emails. It can be found in the navigation panel, and within it you can prioritize your work the way you like with starred emails, personal tags, and more.

Individual or personal workspace

A term used to reference your personal view of Front. This means all the personal tags and shared inboxes you have pinned, the integrations you have, etc. 

Integration panel

The expanded vertical sidebar on the right edge of your Front inbox. You can access, view all content, and take action on all integrations from the integration panel. 

Integration switcher

The collapsed vertical sidebar on the right edge of your Front inbox. You will see a list of icons that represent each integration you have pinned as a favorite.

Integrations

An API enabled connection between Front and another software. You can integrate with your favorite tools for easy access to customer data and other apps from your inbox. For instance, Salesforce is a common integration, meaning it can be accessed in the integration panel and the tool — including its data — can be seen and used without leaving Front or opening the separate application. 

Integration panel - Reference Salesforce gif

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Mention

A term for looping another teammate into a comment or thread. For instance, if I wanted Sarah to chime in on a conversation, I would mention her by typing “@sarah.”

Message list

The vertical section of Front to the right of the navigation panel. It features a list of all opened, archived, and snoozed messages and conversations. You can sort it by Newest, Oldest, Newest Unreplied, and Oldest Unreplied.

Message panel

The vertical section to the right of your message list. This is where you’ll find a close-up view of conversations you click on and all the details, or it will be empty if you’re at inbox zero. 

Message templates

Message templates (previously known as canned responses) are your saved responses to common questions. They allow you to respond faster to inbound messages, to lessen the repetitive nature of replying to frequently asked questions, and for your team to have a unified voice in what you tell your customers.

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Front allows you to create individual and team message templates. Individual message templates are visible to only you, and team message templates can be visible to your teammates. Both admins and regular team members can create message templates, and they can be edited anytime. 

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Navigation panel

The vertical sidebar on the far left side of Front. It features all of your personal inbox — including starred messages, drafts, discussions that are shared with you, and personal tags — as well as any pinned shared inboxes and assigned conversations. 

Notifications

Alerts you can enable and receive when activities occur in Front. For instance, a ping when you receive a new email.

Notify

An action from a rule that will create a copy of the conversation in a user’s “Shared with me” section for them to read and action on.

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Participants

The people involved in a conversation on Front. Participants are listed in the participants menu.

Participants menu

A list of all people involved in a conversation and when they’ve last read it. The participants menu is found at the top of the conversation and will have a variety of icons or images of the people in a conversation. When it's a private conversation in your individual inbox and no one else has access, you'll see a lock icon, and when it's a conversation in a team inbox, you'll see a people icon.

Personal tag

Personal tags are ways to categorize, organize, and prioritize messages. When a message comes into your inbox, you can move it to a tag (which functions similar to a folder) or create a rule that automatically tags a message by keyword, sender, or more. 

Plugin

A type of integration that is shown as a widget in the expandable integration panel on the right side of Front.

Private signature

A signature you set and select as your sign off for messages. 

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Rules

Front's rules engine allows you to automate your workflows. Rules can help you handle repetitive tasks to save time and increase your team's efficiency in Front. You can create rules for your team, your personal workspace, or your whole company. Team rules are applied to any shared inbox and can only be created by Admins. Individual rules will apply to your individual inbox, but not internal discussions. Company rules can apply to all individual and/or shared inboxes and can only be created by company admins. Like other advanced rules, company rules are available on the Prime plan and above. 

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Sent folder

Messages that you have sent specifically from Front will show here. If you have a two-way sync with Gmail or Office 365, the messages you sent from Gmail or Office 365 will not show here. 

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

An SLA, or Service Level Agreement, is a goal or agreed-upon amount of time for businesses to respond or resolve client messages. SLAs help ensure businesses hit their service goals and meet their customers’ expectations. Front’s email SLAs enable your team to respond to every message on time and easily share specific response time metrics with your clients — without giving up the personalized experience of email. Think of email SLAs as an extension of Front’s custom rules that simplify creating, managing, and reporting on client communication performance. 

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Shared inbox

A shared inbox is an email inbox that many teammates can access to send and receive emails from the same group address, like support@company.com.

Shared with me

A sub-section of your individual workspace that shows all the conversations that you are following or where someone mentioned you. 

Shifts

Front's Shifts allow admins to easily set shift schedules for your team. Shifts are available on our Enterprise Plan. Shifts automatically manage when teammates are available to be assigned conversations, so new customer messages aren't missed when shifts change.

Snooze

A feature that allows you to hide a message in your inbox until later, or make a sent message reappear for follow-up. With snooze, you can set a time for a message to reopen in your inbox exactly when you want it to. The snooze is available in two ways:

  1. Snoozing the conversation using the clock icon at the top of the conversation.

  2. Using the Send & Snooze button in your composer when you send a message.

snooze gif

Starred

You can quickly star any conversation that you want to find later, and those conversations will appear in the Starred section below your individual inbox. You can also drag and drop conversations into the section to apply the star, which will move the conversation out of the original location and file it into the Starred section. You can unstar the conversation to return it to the original inbox.

