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. 

Canned response

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.

canned response gif

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

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.

D

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

A saved response that you can edit and build off of for common messages. At Front, we call this feature Canned Responses. 

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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. 

SLa gif

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. 

subscribe and mute image

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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.” 

tag gif

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 - 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 [@domainname.com] 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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One Pager - 4 Min ReadHow to give your inbox a brain: Using rules in Front
Our inboxes make us do the same tasks, over and over, every single day. We reply, archive, label, and delete. We mark as unread, forward, cc, enter data into CRMs, copy ideas into project management tools…the list goes on. Wouldn’t your productivity skyrocket if you didn’t have to worry about those time-consuming, repetitive tasks – if your inbox could handle them for you? Good news! Using “rules” in Front is like giving your inbox a brain, so when you go to plow through your email everyday, some of your work is already done for you. Rules come with endless possibilities for customization, and our customers use them to create amazing automations all the time. Here’s everything you need to know to start making rules (you'll be whipping through your inbox at lightspeed!) What are rules? Rules let you automate workflows you often repeat by using “if, then” statements – guidelines that tell your inbox what to do with certain messages. For instance, “if an inbound message contains "urgent support", then add the tag "Urgent". Types of rules There are three kinds of rules: team rules, individual rules, and company rules. Individual rules: only apply to messages in your individual inbox Team rules: apply to messages in shared inboxes (only Team or Company admins can make these) Company rules: apply to all messages in individual and shared inboxes (can only be created by company admins) Above is a company rule, so it apples to individual and shared inboxes. How to make a rule 1 - Select what type of message you’d like to apply the rule to – an inbound message to your support inbox, for instance. 2 - Add specific conditions – maybe when the message is from your VIP client, in the middle of the night. 3 - Set the outcome you want for it – say, the message automatically gets “assigned” in Front to your night-shift support agent. 4 - Voilà! Your inbox is now on autopilot. Our most popular ways to use rules Read on to discover some of our favorite ways to use rules, then browse our Front Rules Directory for more examples that can boost your team’s productivity. 1. Route messages Move messages exactly where you want them, as soon as you receive them. These rules help divvy up messages from group aliases evenly among team members, so everyone knows exactly what they’re in charge of. When to use it Distribute new leads in a round-robin to members of your sales team. Assign all support messages containing “refund” to your agent who handles refunding. 2. Auto-reply Send a custom canned response to a message based on its body text, subject, sender, or time of day. When to use it Send a “We’ll get back to you soon” to any message that’s received from 9pm to 6am in your Support inbox. Give a “thanks for applying” note to any message tagged as “Job Application.” 3. Organize & categorize Automatically add “tags” to incoming messages so your inbox always stays neat and tidy. You can also make rules to trigger actions to those tagged messages. When to use it Instantly tag anything that’s from a @smith.com address as Urgent Support. Automatically assign anything tagged as “Recruiting” to your recruiting coordinator. 4. Notify teammates Make sure the right parties know about certain messages, every single time, without having to forward them the message. Teammates will get notifications in Front, as if you @mentioned them on the message yourself. When to use it Loop in your boss every time you get an email from a VIP client. Give a heads up to the sales team when someone sends a message requesting a demo. 5. Set timers Create time-based rules to send emails when it works best for you, and set time limits and follow-up reminders to make sure every message gets a prompt response. When to use it “Unassign” any messages your team receives between 3 and 5am. If a message is unreplied after 2 hours, assign it to a specific teammate. 6. Auto-archive It’s like having a personal assistant who sweeps up your inbox before you open it each morning: automatically archive messages based on specific qualifications, so you only see what you really need. When to use it Archive a Salesforce record update message. Archive retweets received from Twitter. 7. Integrate with other tools Rules even help for parts of your workflow outside your inbox. Set rules to send information to some of your other apps – like Salesforce, Hipchat, or Slack. When to use it Automatically create a new opportunity in Salesforce when you receive a message from a potential lead. Send your support team a Slack message when you get emails that contain the words “help” and “credit card.” With rules, you can make your team more productive, clear out your inbox, and let technology do a little work for you. ➡️ See how to set up rules like these in the Rules Directory. ➡️ Learn more about using rules on our Help Center.
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