Status

Your availability status in Front that is set by clicking your avatar, and on the bell. You can set yourself to Out-of-office or Available. If you set to Out-of-office, any new inbound messages in your assigned conversations will cause the conversations to unassign so that your teammates can handle them. When teammates mention you and look on the Teammates list, they will also see a red bubble to indicate that you are not available.

Subscribe vs. Mute

When you're a participant in a conversation in Front, you have two options: to subscribe to the conversation, or to mute it. You can think of this like "following" or "unfollowing" a thread on social media. If you're subscribed, you will see all new replies and comments in the conversation in your inbox. If you've muted, the conversation will archive and only pop up again in your inbox if you are @mentioned specifically. 

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T

Team inbox

Front allows your team to manage shared inboxes more effectively. For addresses similar to support@company.com or info@company.com , multiple teammates can collaborate on replies and, ultimately, provide faster resolution times. Team inboxes can include multiple communication channels. 

Emails arriving in a team inbox will be visible to all teammates who have access to the inbox. Only admins can give a teammate access to a team inbox. If one teammate reads an email in a team inbox, it still appears as unread to other teammates. However, if one teammate replies to and archives an email in a team inbox, the email is archived for all teammates. That way, work is never duplicated.

Team rules

Front's rules engine allows you to automate your workflows. Rules can help you handle repetitive tasks to save time and increase your team's efficiency in Front.  Team rules are applied to any shared inbox and can only be created by Admins.

Team signatures

Admins can create multiple team signatures for all teammates on their team to use for email channels so they have a unified response. Signatures are only for email channels and not chat, SMS, Twitter, etc.

Team tags

Team tags are ways to categorize, organize, and prioritize messages. When a message is in a team inbox, you can move it to a tag to prioritize work or create a rule that automatically tags a message by keyword, sender, or more. Common team tags are “urgent” or “VIP.” 

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Team workspace

All the tags and inboxes that show up on the left side panel of Front that live under a team inbox. You can curate the list of team inboxes that show on your navigation panel.

Teammates list

The list of teammates on the bottom left of Front. You can pin and unpin teammates to show here, and you can see their assigned conversations that you have access to.

Keep learning

One Pager - 8 Min ReadSet your team up for success with team inboxes
Picture this: You just treated yourself to a well-deserved week-long vacation. Before signing off, you closed out all your apps, made a thorough Out-Of-Office plan, and left important work in the hands of teammates you trust.  You return to a jam-packed inbox, a variety of client messages to respond to, and notifications on 10+ different pieces of software that you need to tend to. You already feel behind, and it’s not even 9 a.m. yet.  Sound familiar? These days, even if you go to an office, your job is less a physical place than the sum total of the different apps you rely on to do your work. In fact, the average employee switches between 35 job-critical apps more than 1,100 times per day. So even when you’re not coming back from an island getaway, the constant context switching, the influx of messages on different platforms with unclear owners, and the various ways internal teams communicate all combine to make it nearly impossible to create a positive customer experience. Productivity and morale take a huge hit. This current system isn’t sustainable. That’s why Front made a shared inbox that’s supercharged and designed to work for you, not against you.  What’s a team inbox?  You may be familiar with the concept of a shared inbox already. This is your “support@company.com,” an email inbox that many teammates can access to send and receive emails from the same group address. Things work a little differently with a shared inbox. We’ll walk you through it here: Regular group email: With the email we’re used to, group email means that anyone who’s a part of a distribution list or group alias gets their own copy of every email. One person can reply to an email, and unless they hit “Reply all,” no one else will see it. If someone deletes an email, everyone else can still see their copy in their inbox.Instead of one customer inquiry that should be actioned on one time, this email turns into many copies that now requires each person to read and make a decision on Group email in a shared inbox: You’re all looking at the same queue of emails. When one person replies, everyone who has access to the inbox can see it. When someone archives an email, it leaves the inbox for everyone. Front’s team inboxes crank it up a notch and improve the experience for teams. On a codebase level, it’s a completely different way of thinking about email even compared to your distribution lists and aliases. Plus, we add some bells and whistles that help your team work faster together while focusing on what matters most.  How team inboxes work in Front Front allows your team to manage shared inboxes more effectively. Multiple teammates can collaborate on replies from multiple channels — from your Twitter account, customer messaging platform, SMS, and email — and ultimately respond faster. Collaborate on email to respond lightning-fast Work off a single, shared copy of each message to coordinate quickly and get back to customers faster. Comment on emails and @mention your teammates to create notes and work together. Edit email drafts together to avoid the back-and-forth before you send Every conversation has an owner so nothing slips through the cracks Know exactly who’s working on what by assigning each conversation to an owner for follow up. Use automatic workflow rules to tag and route messages and keep your inbox organized. Use tags to prioritize and categorize incoming messages from all channels. Happy team, happy customers — no help desk required Add new channels like SMS, WhatsApp, or live chat to manage all messages in one place. No ticket numbers here! To your customers, it’s just normal email. Front stays invisible to customers but keeps your team organized behind-the-scenes. Emails arriving in a team inbox will be visible to all teammates who have access to the inbox. Only admins can give a teammate access to a team inbox. Admins can grant access to team inboxes at the time they invite a new teammate or can add existing teammates at any time.  The read-vs.-unread status of conversations is individual to each teammate and does not impact others’ read status. However, if one teammate replies to and archives an email in a team inbox, the email is archived for all teammates. That way, work is never duplicated. What you can do with team inboxes in Front The team inbox fixes a lot of problems we encounter at work today: lots of context switching between apps, many people handling messages from a variety of channels, and real-time collaboration.  Many communication channels: Front’s team inboxes are not just for email — teams can manage other messages like SMS texts, Tweets, live chats, phone logs, social media, and more in team inboxes. Built-in accountability: You can assign an owner to every conversation so that it's clear to everyone who's handling what. You can also drag conversations to different team tags to help prioritize and organize work for your team.  Easy collaboration: You can comment @angela, can you help with this contract? on an email, instead of forwarding or CC’ing a teammate. You can also share email drafts with teammates, so you can edit together before sending to customers. Integrations: Your team inbox connects with other apps like CRMs, project management tools, knowledge bases, and more, so you can access that information directly in your inbox. Automate little tasks you repeat often: Got an email that your teammate, Phyllis, can handle? Use keywords, sender, or other triggers to automatically route emails from the team inbox to her so it's out of everyone else's way.  For best practices on using team inboxes, as well as to learn how to set your team up for success, check out our guide on setting up a team inbox.  What’s in it for your team? Because traditional email like Gmail or Outlook ironically gets in the way of communication, teams often feel some immediate relief with team inboxes. Here are some ways that our internal teams get the most out of the automation in team inboxes while still keeping the customer experience personal: Support teams improve customer experience Use message templates to quickly resolve and respond to support-like questions.  Prioritize incoming messages to the right person with rules, SLAs, and assigning. You can even add shifts so that response time goals are still met when different people are working different hours.  Escalate bugs and technical issues to the right place immediately with tags and rules that identify keywords in messages and get them in front of the right eyes. Integrate Front with your knowledge base, so articles and FAQs are easily accessible directly from Front. Use Front Analytics to improve response and resolution times and see what kind of requests are most common. Success and account management teams build loyal, positive client relationships Route client messages to the right owner automatically with triggers like keyword, sender, subject, and more.  Integrate your CRM or custom database so you can reference a customer’s history and journey directly from your inbox. Schedule a time for an email to pop back up in your inbox if it hasn’t been replied to so you don’t have to worry about remembering on your own even months later. Use Front Analytics to see which customers require the most care and better distribute workload among your team. Automatically move customer emails to a shared inbox when you’re away or OOO, so you get peace of mind and your team can easily jump in and reply. Sales teams reach their goals  Automatically and evenly distribute emails coming into your sales team inbox among your reps to balance workload. Integrate your CRM so you can reference and update Salesforce opportunities directly in your inbox. Create an SLA rule so that you wow your prospects with reliably quick response times Comment on an email to collaborate in realtime with other AEs or a manager when you have a question on a deal or want a hand in closing it Connect your calendar so you can easily schedule meetings, check calendar openings, and let prospects book time slots with you in a few clicks Is this just like… email merged with a help desk? That’s a great framework to set your expectations, but Front is actually fundamentally different — and a whole lot more. Here’s the thing: Email was originally built for one-to-one communication, and it carries a stigma of being somewhat dated and inefficient.  On the other hand, help desks can be pretty clunky and often impersonal.  Team inboxes take the best of both worlds and add some original new features that crank your workflow up quite a few notches. They’re designed for teams to make greater impact: Team inboxes are easy to implement and natural for your team to learn. Since they use a familiar workflow that’s similar to email, there’s no steep learning curve that often comes with new software. Because Front feels similarly to Gmail or Outlook, onboarding is relatively intuitive.  Team inboxes allow for a more personal customer experience. Traditional help desk tools attach ticket numbers to every message. While this is great for organization, it makes the customer feel like just a drop in a vast ocean of tickets. When your team uses Front, the customer will never know the difference. It’s just regular email (and a wonderful, personalized experience, of course.) Team inboxes are more flexible. Help desks typically have a more rigid process that’s standardized to support teams, so they’re more limited in the ways you can route and assign messages, especially outside your support team. You can customize team inboxes to your unique processes, and if you have complex questions that need escalation, you can easily loop in those teammates.  Front is a customer communication platform. It transforms work into impact by meaningfully connecting your teams and customers by taking away the clutter, chaos, and impersonal customer experience. So you get the automation and customization of a help desk, with the personal and familiar touch of email. 
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One Pager - 3 Min ReadAutomation 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: 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. Once you enable the integration, you’ll see a dropdown in your rule actions to “Send to a Webhook.” 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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